Late touchdown downs Power at Consol Center
By Jerry DiPaola
Published: Saturday, June 16, 2012, 10:44 p.m.
Passes floated right while receivers turned left. One errant lob clanged off the head of umpire Mike Moore. Power receiver P.J. Berry caught a touchdown pass while laying on his back.
But there was one familiar sight: The Power stretched their losing streak in games played to seven in a 63-62 loss Saturday night to the Milwaukee Mustangs at Consol Energy Center. The Power haven't won on the field since April 14.
The Power (3-10) led throughout most of the game, but the Mustangs (4-9) scored the winning touchdown and the decisive two-point conversion on passes from Gino Guidugli to Dwayne Eley Jr. and Jared Jenkins with three seconds left.
“Any loss is a bad one,” Berry said, “but this really hurts.”
It also was indicative of others this year.
“That's how the whole season has gone,” Power coach Derek Stingley said. “Those plays we normally make on the defensive side we just didn't make.”
The Power appeared to score the winning touchdown on quarterback Bryan Randall's 1-yard run with 23 seconds left. Kicker Geoff Boyer drop-kicked the conversion for two points, and the 62-55 lead looked like enough. But Eley's 15-yard reception and Jenkins' conversion gave the Mustangs the victory.
The Power led, 54-48, with 2:39 left when the Mustangs' Ryan McFoy recovered an onside kick, Milwaukee's second of the game. That led to Guidugli's 40-yard touchdown pass to Andrae Thurman that gave the Mustangs a 55-54 lead with 1:00 left.
The Power's Randy Hymes recovered the Mustangs' ensuing onside kick at the 11, and Randall scored on a 1-yard run with 23 seconds left.
The offense had a different look for the smallest crowd in franchise history (4,421), committing no turnovers after giving up the football 35 times on fumbles and interceptions in the first 11 games. The defense was strong for most of the game, with John Green and Chris LeFlore intercepting two Guidugli passes.
Randall completed 18 of 29 passes for 215 yards and six touchdowns.
The Power reached the end zone on four consecutive possessions in the first half, with Berry (twice), Oderick Turner and Mike Washington catching 34-, 21-yard, 28- and 36-yard touchdown passes from Randall. Washington extended his scoring streak to nine games.
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7997.
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