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Power get win over Mustangs on final play

Jerry DiPaola
| Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some teams have trouble finding four quarterbacks who can take a snap.

In one season, the Pittsburgh Power have found four quarterbacks who can win a game.

Chris Wallace became the fourth Saturday night in front of a crowd of 8,227 at Consol Energy Center. He threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Lonnell Dewalt on the last play to give the Power a 39-38 victory over the Milwaukee Mustangs.

Dewalt, who also plays linebacker, intercepted a pass and caught another touchdown pass earlier in the game. He held onto the football on the game-winning TD while falling over the boards.

"(Wallace) threw it where only (Dewalt) and a few fans can catch it," Power coach Chris Siegfried said.

Kicker Paul Edinger, who missed three extra-point attempts and a field goal, hit the decisive kick to win the game.

"The guys just didn't quit," Siegfried said. "I get frustrated when I see the fans leaving and the game's not over."

Wallace, a 10-year indoor football veteran who played collegiately at Toledo, completed 19-of-33 passes for 253 yards and five touchdowns to keep the Power (8-6) tied with the Cleveland Gladiators for first place in the American Conference East Division. The Gladiators toppled the San Jose SaberCats, 82-21.

The Power, who didn't score in the third quarter, received large doses of good fortune late in the fourth. First, the Mustangs' Garrett Lindholm, the most accurate kicker in the Arena Football League, missed a 24-yard field goal attempt with 1:41 left.

The Power seemingly lost their last chance for victory when the Mustangs recovered a botched snap on their 14 with 22 seconds left. But on the next play, defensive end Terrance Carter forced a fumble by Mustangs quarterback Gino Guidugli that Tyrrell Herbert secured on the 16, setting up the winning score.

The unsettled quarterback situation has not prevented the Power from winning five of their past seven games.

Regular starting quarterback Bernard Morris, who has won five of seven starts, has an AC sprain in his throwing shoulder and an ankle injury; he was available only as a backup. Former WPIAL quarterbacks Kevin McCabe of Pine-Richland and Anthony Morelli of Penn Hills each played in one previous victory, but they are no longer with the team.

"I prefer not to have a fifth starting quarterback," Siegfried said. "I think we are capped out at four for the year."

The Mustangs (4-10) entered the game losers of four of the past six games and ranked last in the league in passing offense. But Guidugli's three touchdown passes to wide receiver Dwayne Eley Jr. in the second half gave the Mustangs a 38-26 lead that the Power overcame with scoring receptions by Irving Campbell and Dewalt in the final five minutes.

The Power defense was solid in the first half, with defensive back Josh Lay returning an interception 31 yards for a touchdown and Carter blocking a field goal on the last play of the first half.

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