Stockton Knocks off Fever 53-37Posted: Updated:
STOCKTON, Calif. -- The Stockton Lightning (4-6) defense limited the Tri-Cities Fever (1-9) to just nine points over the final two quarters to win their second straight game and third in the last four contests in a 53-37 victory over Tri-Cities at Stockton Arena on Saturday in Week 11 of arenafootball2 play.
Stockton QB Chad Cavender, who garnered Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game honors, continued to throw for his average with five touchdown passes, complementing a 19-for-35 and 204-yard passing effort. His frequent target, WR Justin Taplin, caught seven passes for 98 yards and two touchdown receptions. Emery Beckles led Tri-Cities' effort with seven catches, 113 yards and one touchdown reception.
Despite three consecutive missed point-after attempts, the Lightning took an 18-14 lead into the second quarter as Cavender spread three touchdown passes to receivers Justin Taplin, Etu Molden and Troy McBroom.
Japan native QB Tomotsuna Inuoe, in only his third af2 appearance, hooked up with WR Emery Beckles for a 29-yard bomb with 13:38 left in the second quarter to draw Tri-Cities to a 14-12 lead, but the Lightning answered on the ensuing possession with 11:58 left on a 29-yard bomb from Cavender to Taplin to put the Lightning up 18-14.
Following Inuoe's 11-yard snare to Rabb, Cavender found Molden on a four-yard lob with 2:30 left in the half to help the Lightning assume a 26-21 lead. Tri-Cities answered in the see-saw fashion of the first half's scoring as Inuoe hit Ray Little with a 10-yard touchdown pass with 34 seconds left for a 28-26 Fever edge.
As time expired, Irvine nailed a 29-yard field goal in the second quarter, putting the Lightning up 29-28.
Tri-Cities pressed into the red zone for the first possession of the third quarter but Jay Hunt's 45-yard interception return for a touchdown helped Stockton assume momentum with a 36-28 lead, one they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
Michael Braunstein quieted the Lightning's rally a 48-yard missile of a field goal with 7:09 to close the gap to 36-31.
It would be the closest the Fever would get for the remainder of the game as the Lightning posted the contest's final three of four scores. Taplin's critical fourth-and-goal touchdown catch from six yards out lifted the Lightning to a 43-31 lead and boosted the edge further to 50-31 when Cavender scampered for a three-yard score off left tackle.
Inuoe found WR Finas Rabb on a 25-yard bomb with 5:44 to play and Irvine closed the scoring for the Lightning with his second field goal of the game, a strike from 18 yards to put Stockton ahead 53-37.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
Tri-Cities Fever (1-9) 7 21 3 6 37
Stockton Lightning (4-6) 12 17 7 17 53