Rio Grande Knocks of Tri-Cities, 44-37Posted: Updated:
HIDALGO, Texas - The Rio Grande Valley Dorados (8-7) clinched the No. 6 seed in the arenafootball2 playoffs with a 44-37 victory over the Tri-Cities Fever (2-13) Saturday night in front of 4317 fans at Dodge Arena.
Josh Kellett threw four TDs (21-44-3, 259 yards) in his first start of the season for RGV. Kellett found Rod Windsor three times in the end zone. Windsor finished with seven catches for 107 yards overall, giving him 55 TDs on the season as he looks to keep pace with Quad City's Jesse Schmidt for the af2 single-season TD record. Ramonce Taylor also contributed to the RGV attack, collecting two TDs and rushing for one more.
The Dorados defense sacked Fever QB Colin Drafts five times, led by Quinton Staton (3.5) while and Valentine Chude (1.5).
RGV led 30-13 at the half, but the Fever bridge the gap in the third quarter. RGV was stopped on downs on the opening drive of the third quarter. Then, Tri-Cities WR/DB Chris Hemphill picked off a Kellett pass and returned it 47 yards for a TD to make it a 37-30 game after 45 minutes of play.
After RGV took a 44-30 lead in the fourth quarter, Tri-Cities again cut the lead to seven. With a minute remaining and the Fever on the RGV 11, Drafts' pass was tipped by an RGV defender and intercepted by Walter Thomas. The Dorados managed the clock and held on for the win.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
RUSSELL ATHLETIC - Rod Windsor (RGV)
JLS IRONMAN - Chris Hemphill (TRI)
AARON'S DEFENSIVE - Quinton Staton (RGV)
BIG GAME CATCH OF THE GAME - Brandon Copeland (TRI), 49 yard TD reception, 2nd
NIFTY HIT OF THE GAME - Dahnel Singfield (RGV) on Brandon Copeland, 2:27, 3rd