The idea of a victory had vanished long ago, but in the fourth quarter of an Arena Football League game Saturday night, the Power was driving, trying to save face in a game being broadcast on national television.
Trailing, 65-13, the offense was 10 yards from its third touchdown of the game, but quarterback Shane Austin threw an interception right to Clevan Thomas of the San Jose Sabercats, who ran 49 yards untouched as a disheartened offense could only watch.
The play was another setback in a game that was almost historically lopsided, as the Power (3-13) suffered its worst loss of the season at Consol Energy Center, a 78-20 drubbing to one of the best teams in the AFL.
San Jose's 58-point margin of victory was the third-largest in AFL history -- the most on the road -- and was within four points of the league record of 62.
"We could have lost by one and it would have been bad," Power coach Derek Stingley said. "Unfortunately, this was our last home game and, yes, it was somewhat embarrassing."
The loss extended the Power's losing streak to seven and mathematically eliminated the team from postseason contention.
The Power defense, which allows the fewest yards per game in the AFL, gave up 283 yards and a season high in points as San Jose scored on every offensive drive.
While the defense had trouble controlling the Sabercats, the offense turned in one of its most underwhelming performances of the season, compiling only 206 total yards and routinely looking out of synch.
It took more than 18 minutes for the Power to get its first points of the game, but from there, San Jose rattled off 35 unanswered points to take a commanding lead and put the game out of reach relatively early.
By halftime, the Sabercats led, 48-7, giving them more points in the first half than the Power had scored in 10 of their games this season.
Power quarterback Shane Austin struggled for much of the game, completing only half of his passes for 188 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. The offensive line, which has given up the most sacks in the AFL, allowed eight sacks.
Wide receiver Tyrone Collins had 12 receptions for 112 yards.
When asked about his job security after the game, Stingley said that he feels "great" about his relationship with the Power's ownership after his team fell to 1-8 at home.
Craig Meyer: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG.