Arena Football League: Power loses inaugural game
The Philadelphia Soul's Larry Brackins makes a reception in front of the Power's Royce Adams during tonight's game at Consol Energy Center.
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Lynn Swann has promised that the Pittsburgh Power would provide an exciting brand of arena football, lots of points scored -- more than 100, in fact -- a night of affordable family entertainment and fun and, at least on opening night, clearly delivered all of that to the delight of a crowd of 13,904 at the Consol Energy Center.
The crowd was loud, festive and fun, the football was fast and furious, the hits were hard as promised and Swann, who is part owner of the team, addressed the crowd at halftime last night of the Power's inaugural game versus the Philadelphia Soul and thanked the fans for their support.
"Thank you," Swann said, "With a great start like this, we'll have a fantastic finish at the end of the season."
Although the fans were treated to an exciting game and the Power certainly provided them with a lot of bang for their entertainment bucks, the one thing the home team was unable to deliver was a victory, but not for lack of trying.
The game, however, wasn't decided until Philadelphia's Mike Brown intercepted a Bernard Morris pass in overtime and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown and a 58-52 Soul win.
The Power, though, deserve a lot of credit for just getting to overtime because to do that required a minor miracle and a gritty comeback.
Pittsburgh trailed 50-41 with less than two minutes to play and looked every bit like a team which was going to run out of time until Morris hit Jason Willis with a 7-yard touchdown pass and then Pittsburgh converted the 2-point conversion to pull the Power to within 50-49 with 53 seconds to play.
The onside kick was recovered by the Soul on the Power 5 but four plays yielded only three yards and since the Power had all three of their time-outs left, they were able to take possession on their own 2 with 32 seconds to play.
However, Morris was sacked in his own endzone and the Soul got two points for a safety what appeared to be game-sealing play as there was only 20 seconds remaining.
But Pittsburgh recovered its onside kick, Morris completed two quick passes for first downs and then Paul Edinger kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to tie the score and get the game it into overtime.
The Power got the crowd into the game almost immediately as Morris hit Jason Willis with a 37-yard touchdown pass on the team's second play from scrimmage, less than 90 seconds into the game.
The Soul quickly tied the game at 7-7 with a 3-play, 47-yard drive but Morris found former Aliquippa standout Mike Washington with a 21-yard touchdown pass and Lonnell Dewalt with a 14-yard touchcdown pass on consecutive drives and Pittsburgh led 21-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Philadelphia opened the second quarter scoring with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Allgood to Donovan Morgan but once again the Power answered with a 2-yard run by Duquesne graduate Joshua Rue.
The Soul then scored the final ten points of the second quarter -- on a 2-yard run by Donovan Morgan and an 18-yard field goal by Paul James -- and then opened the second half scoring with an 8-play drive and took their first lead of the game -- 30-27 - on a 1-yard touchdown run by back-up quarterback Ryan Vena.
Philadelphia then held the Power on a fourth-and-10 and took over at the Power 20 and needed only one play to take a ten-point lead, 37-27, and it looked like the Soul would roll.
But two plays later the Power pulled back to within 37-34 on a 5-yard pass from Morris to Dewalt.
Power coach Chris Siegfried took the first of many gambles on the night - a surprise onside kick on the ensuing kickoff -- but it ended up blowing up in his face when the Power, who recovered the ball, were ruled offsides and that meant the Soul took possession at the Power 3.
Allgood then found Morgan with a 3-yard touchdown pass and a 44-34 Soul lead on the first play of the fourth quarter but the Power answered with a 1-yard touchdown run by Rue with 11:08 to play.
The two teams then traded turnovers and the Soul cashed in on theirs when Allgood found Morgan with a 17-yard touchdown pass with from Allgood to Morgan with 5:55 to play.
Paul James missed the extra point, but the Soul remained ahead by two scores, 50-41, and that's when the Power mounted their comeback to tie the game.
First Published March 11, 2011 11:07 pm