Arena Football League: Turnovers cost Power in loss to Talons
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Defenses already grapple with a tough enough task in a league where holding an opponent shy of 40 points is considered good. When the offense hands the ball to the opponent five times, the task becomes nearly impossible.
The previously winless Tulsa Talons took advantage of the turnovers and defeated the Power, 45-22, Saturday night in front of 9,925 at Consol Energy Center.
The Power lost the ball on four consecutive drives in the second half, two to fumbles and two to interceptions. The Talons scored 24 points off those mistakes.
"Tonight we played like your typical expansion team," Power coach Chris Siegfried said.
The Power (2-2) fumbled twice and threw three interceptions, two by quarterback Kevin McCabe. He struggled to find receivers, completing 8 of 18 passes for 77 yards and two scores.
Anthony Morelli, signed recently as insurance because starting quarterback Bernard Morris is on injured reserve, replaced McCabe in the third quarter. Morelli, a Penn State product, completed 11 of 17 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown with an interception.
"I thought he gave us a spark," Siegfried said. "I wish we gave him more support. It's tough being in the position that he's in."
The Power has an off week before facing the Jacksonville Sharks April 16. Morris will miss the Jacksonville game but can return the following week.
"The quarterback job's up for grabs every week until we find somebody that takes over the position and doesn't relinquish it," Siegfried said.
McCabe's neck was bothering him, Siegfried said, although he did not learn of the injury until after he replaced McCabe with Morelli. Morelli threw accurate passes, once hitting his receiver with a strong pass over the middle while being tackled from behind.
"I always feel I can do better," Morelli said. "I always feel I can improve. Going into the game cold, you just give it your best shot and try and bring the team back."
Even when it had the ball, the offense could not convert possessions into points. The Power did not score in the first and third quarters.
"I think we're lucky to be 2-2 at this point," Siegfried said.
The score was tied, 14-14, at the half. Talons linebacker Jamar Ransom intercepted McCabe on the Power's first drive of the third quarter and Juan Bongarra's 21-yard field goal gave the Talons a 17-14 lead with 6:36 left in the period.
The Power's Eddie Thompson fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and two plays later Talons quarterback Matt Bassuener threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Troy McBroom, the second score for Tulsa in two minutes, and the Talons led 24-14 with 5:26 remaining.
Morelli replaced McCabe and completed five consecutive passes, but Tulsa's Darien Williams intercepted a throw on the goal line. That interception led to Bassuener's second touchdown pass, a 9-yarder to McBroom, that put Tulsa ahead, 31-14.
Fullback Josh Rue fumbled on the Power's next offensive play, Tulsa recovered, and Talons quarterback Bobby Reid ran in from 2 yards to extend the lead to 38-14.
First Published April 3, 2011 12:48 am