Late field goal snaps Al­bany’s win streak

Bal­ti­more back in first place af­ter ef­fec­tive clock use

Albany Times Union - Sunday - - SPORTS - By Pete Dougherty

Arena Foot­ball League games of­ten are deter­mined by how well a team han­dles the fi­nal minute of each half. The Bal­ti­more Brigade won that as­pect Satur­day night against the Al­bany Em­pire, and as a re­sult they are back atop the AFL stand­ings.

The Brigade scored 14 points in the fi­nal 40 sec­onds of the first half, then ef­fec­tively milked the clock to set up Mark Lewis’ game-win­ning field goal in a 59-56 vic­tory over the Em­pire in front of 8,767 at Times Union Cen­ter.

Al­bany (5-3) had its five-game win­ning streak snapped to fall a game be­hind Bal­ti­more (6-2).

In a game with six ties and three lead changes, the Em­pire drew even at 56 with 1:15 re­main­ing as Joe Hills caught his fourth touch­down pass of the game from Em­pire quar­ter­back Tommy Grady.

The Em­pire tried an on­side kick, but the Brigade re­cov­ered at the 11.

“If we kick the ball deep with a minute and 15 left to go, we will never see the ball back,” Keefe said. “They will hold for the last play. You on­side kick so they can’t get a first down.”

The prob­lem was the Em­pire al­lowed quar­ter­back Randy Hip­peard to open the drive with a 9-yard run. He ran for a first down on the next play but pur­posely stayed short of the goal line, forc­ing Keefe to use all of his time­outs and set­ting up Lewis’ 17-yard win­ning kick.

“We played it right,” Grady said. “We on­side kicked the ball to the 11yard line. It’s tough to get a first down to the 1-yard line, and they did a good job do­ing that.”

Grady’s first in­ter­cep­tion in 102 pass at­tempts, cov­er­ing four games, with 6:08 left en­abled Bal­ti­more to gain con­trol of the score­board.

“Just a lit­tle mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween me and Malachi (Jones),” Grady said. “I’ve got to do a bet­ter job of tak­ing care of the ball at the end of games and not make that throw.”

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