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Arena Football Recaps From Friday, April 23
Posted: Sat April 24, 1999 at 6:00 a.m EDTNEW ENGLAND 45, FLORIDA 43
SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Mike Perez threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score as the New England Sea Wolves rallied for a 45-43 season-opening victory over the Florida Bobcats. Perez completed 17-of-26 passes for 261 yards, including a 13-yard scoring strike to James Bowden with 52 seconds remaining that capped a 17-point fourth quarter and gave New England (1-0) a 45-37 lead. Fred McNair's second TD toss, a 23-yarder to Cleveland Pratt with 37 seconds left, established the final margin. Damian Harrell caught six passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns for the Sea Wolves. The loss spoiled the coaching debut of Florida's Bruce Hardy, a former tight end with the NFL's Miami Dolphins. IOWA 69, HOUSTON 36
HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Aaron Garcia threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter as the Iowa Barnstormers scored 28 unanswered points in the final period en route to a season-opening 69-36 victory over the Houston Thunderbears. Garica had scoring strikes of six, 25 and five yards and Bobby Jurasin ran for another score in the final quarter as the Barnstormers blew open a close game. Acquired from New Jersey last season, Garcia finished 19-of-31 for 320 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for a pair of scores. Kevin Swayne was the leading receiver for the Barnstormers, catching four passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Houston quarterback Clint Dolezel finished 24-of-45 for 323 yards and three touchdowns. Dolezel, who led the Arena League with 81 touchdowns last season, was intercepted four times. Ben Bronson had eight receptions for 122 yards and a TD for Houston. ORLANDO 49, NASHVILLE 40
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The defending ArenaBowl Champion Orlando Predators opened defense of their title with a 49-40 victory over the Nashville Kats as Browning Nagle threw five touchdown passes. Nagle threw four of his touchdown passes in the opening half as the Predators built a 33-20 advantage. Nagle completed 17-of-30 for 260 yards. Barry Wagner, a six-time winner of the Ironman Award, had six catches for 86 yards and three scores. Brett Cooper was the leading receiver for the Predators with six receptions for 121 yards. Nashville quarterback Andy Kelly completed 27-of-41 attempts for 301 yards and two scores with a pair of interceptions. Tyronne Jones had11 receptions for 160 yards and a pair of TDs. ARIZONA 62, NEW JERSEY 54
PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Donnie Davis passed for seven touchdowns and ran for another as the Arizona Rattlers outscored the New Jersey Red Dogs, 62-54, in the season-opener for both teams. Davis was 25-for-33 for 300 yards, throwing three TD passes in the first half and four in the second. He had three scoring strikes in a wild fourth quarter that featured 36 points. Rickey Foggie completed 29 of 41 passes for 331 yards and seven scores for the Red Dogs, who lost in coach Frank Mattiace's debut. Davis' seven-yard strike to Muhammad Oliver midway through the second quarter put Arizona ahead for good, 21-14, and he ran two yards for a touchdown in the frantic final minute of the first half. Foggie found his favorite target, Alvin Ashley, for a 13-yard TD just 29 seconds later, but Hunkie Cooper returned the ensuing kickoff 57 yards for a touchdown and a 35-21 halftime lead. PORTLAND 61, MILWAUKEE 27
PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- James Guidry threw a franchise-record eight touchdown passes as the Portland Forest Dragons set a team record for points with a 61-27 triumph over the Milwaukee Mustangs in the season opener for both teams. Guidry, who completed 22-of-36 passes for 288 yards, threw six TD passes in the second half as Portland doubled up Milwaukee, 42-21. Guidry's favorite target was Khevin Pratt, who caught eight passes for 137 yards and four touchdowns. Three of his scores came in the third quarter when the Forest Dragons raced out to a 40-20 lead. Milwaukee only gained 150 yards of total offense in the loss. Todd Hammel completed 19-of-35 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown.
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