No playoffs for Albany

How do you spell ugly? How about flags, fights and futility?
PHOTOGRAPHER:

How do you spell ugly?

How about flags, fights and

futility?

In a penalty-filled game that

featured plenty of physical play and poor performances, the Manchester Wolves eliminated the Albany Conquest from the arenafootball2 playoffs with a 70-49 victory Friday night at Times Union Center.

There were 30 penalties called for 210 yards in the game. The teams also combined for three interceptions and one fumble.

Albany backup quarterback Joe DeLuise got his first pro start, and he was a little shaky early on. Manchester took full advantage and rolled out to a hefty lead before the Conquest pulled to within a couple of scores, 57-43, with 2:13. remaining.

But the Wolves (8-7), who went over the .500 mark for the first time, put the contest away when their own backup quarterback, Ben King, hit Bradley Chavez with a touchdown pass with 9.6 seconds left in the game.

Conquest head coach Jeff Hoffman, who celebrated his 41st birthday Thursday, had nothing to celebrate after the game.

“It was sloppy on both sides. I don’t know how to expand any further on that,” he said.

“I salute my guys for fighting right to the end. When these guys came in here, they said they would battle and be competitive, and that’s what they did.”

Hoffman isn’t concerned that his team would be motivated next week in its season finale at home against division-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

“If I have a chance to punch Wilkes-Barre in the mouth, I’ll do it. There is no love lost there,” he said.

Another small crowd prompted questions concerning the team’s future in Albany.

“The front office doesn’t ask my opinion about stuff like that, but I’d like to stick around and come back. I like it here,” he said.

DeLuise, who took over in the fourth quarter of last week’s game against the Louisville Fire when starter Dan Cole injured his knee, showed flashes, especially with his scrambling, but he was extremely inaccurate for most of the night.

“I started out a little slow, and I didn’t help out my team with two turnovers,” he said. “But I’m proud of the guys the way they played right through to the end. As far as next week is concerned, we’ll play as hard as we can, no matter if we’re out of the playoffs or not.”

Manchester took a 7-0 lead on James Pinkney’s 23-yard TD strike to Chavez.

Albany bounced right back when DeLuise scrambled for a

27-yard TD run. He used a stiff-arm to break away from several tackles and romped into the end zone. Jason Fralicker, cut from the team more than a month ago, came back to the team and kicked the PAT.

But during that possession, Alb­any’s leading receiver, Antwun Will­iams, was tackled hard along the boards. He left the game and was brought to the hospital. Hoffman later said that Williams broke his femur, but was in good spirits and called the team from the hospital to see how they were doing.

Manchester took the lead for good when Pinkney hit Keith Stokes on a deep post pattern. The Wolves tacked on another score as the first quarter ended when Pinkney found Chavez on a nine-yard crossing pass.

Manchester 21 19 14 16 – 70

Albany 7 14  6 22 – 49

M – Chavez 18 pass from Pinkney (McCormick kick).

A – DeLuise 27 run (Fralicker kick).

M – Stokes 45 pass from Pinkney (McCormick kick).

M – Chavez 10 pass from Pinkney (McCormick kick);

A – Jones 40 pass from DeLuise (Fralicker kick).

M – Savoy 5 pass from Pinkney (kick failed).

M – Savoy 26 pss from Pinkney (McCormick kick).

A – DeLuise 4 run (Fralicker kick).

M – Savoy 10 pass from Pinkney (McCormick kick).

M – Singfield 18 interception return (McCormick kick).

A – Bocage 8 pass from DeLuise (pass failed).

A – Abrams 6 pass from DeLuise (Abrams pass from DeLuise).

M – McCormick 24 FG.

A – Bocage 39 pass from DeLuise (Abrams pass from DeLuise).

M – Sammons 5 pass from King (McCormick kick).

A – Bocage 4 pass from DeLuise (kick failed).

M – Chavez 25 pass from King (kick failed).

Categories: Sports

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