Dan Cole, the league-leader in total yardage, completed 21 of 30 passes for 256 yards and five touchdowns, and Antwun Williams caught 10 passes for 156 yards and two scores to help the Albany Conquest top the Manchester Wolves, 64-54, in an arenafootball2 game at the Verizon Wireless Arena Friday night.
At one point, the Conquest (2-1) were up by 27 points, but the Wolves rallied in the final quarter to make it closer.
The Conquest played the game without receiver Jared Jones, who sat out the game with injuries to his right ankle and knee. Jones was named the af2 Player of the Week after last week’s 55-54 overtime win over Peoria.
“It went well. A couple of guys really stepped up for us, including Antwun Williams and Chris Bocage,” Jeff Hoffman said. “If it wasn’t for a few turnovers late in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter, we would have won by quite a big bit.
“The good thing is that we beat a good team, but I can still get on the guys about the fact that we need to play a full game.”
The Wolves (1-2) opened the scoring with a three-yard TD pass from newly acquired Brian Jones, but the Conquest bounced back with an 11-yard TD strike from Cole to Venard Abrams. Cole added a two-yard run to give Albany a 14-6 lead before Jones scored on a quarterback keeper to bring the Wolves within a point, 14-13, after the first period.
The Conquest got a 15-yard scoring run from fullback Norm Bauer to open the second period, but the Wolves came back once more on a 27-yard TD pass from Jones to Sammson Emory.
Bocage caught his first af2 pass and turned it into a 24-yard TD from Cole to give Albany a 27-20 lead, but Jones and Emory hooked up with a 19-yard score to even up the game at 27-27.
That’s when the Conquest began to break the game open.
Cole found Williams for an 11-yard TD pass, and Abrams hauled in a four-yard scoring pass before Brandon Taylor returned a fumble 35 yards for a score. That put the Conquest on top, 47-27.
Cole and Williams connected for a 45-yard TD pass, and Jason Fralicker tacked on the PAT for a 54-27 margin.
But Jones and Chavez got together for a three-yard scoring pass to slice the deficit to 54-34. Backup quarterback Joe DeLuise scored on a one-yard plunge to open up a 61-54 cushion, but the Wolves scored on three of the next four possessions.
Fralicker kicked his first field goal of the season, a 19-yarder, to give the Conquest a 64-40 lead before the Wolves tallied the final two touchdowns of the game.
The Conquest host the Mahoning Valley Thunder Saturday at 7 p.m. at Times Union Center.
Albany 14 19 21 10 — 64
Manchester 13 14 7 20 — 54
M —Chavez 3 pass from Jones (kick failed).
A — Abrams 11 pass from Cole (Fralicker kick).
A — Cole 2 run (Fralicker kick).
M — Jones 1 run (McCormack kick).
A – Bauer 15 run (Fralicker kick).
M — Emory 27 pass from Jones (McCormack kick).
A — Bocage 24 pass from Cole (kick failed).
M —Emory 19 pass from Jones (McCormack kick).
A — Williams 11 pass from Cole (kick failed).
A — Abrams 4 pass from Cole (Fralicker kick).
A — Taylor 35 fumble recovery (Fralicker kick).
A —Williams 45 pass from Cole (Fralicker kick).
M — Chavez 3 pass from Jones (McCormack kick).
A — DeLuise 1 rn (Fralicker kick).
M — Chavez 10 pass from Jones (kick failed).
A — Fralicker 19 FG.
M — Johnson 26 pass from Jones (McCormack kick).
M — Emory 4 pass from Jones (McCormack kick).