Danger come up short after quick start

Danger come up short after quick start

The Nebraska Danger played a hard fought game but fell to the defending United Bowl Champions Sioux Falls Storm 42-28 in a rowdy Heartland Events Center.

After losing the coin toss, the Danger started with the ball and made quick work of their first possession. The very first play from scrimmage, quarterback Derrick Bernard found Dello Davis for a 25-yard touchdown pass only 30 seconds into the game. After a Sioux Falls drive that finished with -1 yards, a missed field goal returned possession to the Danger. Bernard and the Danger offense again moved the ball well with a methodic drive down the field, capped with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Rob Brown. Danger kicker Josh Gable's point after attempt was blocked and returned by the Storm for five yards. The first quarter ended with the Danger leading 13-0.

The Storm however did not go away. The second quarter began with quarterback Lorenzo Brown finding Korey Williams for the touchdown to pull back within six of the Danger. After some back and forth action, the Danger defense made a big third down stop at their own two-yard line. Sioux Falls decided to go for it on fourth down. Defensive lineman Xzavie Jackson forced a fumble, denying the Storm a touchdown and returning possession to Nebraska with under a minute left in the half. On the ensuing play for the Danger, quarterback Bernard completed a pass to Dimitri Stimphil for a 35-yard touchdown. The Danger defense again stepped up, intercepting a Sioux Falls pass with three seconds left, ending the half with the Danger leading 19-7.

"We had a great first half. We were firing on all cylinders and I didn't think there was anything that could stop us but the key, as always, is to finish strong," said Head Coach Hurtis Chinn.

After a slow first half for Sioux Falls, the third quarter began with a long offensive drive. Quarterback Brown helped keep his team on the field with an 11-yard rush on fourth down and eight. Finally, after a nearly eight minute drive, the Storm punched in a touchdown on an option play by Mike Tatum, making the score 19-13 Danger. Nebraska punched right back just two minutes later when quarterback Bernard scored on a two-yard touchdown run, extending the Danger lead to twelve points 25-13. Williams got a 30-yard rush for a Sioux Falls touchdown before the quarter ended, cutting the Storm deficit to five points 25-20.

The Danger received the ball to start the fourth quarter after a Storm kickoff. Nebraska then began the process of milking the clock and moving the ball down the field until Storm defensive back Elijah Fields picked off a Nebraska pass. After the play, Field received his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and was ejected from the game. Sioux Falls now had the ball and didn't waste any time driving down the field for a touchdown. With seven minutes left in the game, Sioux Falls had their first lead with a score of 28-25. Nebraska got the ball to midfield before offensive lineman Lawrence Martin IV got called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, sending the Danger back to the 12-yard line. The Danger went three and out after the penalty but kicker Josh Gable came on and hit a 44-yard field goal to tie the game at 28. The Storm then drove the length of the field, scoring on a quarterback keeper by Brown and taking the lead 35-28. On the ensuing drive, the Danger threw a pass that was intercepted by J'Vontez Backmon and returned for a touchdown. The game ended with the Storm coming from behind to win 42-28.

"We have to finish a lot stronger. We left points on the field and made too many mistakes throughout the whole game to be able to be able to win a game like that against a team like Sioux Falls," Chinn said.

The Danger next play at home on March 25 against the Colorado Crush at the Heartland Events Center.

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