Erie Express Advance to Conference Championship
Erie, PA: The Erie Express faced their toughest opponent to date and it took then almost three quarters to finally get things going. The first quarter ended 0-0 with both teams dealing with pouring rain and trying to get a feel for one another.
The Huntsville Rockets struck first kicking a FG to go up 3-0 10:02 2nd. The Rockets capitalized on a fumbled punt at the one yard line recovering it in the end zone for the TD. The extra point was no good making the score 9-0 with 5:24 to play in the half. On their next possession the Rockets scored on a 47 yard pass with the 2pt try no good to make the score 15-0 going into the half.
On their first possession of the second half the Rockets scored on a 75 yard pass play with the extra point being good to make the score 22-0 11:34 3rd.
Express Quarterback Brandon Hanna finally got Erie on the scoreboard with a 13yd TD run Jeremy Ditzler added the extra point to make the score 22-7 with 3:25 to play in the third.
The Rockets once again answered on a big pass play scoring from 55yds out with the extra point being no good. The lead was 28-7 with 2:47 to play in the third.
The Express answered the big play by the Rockets with one of their own when Hanna found Javon Rowan on a 54yd strike. The extra point was no good making the score 28-13 with 2:01 to play in the third. The third ended with the Rockets leading 28-13
The Express recovered an errant snap by the Rockets at the 20 and were in great scoring position. A pass interference call in the end zone resulted in a first and goal at the one yard line. Hanna ran it in for the TD with the extra point blocked making the score 28-19 in favor of the Rockets with 9:43 to play in the game.
Hanna again found Rowan on a 10 yard TD pass. The extra point was blocked making the score 28-25 with 3:38 to play in the game.
With :49 to play in the game the Express took the first lead of the day when Hanna found Rowan for the third time on a 13yd TD strike. The fake kick was no good and Erie led 31-28.
The Rockets had one final shot at regaining the lead. A personal foul penalty resulted in a new quarterback coming in for the Rockets.
On their final play of the game he scrambled and made it to the Express 11yd line before being tackled by Jeff Ranson.
With :06 remaining from the time he was tackled the Rockets could not get down the field in time to set the ball and the final seconds ticked off the clock.
The Express advance to the Xtreme Conference Championship game and will face the Middle Tennessee Bulldawgs.
The teams are ranked 1 and 2 in the league. Kickoff is set for 6pm at Gus Anderson Field at McDowell High School in Erie, PA. 3580 West 38th St. Admission is $10 with children 12 and under FREE.