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New QB, LocoMotives play finale

HUNTINGTON, W.

Saturday, July 14, 2001

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A new quarterback is giving the River Cities LocoMotives head coach Melvin Cunningham new hope.

Shantay Taylor stepped in at quarterback last week without any practice and had a good showing despite at 48-18 loss to the Lake Charles Land Sharks.

With a full week of practice, Cunningham is looking forward to what the ex-North Carolina State standout can accomplish.

"He throws a good ball and he provides leadership. Remember (last week) he had no work. He made intelligent decisions and he had one bad pass," Cunningham said.

Taylor will trigger the LocoMotives offense for the first time in front of the hometown fans at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Huntington Civic Arena against the Yakima Shockwave in the final regular season game.

Taylor completed 12-of-34 passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns at Lake Charles. He also ran for 35 yards on eight carries.

Actually, Taylor played free safety in college. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder began this season with the Arena Football 2 Carolina Cobras but last only a short time.

Five weeks ago he had a tryout with the NIFL Ohio Valley Greyhounds but didn’t make the squad even with the threat of the team losing No. 1 quarterback Jose Davis, the former Bellaire and Kent State star.

New LocoMotives receiver Brian Gwynn told Cunningham about Taylor who in turn made an offer that Taylor accepted.

Taylor is now the seventh quarterback for the LocoMotives this season.

Gwynn and Taylor roomed together as they studied the playbook.

Gwynn caught five passes for 49 yards against the Land Sharks.

The LocoMotives are hoping the tandem can help give them a nice finish to a dismal inaugural year. River Cities is only 1-12 as an expansion team in the NIFL.