Heroes don#8217;t have any luck holding onto lead in loss to Speed

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

CONCORD, N.C. — Saint Patrick’s Day turned out to be bad luck for the Huntington Heroes as they were unable to hold onto a 15 point lead in the final 11 minutes of Saturday night’s American Indoor Football Association game.

Carolina jumped out to an early lead as Bruce Reinecker made a rouge point on the opening kickoff to give the Speed an early 1-0 lead.

After stopping the Heroes offense, Speed quarterback Bradshaw Littlejohn threw a touchdown to extend the lead to 7-0.

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Huntington answered back with a 30-yard touchdown pass as Joey Conrad hit Thomas Riley to tie the game in the first period of play.

The low-scoring affair continued as the Speed were only able to get two field goals of 21- and 30-yards from Reinecker.

The Heroes only score of the 2nd period was a 12-yard pass to James Hawkins from Conrad to give the Heroes slim 14-13 lead at the half.

The third period continued to show low scoring as again, the Speed’s only scores were two field goals from Reinecker.

The Heroes lone score in the quarter came with 8:29 as Conrad negotiated the final 2 yards on a run to give the help give the Heroes 21-16 lead.

Huntington seemed to have luck on their side as they scored 13 unanswered points in the opening four minutes of the final period.

The Heroes started the scoring with a 30-yard field goal by Kelly to extend the lead to 24-19. Kelly then added a rouge point on the kickoff to give the Heroes another point.

The defense got into the act when, recently signed defensive back, Daveoin Smith intercepted Barry Marrow and returned it 21 yards for another Heroes touchdown. Then on the following Speed possession, Heroes defensive back Greg Chisholm sacked Littlejohn in the endzone for a safety to give the Heroes a 34-19 lead.

Following the safety the Heroes got the ball back and looking to put the game away for good. Huntington thought so when Conrad hit Riley again on a 9-yard touchdown strike, but a miscue holding penalty negated the score. On the next play, the Heroes fumbled a handoff giving the ball back to the Speed.

This was the turning point in the game as Carolina cut into the lead on a 20-yard touchdown toss from Littlejohn to Brandon McDowell. A successful 2-point conversion and a rouge point by Reinecker made the score 34-28 with 7:43 left in the game.

On Huntington’s next possession, Conrad threw his first interception giving the ball back to the Speed on the Heroes 5 yard line.

Carolina capitalized on the miscue as Littlejohn ran it in to tie the game. Reinecker missed the extra point, but was able to make the rouge point on the kickoff to give the Speed a 35-34 lead with 5:14 remaining.

Huntington misfired on its next two drives as Conrad threw his second interception of the night on the following possession and after a defensive stop threw four incompletion passes, giving the ball back to Carolina to run the clock out.

Huntington drops to 2-3 on the season and fall to fourth in the North Division standings.

The Heroes will back at home this Saturday night as they play the Johnstown Riverhawks at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.



First Quarter

Car - Bruce Reinecker rouge point 15:00

Car - 45 pass to Demarcus Fox from Bradshaw Littlejohn (kick failed) 10:41

Hu - 30 pass to Thomas Riley from Joey Conrad (Nick Kelly kick) 9:46

Second Quarter

Car - Reinecker 21 field goal 1:22

Hu - 12 pass to James Hawkins from Conrad (Kelly kick)

Car - Reinecker 30 field goal :00

Third Quarter

Car - Reinecker 28 field goal 12:15

Hu - 2 run by Conrad (Kelly kick) 8:29

Car - Reinecker 26 field goal 3:35

Fourth Quarter

Hu - Kelly 30 field goal 13:58

Hu - Kelly rouge point 13:58

Hu - Daveoin Smith 21 interception return (conversion failed) 12:03

Hu - Littlejohn sacked by Chisholm for safety 11:25

Car - 20 pass to Brandon McDowell from Littlejohn (conversion good) 7:43

Car - Reinecker rouge point 7:43

Car - 5 run by Littlejohn (kick failed) 5:14

Car - Reinecker rouge point 5:14


Huntington Leaders

PASSING-Huntington: Joey Conrad 14-40-2

170, 2 TDs.

RECEIVING-Huntington: Gerald Clark 5-55, Thomas Riley 3-54 TD, James Hawkins 3-31 TD, Shane Holsinger 1-30.