River Monsters outscore Hammer
Published 12:27 am Tuesday, May 3, 2011
By RYAN WALKER
For The Tribune
HUNTINGTON – The defense proved to be fierce competition for the first-place Northern Kentucky River Monsters, but the offense could not generate enough points as the Huntington Hammer fell to the Northern Kentucky River Monsters 44-23 in front of an estimated 1,100 fans in an Ultimate Indoor Football League game.
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The Hammer was looking to avenge a 69-40 loss at Northern Kentucky in March. In order to stop the River Monsters, they would have to halt quarterback Jared Lorenzen.
While the Hammer made great strides in keeping Lorenzen in check, it just was not enough.
“We had too many opportunities to make plays,” said Hammer head coach Michael “Kool-Aid” Owens. “When you play a team like this, you have to make them.”
The Hammer defense harassed Lorenzen in the early going, as they forced him into four incompletions and a sack by Rodney Fritz and Michael Robinson on their opening drive. The River Monsters would end up missing a 54-yard field goal attempt.
The Hammer would capitalize on the stop and would score on a second and goal, as Dray Mason would punch in from eight yards out to give the Hammer an early 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, the Huntington defense looked to be on their way to a second stop backing up Northern Kentucky to a fourth and goal from the Hammer 21-yard line.
Lorenzen would show off his cannon arm on the fourth down play, firing a strike to Butch Abshire for the touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.
Northern Kentucky would gain the lead at the 8:23 mark of the second period as Lorenzen scored on a quarterback sneak on the 1-yard line to give the River Monsters a 14-7 lead.
The River Monsters would later take a 21-7 as Lorenzen would again run in from two-yards out with :24 left in the second quarter. The score was set up by an interception of a Martevious Young pass.
Lorenzen would finish the night 20 of 43 for 216 yards passing and throw three touchdowns.
The Hammer offense would strike just before the half as Young would hit Mason for a 30-yard touchdown strike to cut the deficit to 21-14 with :11 left in the half.
The offense would continue to surge as Mason would score from the first play from scrimmage to start the second half slashing his way to a 22-yard touchdown to cut the score to 24-20.
Mason, who scored all three touchdowns for the Hammer, finished the game with 54-yards rushing on six attempts and one reception for 30 yards. This was the second week in a row Mason scored at least three touchdowns.
It would be the closest the Hammer would come to the River Monsters.
While the Hammer held Northern Kentucky scoreless in the third period, the Hammer was unable to score in the fourth. They would have two drives be ended by turnover and another end with a missed 47-yard field goal.
“We kept it tight for most of the game and then we kind of crumbled at the end,” said Owens. “We just got to bounce back next week.”
The Hammer will travel back to Johnstown, Pa. to face the Generals Friday night. Their next home game will be on May, 21st against the Canton Cougars.
Northern Kentucky 7 17 0 19 = 43
Huntington 7 7 9 0 = 23
Hu – Dray Mason 6 run (Rob Avrietti kick) 6:25
NK – Jared Lorenzen to Butch Abshire 21 pass (Dustin Zink kick) 2:28
NK – Jared Lorenzen 1 run (Dustin Zink kick) 5:25
NK – Jared Lorenzen 2 run (Dustin Zink kick) :24
Hu – Martevious Young to Dray Mason 30 pass (Rob Avrietti kick) :11
NK – Dustin Zink 19 field goal :00
Hu – Dray Mason 22 run (kick failed) :13:48
Hu – Rob Avrietti 17 field goal 3:35
NK – Jared Lorenzen to Butch Abshire 10 pass (Dustin Zink kick) 12:25
NK – Jared Lorenzen to Ricardo Lenhart 24 pass (kick failed) 2:07
NK – Luke Scarbrough fumble recovery in end zone (conversion failed) :53
First Downs 17 12
Rushes-Yards 6-7 12-75
Passing Yards 216 107
Total Yards 224 177
Cmp-Att-Int 20-43-2 9-24-2
Sacks-Yards 2-10 4-23
Penalties-Yards 3-24 12-67
Int-Return Yards 2-23 2-8
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-2
RUSHING – Huntington: Dray Mason 6-54, Martevious Young 3-17. N. Kentucky: Chris McCreery 2-2, Jared Lorenzen 5-5.
PASSING – Huntington: Martevious Young 9-23-2 119, Darwin Pittman 0-1-0 0. N. Kentucky: Jared Lorenzen 20-43-2 239.
RECEIVING – Huntington: Kenny Davis 3-25, Jeff Phillips 2-32, Thomas Riley 2-19, Dray Mason 1-30, Darwin Pittman 1-11. N. Kentucky: Ricardo Lenhart 12-120, Willie Idlette 4-68, Butch Abshire 4-51.