Hammer falls to Drillers

Published 12:57 am Monday, June 6, 2011


For The Tribune

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — Some things just cannot be explained.

Email newsletter signup

That was the feeling of Huntington Hammer head coach Michael “Kool-Aid” Owens after the Hammer fell to the Eastern Kentucky Drillers 20-4 in the semifinals of the Ultimate Indoor Football League playoffs in front of an estimated crowd of 500 fans.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Hammer head coach Owens. “We would get to the 5-yard line and couldn’t punch it in.”

Huntington’s defense was up to task all night long, only allowing 20 points to a Driller offense that was averaging 42 points a game during the regular season.

However, the efforts of the defense would be in vain, as the offense just could not clutch up inside the Driller 10-yard line.

The Hammer drove down inside the Driller 5-yard line, only to have those possessions end in a turnover on downs.

The first score of the game came when Driller quarterback Allan Holland took a snap over his head and rolled into the end zone.

Andre Portis sacked Holland for the safety and a 2-0 lead for the Hammer with 8:25 left in the opening quarter.

Huntington’s defense came up big again as Holland was picked off by linebacker Ryan Williams-Dancy at the 5:07 mark of the first quarter.

Huntington drove to the Driller 4-yard line to set up a first and goal. The drive was abruptly halted on a bad exchange from center on first down and two sacks followed on second and third downs.

On fourth and goal from the 25, Martevious Young found Hiram Moore for 17 yards, but short of the end zone.

“We moved the ball when it counted, but we didn’t capitalize when we got in scoring position,” said Owens.

Huntington was without kicker Wes Sherrill who had left before the game due to a family emergency.

In the second quarter Huntington got another sack when Rodney Fritz tackled Holland in the end zone to give Huntington a 4-0 lead early in the quarter.

Fritz — who finished the regular season second in the league in sacks — racked up four sacks on the night. He will be leaving to sign with the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League.

Eastern Kentucky finally got on the scoreboard when backup quarterback and kicker Daniel Edison threw a Hail Mary pass to Aric Evans on a first down play for a 41-yard touchdown and a 7-4 Drillers’ lead with 56 seconds left in the first half.

“It flipped (the momentum),” said Owens. “I knew when it was 7-4 we we’re in a dog fight the rest of the way.”

The Drillers finally put the game out of reach when Edison again found Evans on a 12 yard touchdown pass to give the Drillers a 13-4 lead with 7:56 left in the game.

Huntington’s last gasp came on the ensuing drive. On fourth down, Young threw to a pass to a wide-open Thomas Riley in the back of the end zone, but Riley lost the ball as he stopped his route.

The Drillers added a late score when E.J. Adams punched in from 2 yards out with :05 remaining.

Eastern Kentucky will now face Saginaw in the Ultimate Bowl in Saginaw, MI.

Huntington 2 2 0 0 = 4

E. Kentucky 0 7 0 13 = 20

First Quarter

Hu – Andre Portis sack in end zone 8:25

Second Quarter

Hu – Rodney Fritz sack in end zone 12:20

EK – Daniel Edison to Aric Evans 41 pass (Edison kick) :46

Fourth Quarter

EK – Daniel Edison to Aric Evans (kick failed) 7:56

EK – E.J. Adams 2 run (Edison kick) :05


First Downs 10 7

Passing Yards 140 136

Rushes-Yards 16-23 4-1

Total Yards 163 137

Comp-Att-Int 15-35-2 10-25-2

Sacks-Yards 5-48 8-60

Penalties-Yards 5-48 3-24

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-0

Individual Leaders

Passing – Huntington: Martevious Young 15-35-2 140. Eastern Kentucky: Allan Holland 5-15-1 54, Daniel Edison 5-10-1 82.

Receiving – Huntington: Jeff Phillips 3-24, Hiram Moore 8-70, Thomas Riley 3-38, Darwin Pittman 1-10. Eastern Kentucky: Mike Barbour 3-34, Justin Lamb 1-15, Aric Evans 4-75, E.J. Adams 2-13.

Rushing – Huntington: Martevious Young 10-44, Dray Mason 4- minus 6, Josh Kaltsas 2- minus 15. Eastern Kentucky: Justin Lamb 1- minus 4, E.J. Adams 3-5.