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Power pummelled at home

The Tulsa Talons forced three interceptions in a 45-22 win over the Pittsburgh Power in an Arena League Football game at Consol Energy Center Saturday night. The Power fall to 2-2 on the season.

Tulsa Talons 45 – Pittsburgh Power 22
Consol Energy Center; Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Pittsburgh Power welcomed the struggling Tulsa Talons into the Consol Energy Center, looking to stay a half game behind the division leading Cleveland Gladiators, who won earlier in the day. With the Power’s first bye week looming, they had the chance to go into the break with three wins on the young season. If they are going to compete for a division title, they need to put the boot to teams like Tulsa. Unfortunately for the Power, they were unable to do so as turnovers and penalties doomed them from the start. The Power offense had their first truly bad game of the season. The defense did all it could, but too many turnovers doomed Pittsburgh in a game they never led. Kevin McCabe threw two interceptions before being pulled in the third for Penn Hills native Anthony Morelli. Two interceptions deep in the offensive zone cost the team two touchdowns and the Talons’ offense turned all five Power turnovers into points. Both teams were physical and lots of hard hits gave the appearance that these two had a long and nasty history, but this was the first time these teams had ever played.

1st quarter
Tulsa 7-0:
After the Talon defense got an end zone interception from linebacker Jamar Ransom, the Talon offense held the ball over six minutes and drove 45 yards on 11 plays as back-up quarterback Bobby Reid kept the ball on 4th and 1 to find a hole just big enough to give Tulsa the first score of the game.
For the second straight quarter, the Power offense failed to generate any points.

2nd quarter
Tulsa 14-0:
After the Power offense sputtered again and Paul Edinger’s 59-yard field goal attempt fell short, the Tulsa offense and took over and once again a quarterback keeper ended a successful drive. This time, starter Matt Bassuener scrambled from nine yards out to finish off Tulsa’s five play, 35-yard drive.
14-7 Tulsa: It did not take long, or even far, for the Power to get on the board. After Eddie Thompson returned the ensuing Talon kick-off to the nine, Joshua Rue, two plays later, rumbled his way 14- yards to cut the Tulsa lead in half after catching a pass in the flat.
14-14: The Power defense got a huge boost when Carlos Campbell stripped the ball from Tulsa wide receiver Brandon Copeland deep in Power territory. Six plays later, McCabe and Mike Washington continued their nice combination as they hooked up for a five yard touchdown strike.
The score was 14-14 at the half as the Power defense forced another fumble as the half expired, preventing the Talons from even attempting a field goal.

3rd quarter
17-14 Tulsa:
The Power offense turned the ball over as McCabe threw his second interception of the game, again to Ransom, and the Tulsa offense went just five yards, but it was well within kicker Juan Bongarra’s range. His kick was good from 21-yards.
24-14 Tulsa: On the ensuing kick-off, Thompson fumbled the football on the Power 13. Two plays later, Bassuener found McBroom wide open for the Talons’ first passing touchdown of the game.

4th quarter
31-14 Tulsa:
New quarterback Morelli did not fare much better preventing turnovers as his pass was picked off at the Tulsa one by Darien Williams as the Power were threatening to get back in the game. McBroom and Bassuener connected again, this time from nine yards.
38-14 Tulsa: One play after a Rue fumble, Reid ran his second ball into the end zone and, once again, Tulsa turned a Power turnover into points.
38-22 Tulsa: In what proved to be too little, too late, Morelli picked up his first touchdown as a Power quarterback as he and Washington connected for a 22-yard strike. Morelli got his arm out just enough to give the Power a successful two-point conversion.
45-22 Tulsa: Bassuener threw his third touchdown pass. This time he found Al Hunt for an 11-yard score to wrap up the game’s scoring.

On the ground:
The Power trailed the entire game, so the running game was taken off the table, but Rue did score for the fourth straight game, none on the ground this week, however. He had his first fumble of the season, which led to a three yard touchdown for the Talon offense. For Tulsa, back-up quarterback Bobby Reid was brought in for quarterback sneaks in goal line situations and he had two rushing scores.
Through the air: McCabe started and on the first drive of the game, his end zone interception was a preview of the rough day the offense would have. He wound up throwing a second pick and was pulled for Morelli, who threw an interception of his own. Bassuener was efficient and did not turn over the ball, which was big. McCabe and Morelli combined for 191 yards with three touchdowns and three crucial interceptions. Bassuener was 22 of 36 for 199 yards and three touchdowns. The more telling stat was no interceptions.

The Power defense played too much in this game. They did all they could, but the turnovers put them on the field often. The Talon defense, lit up for 53, 64 and 69 points earlier this season, looked like a team full of ball hawks, causing five turnovers. Ransom’s pick on the game’s first drive set the tone for their defense and they easily had their best game of the season.

Edinger’s 59-yard field goal attempt in the first half fell short. Thompson’s kick-off return to the Tulsa nine swung the momentum to Pittsburgh after they fell behind 14-0. His fumble after Tulsa took a 17-14 lead, however, was killer as the Talons turned another Power turnover into points and took all of the second half momentum.

Game Ball
Ransom’s two picks for the Talons were huge, especially his first, which occurred in the end zone, which not only kept Pittsburgh off the scoreboard, but led to seven for the Talons.

Next Up
The Power have their first bye week of the season before welcoming head coach Chris Siegfried’s former team, the Jacksonville Sharks, to the Consol on April 16.

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