08/03/2008 6:12 PM
- story courtesy of the Arkansas Twisters - by Jake Hatley
(North Little Rock, AR) – The Arkansas Twisters ended with a playoff loss to Central Valley, 68-55 in front of 2905 at Alltel Arena.
The Twisters seemed very much in control at the end of the first half. After each team scored on a combined nine straight possessions, the Twisters led 35-27. Arkansas was able to stop Central Valley on fourth down to get the ball back on the Twisters five yard line.
Central Valley’s Ben McCombs sacked Twisters quarterback Kyle Rowley back to the goal line. Rowley’s next pass tipped off an official and into the hands of Weston Borba. He returned the interception for the touchdown and scored two to tie the game 35 at halftime.
The second half began much the same way the first half started. Both teams exchanged the first three scores in the third quarter. With Central Valley up 55-48 to start the fourth, Rowley had a pass tipped and intercepted by Donyell Booker. The Coyotes drove down field and scored when Tonae Martin scored from three yards out. The extra point extended Central Valley’s lead to 62-48.
Any hopes of an Arkansas comeback were shattered on the next drive when Rowley was intercepted again, this time by DeOnte Taylor. Central Valley added another touchdown when Clay Groefsema ran it in from four yards out to put the Coyotes up 68-48.
The Twisters scored late on the next drive to pull within 68-55, but Central Valley ran the clock out on the final seconds to advance in the af2 Playoffs.
Rowley finished the game by completing 28 of 39 pass attempts for 314 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions. Chris Denney hauled in 10 catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns. Jon Schoonover added nine catches for 91 yards and a score.
Groefsema was nearly perfect for Central Valley. He completed 22 of 30 passes for 280 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for two more scores. Jason Barnes hauled in nine catches for a game high 171 yards and three touchdowns, including scoring catches of 40 and 37 yards.
Central Valley (11-6) advances to play top seeded Spokane in Washington State in the second round of the af2 playoffs. Arkansas (11-6) ends its season with a first round home playoff loss for the second year in a row.
Passing: Arkansas – Kyle Rowley, 39-28-3, 314 yd’s, 4 td’s
Central Valley – Clay Groefsema, 30-22-0, 280 yd’s, 5 td’s
Receiving: Arkansas – Chris Denney, 10-135-3
Central Valley – 9-171-3
Tackles: Arkansas – Jamie Hattley, 10.5
Central Valley – Nathan Munson, 10.0