Talons D superb in 3rd quarter; Odie Armstrong scores 3 TDs as Talons come from 15 points down to win.
TULSA, OK–In arena football as in open-field football, great defensive play is a key to winning games. It was certainly true of the Tulsa Talons defense as they came up big in the 3rd quarter of their game against the 3-1 Alabama Vipers on Saturday night.
The Talons defense hit their stride at just the right moment as they sacked Alabama QB Kevin Eakin 3 times in the 3rd quarter. One of those sacks came from Tulsa’s Jamar Ransom in the end zone resulting in a safety that would put the Talons ahead for the first time in the game. The biggest challenge for the Talons defense would be the containment of the Vipers and the leagues leading rusher, Dan Alexander. Coming into the game, the 6-0 260lb back from Nebraska entered the game with 15 TDs and 153 yards in only four games for Alabama.
The less known running back was the Talons Odie Armstrong. Armstrong tore 37 yards up the middle in the third quarter to score a key touchdown for Tulsa. In all, Armstrong would contribute 3 touchdowns on the night along with 41 yards averaging 10.3 yards per carry. The other offensive weapons in the Talons camp managed to have decent games too, The Talons top receiver Donovan Morgan scored 4 TDs while making 7 catches and recording 76 yards. Carlese Franklin would lead all Tulsa receivers with 10 catches for 110 yards and one touchdown.
Talons QB Justin Allgood would finish the game with 23 completions on -31[ass attempts with one interception and 7 touchdowns and 244 yards. His counterpart for Alabama did not finish the game, as Vipers QB Kevin Eakin was injured with 9:18 to play and finished the game 23 for 32 passing for 281 yards and 3 TDs. His replacement, Tony Coulston, would go 2-for-7 in passing for 37 yards and a touchdown, rushing 10 yards for one of his own.
The victory wiped away the bitter memory of two consecutive losses on the road for the Talons, both of which occurred on untimed downs at the end of regulation time. The Vipers had a three game win streak snapped. They had come into the game riding high after handing the Milwaukee Iron, the AFL’s only undefeated team a 75-67 loss last weekend in Huntsville. The Talons continue to be flawless at home, extending their home win streak to 12-0 since moving into the amazing BOK Center last year.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
Tulsa moves on to play the Cleveland Gladiators next weekend at 7:30pm on the road in the Quicken Loans Arena. The game will be carried live on AM 740 and FM102.3 KRMG with Rick Cori giving the play-by-play call and can be seen live on line for free by using the Nifty TV button at tulsatalons.com. The Talons will return home on May 22 to take on the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgs at 7pm in the amazing BOK Center. Tickets are available at the BOK Center box office, at tulsatalons.com or by calling the Talons office at 294-1000.