Saturday, July 16, 2005

Dragons' home opener spoiled by late touchdown


BINGHAMTON -- The B.C. Dragons let victory slip away in their Empire Football League home opener.


Sean Hoas threw to his brother, Tyrell, for a touchdown with 1:12 remaining to give the Montreal Titans a 33-31 win at Binghamton's Alumni Stadium Saturday night.

"We've been striving for consistency," said B.C. coach Tommy Manny. "We've been trying to stress to stay strong in the closing moments. But we have not done that two weeks in a row."

The Dragons led most of the game. Quarterback Ty Fish threw for 181 and three touchdowns. He hooked up twice with Brian Mister and once with Rob Stokstad for touchdowns. Mister had 104 yards receiving and returned a kickoff 61 yards to set up Stokstad's score.

Montreal's first possession of the game lasted only two plays thanks to the Dragons' Brandon Franklin. Franklin stripped the ball out of the arms of Titans' Ricardo Moreau and Eric Mantalvo recovered it on the Montreal 32-yard line. Three plays later, Mister was hauling in Fish's first touchdown pass for 7-0 Dragons lead.

The Titans responded with a 13-play drive that ate up just over eight minutes. It ended with Michael Coles scoring on a 2-yard run.

Mister returned the ensuing kickoff 61 yards to the Montreal 23-yard line. Three plays later, Stokstad tip-toed the sidelines to catch Fish's second touchdown pass, giving the Dragon the lead again at 14-6. Stokstad had 51 receiving yards.

The Dragons continued to set the pace into the second half, scoring 10 unanswered points between the second and third quarters.

Matt Davis turned the Dragons' offense into a ground assault. He gained 82 of his game-high 105 yards in the second half, including a 10-yard run to give the Dragons 24-17 lead in the third.

Still, the Titans stuck around as their offensive line paved the way for two Andrew Blevings' touchdown runs up the middle. Montreal also scored the final 12 points of the game to steal the win.

"We had a lot of momentum, but one or two plays broke our back," said Mister, who saw Hoas slip past him into the corner of the end zone to score the game winner.

"Our secondary seemed to have left us in the second half," Manny said. "When we didn't get the pass rush, our secondary fell apart."

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