Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 10:22 AM
WOODS CROSS — It was a full house Saturday night at Ultimate Indoor for the UUIFAchampionship game between the Utah Bears and the Utah Stealth.
This was the third meeting between the top two UUI FA teams, with the Bears winning both regular season meetings by 7 points.
This was also a match-up between the league’s best offense (Stealth) and the league’s best defense (Bears) and it definitely did not disappoint as the defending champions earned a thrilling 35-33 victory.
The Bears wasted no time in taking control of the game early with a touchdown run of 9 yards on the fifth play of thegame by the regular season rushing champion DeAngelo Branche. Bryce Kennington added the extra point to make the score 7-0.
The Stealth’s Jeff Wissler, the regular-season passing leader, threw four straight incompletions on their first possession and turned the ball over on downs to the Bears. On their very next play, Branche scored from 4 yards out making it 13-0 after the 1st quarter.
The Stealth showed that they were not going down without a fight by scoring on their next possession with a 5-yard run by Tallon Maughan and the extra point conversion by Jeff Wissler. The Stealth’s defense held and their offense took over after a blocked field goal attempt.The Stealth tied the game going into halftime with a 3-yard run by I.K. Ubani and a missed extra point by Wissler.
On their first possession of the second half, the Stealth took the lead 21-13 with a 1-yard run by Vic Sutera and a 2-point conversion. The Bears tied the game on their first play of the third quarter with a 30-yard run by Justin Oswald, who would not be denied a touchdown and broke several tackles on his way to the end zone. On the Stealth’s nextpossession, the Bears’ Angel Castillo intercepted a pass from Wissler that was intended for Travis Anderson, but the Bears could not capitalize on that miscue from the Stealth QB and turned the ball over after another blocked field goal attempt.
The Stealth marched down the field on their next possession, taking the lead again on a 1-yard run from Ubani. The Bears took the lead back three plays later on a 5-yard run by Branche. That drive was highlighted by a 23 yard pass from Branche to Bryant Eteuati. That was the only pass Branche threw all season.
The Stealth took their last lead of the game on Wissler’s only TD pass of the game; an 8-yarder to James Owens. The 2-point conversion failed and that proved to be the difference as the Bears took over at their own 20 with just over 28 seconds left in the game and all three of their time outs.
After an incomplete pass, Quynn Haws connected with Colton Stark for 24 yards, taking the ball to the Stealth’s 6 yard line. After a couple of 2 yard runs, Branche ran the ball to the left from the 2 yard line. The Stealth defense looked to have stopped him short, but at the last second, he stretched the ball over the line to score the game winning TD with 1.2 seconds left to cap an undefeated season for the Bears.
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