Saturday, July 25, 2009

Iron Miss Playoffs in Year One

Well, that's it for the first season of the Milwaukee Iron. Many (aka me) have speculated that it's going to be one and done for the franchise, but they seemed to have a good show of support last night. The final attendance in their 58-55 loss to the Albany Firebirds was listed at 5,547, and that might actually be a legit figure this time, according to those at the game (when I went there, the "attendance" was somehow double the actual amount of people in the stands).

So the Iron lose, miss out on the playoffs, and their first season is in the books. I wouldn't call this first season a success by any means, but you gotta start somewhere. Keep reading if you want the game recap written by the fantastic Milwaukee Iron Media Relations Department (I actually do mean that).

The Albany Firebirds will live to play another day.

A 21-yard kick by Brian Umstead late in the fourth quarter put Albany up 58-48 and sealed the deal for the Firebirds, who clinched a playoff spot with a 58-55 victory over the Milwaukee Iron Friday night at the Bradley Center. Albany finishes the regular season with a 7-9 record, knocking the Iron’s record in their inaugural season down to 5-11.

Todd Hammel matched his seven touchdown to zero interception performance from theIron’s 66-63 victory in Albany on 5/30, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Firebirds this time in front of a record crowd of 5,547.

Hammel and the Iron struck first in the game, taking the opening possession down the field for a touchdown toss to Antoine Burns. Two Stephen Wasil touchdown passes later (one to Johnnie Butler and another to Anthony Rodriguez) and the Firebirds led 14-6 after the first quarter. Wasil finished the game with six passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.

Albany added a score on defense, recovering a fumble on a backwards pass from Todd Hammel for a four yard TD. After three unanswered Firebird touchdowns, Hammel and Burns hooked up for a second time from 10 yards out before the Firebirds responded with a Wasil touchdown pass to Norman Bauer. With 13 seconds remaining the half, Hammel hit Robert Gill, who finished with 102 yards on seven catches with two touchdowns, to pull the Iron back within eight at halftime.

Just like in the first meeting, the second half of the game was back-and-forth, with teams trading scores the rest of the way. Wasil ran in for a score before Scott Burnoski hauled in a Hammel pass to cut the Firebirds lead to 34-27 at the end of three.

A wild fourth quarter that saw 52 total points scored followed. Burns, Gill, Burnoski, and Bryan Pray all caught touchdowns in the final period for Milwaukee, while Johnnie Butler, Alvin Ray Jackson, and Jon Leible all found the end zone for Albany.


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