Originally created 05/15/00

Defense sets up Stallions victory



The Stallions defense wasn't going to have to repeat of the Quad City game.

After giving up 62 points in the loss to the Steamwheelers, Augusta shut down an Arkansas team that was averaging 58 points a game to rank No. 2 in arenafootball2 scoring.

"This was a big challenge for us," defensive specialist Robb Harris said. "Defense lost the game last week. We're not ashamed to admit that. But the coaches challenged us in the secondary to step up. And our defensive line gave great pressure all game."

While Augusta defeated Arkansas 50-24 on Saturday night, seven of those points came when Chapell Mitchell returned a kick 50 yards.

Augusta's defense had two interceptions, two safeties and two quarterback sacks. The Stallions held the Twisters to just 137 total yards of offense.

Also, the defense came up in the clutch by not allowing the Twisters to tie the game at any point. After an Arkansas touchdown cut the score to 13-12 in the second quarter, Derrick Reeves blocked the extra point.

In the third quarter, Arkansas scored another touchdown to cut the lead to 20-18. But Nick Rawls broke up the two-point conversion.

Later in the third quarter, the Twisters cut the lead to 26-24. However, Voncellies Allen sacked Jon Nielsen on the two-point attempt.

"This is a good football team that we held to 24 points," coach Mike Neu said. "We knew that we were going to have to limit the big plays and our guys stepped up to the challenge."

While the defense has played well, Augusta's kicking game has gotten better each week.

After nailing all four of his field goals and going 3-of-4 on extra points, Chris Chambers is starting to make things difficult for coach Neu. With Kraig Baker sidelined the last four games with a groin injury, Chambers has steadily improved since his arrival.

For the year, Chambers is 6-of-10 in field goals and 18-of-22 on extra points.

"Chris Chambers is starting to come into his own as a kicker," Neu said. "That kid's just matured and come a long way.

"I don't ever like to look at it as a controversy. Right now, Kraig Baker is not healthy. And if that situation presents itself where Kraig Baker is healthy, then I have a decision to make. But Chris Chambers has taken the job and he's doing what he has to do."

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222.