Originally created 07/21/02

Gauntt returns to form



Overshadowed by two fights and seven ejections was Glen Gauntt's return to form Saturday night.

After struggling the past two weeks, Gauntt accounted for nine touchdowns as Augusta snapped its two-game losing streak with a 65-45 arenafootball2 win over Tallahassee in front of 5,380 fans at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.

"We weren't second-guessing ourselves," Gauntt said. "We just needed to get back on track. We still know we're the best team in arena football."

Augusta's win, paired with Macon's 48-46 home loss to Birmingham, gives the Stallions hope for a division title and a home game in the first round of the playoffs. Should Macon (12-3) lose at Tennessee Valley next week and if Augusta (12-3) defeats Norfolk at home, the Stallions will play host to the Knights in the postseason.

Against Tallahassee, Gauntt completed 16 of 21 passes for 236 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed for 16 yards and three scores. His 10-yard naked bootleg for a touchdown with 55 seconds remaining iced the game.

Augusta had the game well in hand before Gauntt's scamper. The Stallions scored on all 10 of their possessions, including a 47-yard field goal by Keith Gispert.

"We were moving the ball and moving the ball and moving the ball," Stallions coach Mike Hold said. "The one time we didn't (the drive that set up Gispert's field goal), we were offsides, had a sack, missed blocks."

Tallahassee's Kevin Cleveland sparked an altercation late in the third quarter. After tackling Stuart Brown around the neck on the Thunder 1-yard line, Cleveland started pushing Brown. Cleveland and Augusta's Lenny Lucas were ejected.

After Cainon Lamb scored on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Vic Penn with 4:39 left in the game, pulling the Thunder within 58-45, another altercation occurred. Tallahassee's James Clyburn was escorted away from a fight by a referee and hit the official in the process. Clyburn then threw his helmet the length of the field.

Augusta lineman John Cratic picked the helmet up and gave it to a fan along the sidelines. Tallahassee defensive specialist Larry Williams made it known he didn't appreciate Cratic's gesture.

After the referees cleared everything up, Tallahassee's Clyburn, Williams and lineman Tyronn Johnson were ejected from the game, along with Cratic.

Later in the game, Tallahassee's Salofi Nua was ejected after hitting a Stallions player

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 114.