Despite his resume listing him as "un-encouraged" on Special Teams, DT Jorge Cerqua made the play of the night for the Tuscon Toros.
But before we get to that incredible play, let's back track for a moment, and make sure the rest of the Toros gets their proper credit.
The game was 21 all late in the 4th. The Denver Dynamite were pounding on the Tucson doorstep, with 1st and 4 at the Toros 4 yard line. Let's take a look at what happened next;
At the quarter point of the 2041 CFL season, the Oregon Ice find themselves at an even 2-2 in the win/loss column, tied with Anchorage and 1 game behind Ring of Ice Division leader Seattle. The Ice, however, have been playing some pretty solid football as of late, helping them to dig out of a disastrous 0-2 start to the season.
The Week 1 overtime loss at Seattle was a heartbreaker for Ice fans. Starting linebackers Gus Prior (Foot) and Harvey Searcy (Knee) both sustained injuries in that game and have yet to return to action. That did not bode well for the Week 2 date in Durham, who had their way with the Ice that day in a 34-7 lopsided affair. "Definitely not the way we envisioned the start of the season. But we made some necessary adjustments and the team has refused to quit," Ice Head Coach Vince Howland said.
They definitely haven't quit. The Ice have won their last two games, and are in the midst of a 4 game homestand. Even without two of their best linebackers, the Ice managed to outscore their Week 3 and 4 opponents, Arizona and Santa Cruz, by a combined 72-22, giving up 1 passing TD and no rushing TDs. 12th year LB Edwin Stoner has shown he can still have an impact. His strip/sack/TD was part of an Ice 28-3 2nd half onslaught against Arizona. RB Winston Ellison added three rushing touchdowns in that half.
The passing game stepped up for the offense in Week 4 against Santa Cruz. After signing a big multi-year deal in the offseason, then having a rough start to the season, WR Frankie McIntyre came to life in Week 4. Despite the less than favorable weather conditions at home that day, Ice QB Kendall McCarthy connected with McIntyre 6 times for 134 yards, including a 39 yard TD. "We're making great progress both in the run and pass game," said McCarthy. "Tarzan (Hernandez) has really been a great complement to Winston in the backfield and the offensive line has been more solid each week."
The Ice have a tough 4 game stretch coming up, including two divisional games and a trip to Death Valley for a matchup with the currently undefeated Copperheads.
One of the most storied franchises in CFL history is under new ownership.
The Tucson Toros, who have more wins than any other franchise in the league, more playoff appearances, bowl appearances, as well as a league high 8 Championships, have suffered from a couple rough seasons, missing the playoffs the last two years.
Many had questioned the passion of the team's top brass, which explains the shift to new management.
Now, with a fresh set of eyes, an owner determined to win, and a team that is ready to win now, it's time to see what the Tucson Toros are really made of.
Fans of Tucson are excited and skeptical at the same time. As always, there are rumors of a possible move. Tucson has the worst economic state of any of the 32 CFL teams, and there are many cities campaigning to host a CFL franchise.
Despite this uncertainty, the fans were happy with the new direction, and enjoyed a Week 3 victory against Santa Cruz, in which young gunslinger Dixon Judy went 23-33 for 378 yards and 3 TD's in front of a sellout crowd.
Judy was named Offensive Player of the Week for his performance, something that the new owners would like to see more of.
Management will be evaluating all the pieces of this franchise, but don't expect to see too many knee jerk reactions. With the season underway, management plans to use this season to see what everyone, including the coach staff, brings to Tuscon football.
More news to come as it develops. - AP
This week marked the end of Shreveport quarterback Burt McGinnis's hold out. After suffering a 30-21 defeat to division rivals San Antonio, the Pride's GM, Raven Hawk, caved to the demands of the eight year quarterback from North Carolina and signed him to a five year extension worth $179 million dollars.
Three days after inking the extension McGinnis led the Pride to their first victory of the season, a 30-17 victory over the Texas Inferno. Despite missing training camp, the recent holdout completed 70% of his passes throwing for 263 yards, 2 TD's, and 1 INT.
Drafted in the first round in 2035 by the El Paso Rockets, McGinnis should have had an opportunity to prove himself early in his career. However, that opportunity never materialized in El Paso. The Rockets forced him to take pay cuts in 2036 and 2037, then was not re-signed after the 2038 season. The Pride picked him up in 2039's late free agency period and he rode the Bench in 2039, watching his new team squeak into the playoffs with a record of 8-8 and an appearance in the Conference Championship game behind the leadership of QB Rico Lynn.
In 2040, Rico Lynn retired and training camp featured an open battle at QB between McGinnis, 1st Round Draft Pick Warren Pritchett, 4th Round Draft Pick Antonio Thompson, and Kick-holder Colin Elliott. McGinnis won the battle and didn't look back, leading the Pride to a record of 11-5 and a Deep South Division title. The Pride lost in the first round of the playoffs to a strong Brooklyn team which has always given the Pride trouble. In the loss, McGinnis threw for 360 yards, 2 TD's, and no picks.
In the offseason, McGinnis declared his intention to hold out, stating that he had performed like a top 5 QB and wanted a contract to reflect that performance. He was due to make less than $3 million dollars in 2041. Shreveport management countered that it was a fluke season for him and that he was a product of the system. Regardless of whether or not he was a product of the system, he ran it better (QB Rating of 96.4) than his two predecessors - the aforementioned Rico Lynn (91.0) and Marco Bennett (91.1). The Pride hasn't had this effective of a quarterback since David Provance (98.9) left town after winning a championship and not getting a contract extension the following season.
You would have thought that top management in Shreveport would have learned their lesson following Provance's departure. It almost seemed like their own pride might have caused them to throw away the 2041 season. But, it looks like they have eaten a large portion of humble pie instead. If McGinnis keeps winning it will make it much easier for them to choke down their humility, however if the Pride start losing we expect the whole city of Shreveport to erupt into a battle ground of finger pointing.