Injury Plagued Bucks Lose Heartbreaker in Bloomington
The Bismarck Bucks showed promise in Bloomington despite a plethora of injuries, but still came up short.
Bismarck came into the game facing an uphill battle. Quarterback Johnathan Bane who left last week's game early due to injury was still sidelined on Saturday night. Last week, Elby Pope, normally a wide receiver, filled in at the QB spot.
Unfortunately, Pope was also injured and was sidelined for the game against the Edge. Mike Ashley played the role of quarterback against Bloomington. The Bucks signed Ashley on March 15. Ashley did have three pass attempts in the game last week though he did not complete any. He also rushed for 25 yards.
Tyrone Ezelle, a defensive lineman, was also injured this week.
Early in the second quarter, the Bucks suffered yet another injury to Jarelle Miller, a linebacker who played at The University of Jamestown.
The Bloomington Edge are another experienced team in Champions Indoor Football. The franchise overall began in 2005. They, like many other indoor football teams, played in various leagues and this year they are playing in their second year in the CIF.
The Bucks began with an onside kick on the opening kickoff but unfortunately the ball went to the Edge and Bloomington started the game with the the ball at the 15 yard line of Bismarck. Bloomington converted the opening drive into seven points following a 1 yard TD run from quarterback Caleb Holbrook.
The first score of the game for Bismarck came on a hand off to Jauhem Byrd-Mix who rushed it nine yards for the TD. The extra point was missed and with 2:46 to go in the first quarter the Bucks trailed 14-6.
Jauhem Byrd-Mix had the second Bucks' touchdown as well hauling in an 8 yard pass from Ashley. A two point conversion put the Bucks to within three as they trailed 17-14 with 2:13 to go in the first half.
Bloomington was able to find the end zone one last time before the half and the Bucks were down 24-14 at the break.
The second half was the half of the defenses. There were no scores in the third quarter.
With less than seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the Bucks defense made an incredible goal line stand defensively to keep the game at 10 points. On the ensuing possession, Ashley who showed a lot of arm strength all night, found Jauhem Byrd-Mix in the end zone again, this time on a 36 yard completion, and with the extra point, the Bucks were within three with 4:43 to play in the game.
Bismarck followed that up with another good defensive stand and an opportunity to get a go ahead score in the final seconds of the game. On a third and five, Bloomington's defense came up big with a huge sack and that set up a 4th and long for Bismarck.
The Bucks opted to kick a FG but Andrew Nelson's kick was wide left.
Bloomington tried to run out the clock but the Bucks did a good job defensively and used their timeouts to give them one last chance with 12 seconds left at their own 15 yard line.
Ashley completed a pass to midfield and that set up another FG attempt for Andrew Nelson. But the kick fell a little short and time ran out on Bismarck.
The Bucks fell 24-21 to Bloomington.
The Bucks will return home next Saturday night when they take on the West Michigan Ironmen, the same team they beat in week two on the road. You can win tickets here.