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Dragons Bring Buffalo Down to Earth

Padraic Meehan
Sunday April 29, 2001

On Friday, New York convincingly put an end to Buffalo’s best start in franchise history. The 70-58 victory marked the team’s first win ever, a feat that is sure to keep the “Lair” booming with solid attendance. Buffalo opened the season in Week 1 with a 61-54 win over Toronto that came down to the wire, and the subsequent week they defeated the New Jersey Gladiators 39-28.

The Dragons drew first blood, with Aaron Garcia connecting to WR/DB Todd Doxzon on New York’s first possession of the game. Buffalo couldn’t finish in the endzone and was forced to settle for a Pete Elezovic field goal. On the ensuing drive, Buffalo DS Prentice Taylor intercepted an Aaron Garcia pass that set up a Reggie Allen touchdown. With the score 10-7 and the Destroyers on top, it would mark the last and only time they would have the lead for the remainder of the evening. New York marched to the 14-yard line via a Kevin Swayne reception and capped off the quarter with a Shon King TD as he spun his way into the endzone.

The Dragons came out strong in the second quarter, outscoring Buffalo 15-6. However, n the final play of the half, Kevin Swayne sprained his ankle. The severity of his injury is unknown.

The 3rd quarter saw the momentum of the game completely swing in the Dragons’ favor. After Buffalo QB James Kubiak ran for a touchdown, New York went on to score 20 unanswered points. Perhaps the highlight of the quarter, if not the game, was when New York kicker Clay Rush kicked off, only for Dragons WR/DB Geoff Turner to recover the renegade ball after it bounced off the rebound net on the Buffalo 4.

Former Iowa Barnstormer Carlos James opened the 4th quarter with a touchdown to shrink the score to a 49-30 lead. Fledgling Arena player and Buffalo WR/DB Reggie Allen returned a kickoff for a touchdown and hauled in the reception for the 2-point conversion. Buffalo successfully recovered the onside kick and scored another touchdown on Kubiak’s run, but it was all for naught. New York’s offense was too powerful and the game ended in a 70-58 victory, the first of many for the New York Dragons.

Perhaps some stars were born at the Nassau Coliseum Friday night. New York filled the void left by Swayne with Shon King. King, the former AF2 standout, has had no problem adjusting to the Mecca of Indoor Football, “The guys are just as quick in the defensive secondary,” King said “for me it’s just the size of the linemen.” King snagged 7 passes for 77 yards and 4 touchdowns. On the other side of the table, Buffalo, desperately searching for a replacement for OS Bobby Olive, need look no further. Reggie Allen, playing his first-ever AFL game, went on to rack up 359 total yards and score 3 touchdowns, including a kickoff return for a touchdown late in the 4th Quarter. Allen’s only previous pro experience was spending training camp with the Buffalo Bills in the 1999 season.

The Dragons’ next home game is May 12th, 2001 against the San Jose SabreCats at “The Lair” at 7:00 PM.

Padraic Meehan was a writer for ArenaFan Online from 2000 to 2001.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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