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Sharks Escape Copperheads Comeback

Tuesday July 22, 2008

Corpus Christi, TX – Sunday afternoon at the American Bank Center the Corpus Christi Sharks escaped with a 51-49 victory over the Texas Copperheads when a last second Nick Gatto 43 yard field goal attempt hit the left upright and fell into the safe arms of Sharks return man Ivory McCann.  With the win the Sharks improved their record to 7-8 and remain in the hunt for a playoff birth.  The Copperheads fell to 2-13.

The Sharks drew first blood when Corpus Christi receiver Nathan Fricke scored the first touchdown of his professional career with a 2 yard run.  The Copperheads answered when Texas’ Stephen Wasil scrambled out of the pocket and sprinted down the center of the field for a 9 yard score.  Gatto’s extra point gave Texas a 7-6 lead.

Early in the 2nd quarter Sharks QB Fran Johnson found Fricke with a 4 yard strike to put Corpus Christi ahead 13-7.

On the ensuing possession Gatto attempted a 59 yard field goal which fell short.  The ball was fielded by McCann who weaved his way left to right and left again on his way to a 53 yard score. 

Trailing by 13 Texas trimmed Corpus Christi’s lead to 20-14 when Wasil connected with FB David Kennebrew for 16 yards.

On the Sharks’ following possession Copperheads DL Gathan McGinnis forced a Fran Johnson fumble which was recovered for Texas by former Shark Micah Turner.  Texas only needed one play to cash in as Wasil launched a 21 yard strike to Tim Riley.  The play resulted in the Copperheads’ second and final lead of the afternoon at 21-20.

The Sharks then took control of the game scoring 21 consecutive points.  In the closing moments of the first half Johnson found Fricke for an 8 yard score.  On the first possession of the 3rd quarter Johnson combined with WR Brandon Hussey for a 30 yard score.  The Sharks defense then forced Wasil to throw the ball away from his own end zone which resulted in a safety.  Johnson capped off Corpus Christi’s surge with a 1 yard run.

Texas closed out 3rd quarter scoring when Kennebrew scored his second TD of the evening on a 6 yard scamper around left end.  On the first play of the 4th quarter Corpus Christi matched Texas’ rushing TD with a 1 yard plunge by former Copperhead Booker Jenkins.

With the game seemingly in hand, Wasil and Copperheads WR Ervin Dickerson surprised the Sharks with a late surge of their own which resulted in 3 TD connections.  First Wasil found Dickerson for 21 yards.  After a goal line stand, Wasil and Dickerson combined again when Dickerson hauled in a short pass, broke a tackle and sprinted to the end zone for a 49 yard score.

Sharks PK Dylan Pohlman converted an 18 yard FG to give Corpus Christi a 51-42 and more importantly, two possession lead.

Wasil and Dickerson’s third TD connection of the night, an impressive 6 yard throw and catch over a Corpus Christi defender in the corner of the end zone, closed the gap to 51-49.

After Pohlman missed a late 4th quarter 17 yard FG attempt, Texas drove the ball to their 22 yard line which set up Gatto’s 43 yard game winning attempt that just missed.

Next week the Copperheads travel to Arkansas for their season finale.  The July 26 contest with the Twisters is scheduled for a 7:00 pm kickoff at Alltel Arena in North Little Rock.  You can view the game free of charge on the internet by visiting . 

2009 Texas Copperheads season tickets are now on sale.  Contact the front office at 281-807-6000 to secure your seats.  For more information visit 

Schutt Offensive Player of the Game:  Nate Fricke (CCS)
ADT Defensive Player of the Game:  Justin Williams (CCS)
JLS Army Ironman of the Game:  David Kennebrew (TEX)
Cutter’s Catch of the Game:  Brandon Hussey (CCS)

Score by Quarters         1     2     3     4      Score
Texas Copperheads         7    14     6     22        49
Corpus Christi Sharks         6    20    15     10       51
Statistical Leaders:

TEX – Stephen Wasil, 25-45, 273 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
CCS – Fran Johnson, 13-21, 163 yards, 3 TDs

TEX – Ervin Dickerson, 9-132, 3 TDs
CCS – Brandon Hussey, 9-98, 1 TD

TEX – Stephen Wasil, 4-24, 1 TD
CCS – Nathan Fricke, 2-11, 1 TD

Attendance:  5812