Omaha Nighthawks Come From Behind to Take 19-14 Victory From Hartford Colonials


October 16, 2010

Omaha Nighthawks Come From Behind to Take 19-14 Victory From Hartford Colonials

Final, Omaha 19-14: For the second time this season, the Omaha Nighthawks come from behind to take the victory from the Colonials. A touchdown midway through the fourth was the game-changer for Omaha, giving them the 19-14 lead.


Fourth Quarter, 0:50, Omaha 19-14: Looks like the game is over for the Colonials — Nighthawks take another first down into the red zone.

Fourth Quarter, 2:00, Omaha 19-14: Garcia makes up for a brief mistake — which resulted in him getting sacked — with a long throw to Christian Hopkins good for a first down at the Hartford 35.

Fourth Quarter, 2:29, Omaha 19-14: Hartford center spoils all Booker's hard work when he snaps the football way over the head of Josh McCown. Cato June recovers, and just like that, Omaha has the ball again.

Fourth Quarter, 3:12, Omaha 19-14: Finally someone on Omaha's defense is able to stop Booker. Cato June steps in to take Booker back a few steps — Hartford 3rd and five on the Omaha 40.

The hit doesn't deter McCown from going with Booker again, as he gains another first down for Hartford at the 30. Andre Dixon comes in to give Booker a breather.

Fourth Quarter, 4:29, Omaha 19-14: Lorenzo Booker picks up his 12th carry of the game — this time for a nine-yard gain. Hartford is situated at the 50-yard line, and hand off again to Booker for a five-yard gain for first down.

Fourth Quarter, 6:43, Omaha 19-14: The Colonials are experiencing deja vu. The Nighthawks take the lead as Jeff Garcia finds Jeb Putzier in the endzone for a 10-yard touchdown catch. Hartford foils their two-point conversion effort, but the Nighthawks take their first lead of the game.

Fourth Quarter, 7:55, Hartford 14-13: McCown throws his third interception of the day — this time snagged by Alex Lewis. Lewis runs the ball all the way to the 10-yard line.

McCown had only thrown one interception before today's game.

Fourth Quarter, 8:15, Hartford 14-13: After he fumbles the snap, Josh McCown regroups in a matter of milliseconds, picking up the dropped football and finds White again for another first down — this time at the Hartford 42.

Fourth Quarter, 10:34, Hartford 14-13: After watching three attempts go incomplete, McCown connects with Markee White for a first down at the Hartford 30.

Fourth Quarter, 11:18, Hartford 14-13: Refs confirm the incomplete pass call, and the Nighthawks send out their field goal unit in response. Wolfert connects with the field goal to pull within one point of the Colonials lead.

Fourth Quarter, 11:18, Hartford 14-10: The Hartford defense acted as a brick wall against any rush attempts by Omaha, but Garcia finds Maurice Clarett for a catch just within the five-yard line. Late ruling by the refs called the catch incomplete — and Omaha throws their second challenge flag of the day.

End of Third Quarter, Hartford 14-10: Hartford loses possession and Jeff Garcia takes control with five seconds remaining throwing a 40-yard pass to Robert Ferguson at the Hartford 35. Nighthawks start the fourth quarter down four points with dangerous position in the Hartford zone.

Third Quarter, 0:59, Hartford 14-10: Ryan Perriloux back leading the offense for Hartford. It's his first appearance since his quick 3-and-out in the first half.

Quick gun by Perriloux at the sideline finds Steptoe for the first down, Hartford reaches the Omaha 35.

Third Quarter, 3:55, Hartford 14-10: Look out Green — the Hartford defense is gunning for you. The Colonial D pushes Green back to prevent any forward rush. Garcia's next throw is incomplete bringing the field goal unit comes onto the field.

Wolfert's kick is good, and the Nighthawks pull within four.

Third Quarter, 6:26, Hartford 14-7: Illegal movement by the chain gang moves the Nighthawks back to 2nd and 1. No first down on Ferguson's catch after all.

Omaha's rhythm is completely disrupted by the error, but will set up at the 14 yard line. Ahman Green runs it over for the first down in the following snap.

Third Quarter, 6:26, Hartford 14-7: Rendrick Taylor pushes through the Hartford defense to give Omaha their first down at the 23. Garcia throws a quick pass to Ferguson at the right for another first down at the Hartford 13.

Third Quarter, 8:47, Hartford 14-7: At the Hartford 15, Josh McCown sees his final attempt of the drive deflected by Dwayne White for the third-and-out. A false start on Hartford moves the punter back into the endzone, and his resulting punt gives Omaha great position on the Hartford 35.

Third Quarter, 11:40, Hartford 14-7: Simoni Lawrence takes advantage of a dropped pass by Devard Darling. What may be ruled a forward pass — Lawrence still runs it into the endzone and celebrates the touchdown.

Refs rule the play a forward pass, no touchdown, and play continues for the Nighthawks.

Third Quarter, 11:45, Hartford, 14-7: Second mistake thrown by McCown, as Calvin Lowry intercepts at the Omaha 25-yard line. Nighthawks take over on offense.

Third Quarter, 12:28, Hartford, 14-7: Following a touchback, Hartford takes possession at their own 20-yard line. False start on Tyson Devree at 3rd and 5 forces the Colonials back to the 15 again.

Josh McCown comes through with a huge connection with Carter at the Omaha 40 for a 23-yard gain.


Halftime: Palmer said during his halftime interview that he was pleased with the last-second touchdown into the wind. However, the coach said the wind is still an important factor to be aware of heading into the final 30 minutes of action.

Palmer also gave a brief update on Riley's injury, saying "it doesn't look good."

Halftime: Typical of Hartford head coach Chris Palmer, the Colonials pushed the football well in those last 15 seconds. However, I wonder if he'll be so liberal with his timeouts in the future, considering the team could have used one following the Carter reception.

Halftime, Hartford, 14-7: McCown connects with Syndric Steptoe in the middle of the endzone with ten seconds remaining to put the Colonials up by six. Mehlhaff kicks for extra point to give Hartford the lead heading into the half.

2nd Quarter, 0:15, 7-7: Hartford uses it's three timeouts back to back to back. Kicker Taylor Mehlhaff is warming up, in hopes that the Colonials get in FG range.

Doesn't take long, a huge throw from McCown to Patrick Carter at the 20. McCown quickly gets on the football to spike it to stop the clock.

2nd Quarter, 1:00, 7-7: Lorenzo Booker has a huge run to the midfield for Hartford. Colonials are going to push until the halftime horn blows.

2nd Quarter, 2:00, 7-7: EMT's wheel Riley off the field, as the offensive lineman quickly lifts his fist in recognition for the fans.

Replays of the hit won't be showed again due to the gruesome nature of the injury.

2nd Quarter, 2:00, 7-7: Two minute warning, and another injury for the Hartford Colonials is down on the field. Rueben Riley's leg bends in opposite direction, all players are down on a knee for the fallen Michigan grad.

No point of impact that affected the injury, leg gave out when Riley was attempting a cut. Trainers are quickly stabilizing the leg in an aircast to get him off the field.

2nd Quarter, 3:00, 7-7: Nighthawks can't convert their interception into any type of success — punt away for Colonials possession at the Hartford 15.

2nd Quarter, 5:35, 7-7: Huge break for the Colonials as Omaha cornerback Eric Green incurs a 15-yard penalty for late contact.

3rd and 9 at Omaha 30, a late throw by Josh McCown looking for Patrick Carter is intercepted by Clinton Hart. Nighthawks take posession on own 25-yard line.

2nd Quarter, 7:40, 7-7: Robert Ferguson fumbles the football where Hartford jumps on it to regain possession. Refs confirm the play following an Omaha challenge. Nighthawks lose a TO.

Hartford takes possession at the Omaha 46.

2nd Quarter, 7:50, 7-7: With the wind at his back, Jeff Garcia is definitely feeling more comfortable in airing the football, only problem is — it carries. He overthrowns another receiver who was running at the Hartford 20.


2nd Quarter, 8:10, 7-7: Josh McCown is back at the helm for Hartford on their first drive of the second.

Colonials go third-and-out on the run, as Cedric Steptoe drops an attempt by McCown. Not sure if it's the wind that's affecting these teams, but McCown is just 7-for-21 on the day.

2nd Quarter, 9:51, 7-7: Omaha evens the score as Garcia finds Devard Darling in the middle for a seven-yard catch. Jeff Wolfert kicks for extra point. We're all tied up.

2nd Quarter, 10:55, Hartford 7-0: Ahman Green is definitely dangerous, dodging around two defenders for a 13-yard gain. Garcia follows up with a connection with Robert Ferguson at the 7-yard line.

2nd Quarter, 12:00, Hartford, 7-0: Omaha getting it's best look of the game here in the second. Garcia connects with Brewer for the first down at the Hartford 26-yard line. Garcia is starting to find his groove.

2nd Quarter, 14:35, Hartford 7-0: Jeff Garcia decides to take matters into his own hands, but he's stunned on a hit by Hartford DE Julius Williams. Luckily for Omaha, Andrew Brewer is on the football first to keep possession.

End 1st Quarter, Hartford, 7-0: Omaha lets the clock run down with a 2nd and 7 position at midfield. Heading into the second quarter, the Nighthawks have the advantage with the wind at their backs.

 Schwapp injury update — coming off ACL injury a few months ago, Schwapp is unsure if he'll be returning in this game. He's icing the injured knee on the sidelines.

Omaha has possession, 2nd and 8 at the Hartford 20.

1st Quarter, 4:06, Hartford, 7-0: We get our first glimpse of Maurice Clarett, who misses an easy pass from Garcia on his first snap. He'll need more repetition to get his hands back, since he's missed a few playing years.

Omaha punts away, and Colonials regain possession at the 30. Ryan Perriloux has taken over QB duties for Hartford.

1st Quarter, 6:20, Hartford 7-0: Following the injury, Hartford can't do anything with their possession, and it's back on offense for Jeff Garcia and the Nighthawks. In the first snap, Garcia avoids a sack by a hair and completes a 15-yard toss for first down. 2nd and 8 at Hartford 30.

1st Quarter, 7:38, Hartford 7-0: Colonials retain possession, and on their first snap of the run, Hartford fullback Asaph Schwapp is down with a knee injury. He went for a four-yard gain for Hartford before the injury. He walked off the field under his own power.

1st Quarter, 7:50, Hartford 7-0: Quick slant by Roy Hall of Omaha  avoids another 3rd-and-out by Nebraska.

Nighthawks docked 10 yards for holding penalty by Robert Ferguson, 2nd-and-20 at Hartford 25.

1st Quarter, 10:11, Hartford 7-0: The Colonials draw first blood, as McCown connects with Taurus Johnson in the left corner for an 18-yard catch. Pass interference was called on the Nighthawks, but was declined due to the TD.

Taylor Mehlhaff kicks for extra point. Hartford's on the board first.


1st Quarter, 10:29, 0-0: Hartford picks up two consecutive first downs, as Lorenzo Booker takes a run off a catch from McCown, followed by a run by RB Kevin Jones. 1st and 10 at the 23-yard line.

1st Quarter, 11:49, 0-0: Dusty Dvoracek almost intercepts the football off a McCown toss, but he bobbles and drops for incomplete.

Another toss by McCown is dropped by Shaheer McBride.

1st Quarter, 12:10, 0-0: McCown finds Lorenzo Booker toward the left. Booker is gang tackled but still makes the first down at the Omaha 48-yard line.


1st Quarter, 13:00, 0-0: Hartford starts their first run on their 42-yard line. As predicted, QB Josh McCown hands off to Andre Dixon in the first play for a few yards gained.

1st Quarter, 14:00, 0-0: Omaha goes 3-and-out on their first run. Garcia went to Green on two of the snaps.

1st Quarter, 15:00, 0-0: Hartford wins the toss. Elects to kick — makes sense considering the wind factor. Omaha kneels on the catch, will start at the 20. No surprise they go to Ahman Green on the first carry.

3:01 p.m.: Omaha will be playing a bit weary today, as weather issues caused delays in their flight to Hartford. They didn't land until 1 a.m. — Colonials should capitalize on this opportunity for sure.

2:58 p.m.: Both teams will have to be very aware of the wind factor this afternoon. Hartford is experiencing 25 mph winds with 35 mph gusts. Expect a lot of ground work today from both teams. Andre Dixon from the Colonials and Ahman Green from Omaha will be seeing a lot of the football.


2:50 p.m.: It will be interesting to see how much time Nighthawks running back Maurice Clarett will see in this matchup. Last time against Hartford, Clarett ran out for just one play — but the crowd went wild for him.

2:45 p.m.: The tailgaters have been parked in Rentschler Field parking lot for over three hours, excited for UFL football to get underway.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.

As the first half of the UFL season comes to a close, the Hartford Colonials are seeking their first win since the season opener on Sept. 27. This matchup against Omaha is especially important considering the Jeff Garcia-led Nighthawks came away with a touchdown in the final seconds to take a 27-26 victory over the Colonials.

The Colonials currently sit in fourth place in the UFL standings, while the Nighthawks rank second in the league.

The key to this game for Hartford will be to shutting down the rush by running back Ahman Green. A Nebraska favorite, Green was especially dangerous against the Colonials in their last matchup on Sept. 27.

However, this time the Colonials are hosting at Rentschler Field in Hartford, and the fans are on their side. The fans were definitely a factor in the last matchup, as the sold out stadium in Nebraska was absolutely deafening in the final minutes of the Colonials' loss.

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