The SFL’s Milwaukee debut ended in heartbreak as a fourth-quarter rally was undone by a last-second score in a 30-28 loss to the Michigan Stags.
“I hate the way it ended, but that was a heck of a game. I’m glad our new fans here in Milwaukee got to see a good show,” said coach Dave Dickenson. “Hopefully that will keep them coming back for more because I think we’re going to give them a team they can be proud of.”
Defenses held serve early as a pair of Alex Henery field goals were the only points in the first quarter. Milwaukee got on the board early in the second quarter on a 17-yard pass from Matt Barkley to Antonio Callaway.
Michigan answered with an 80-yard bomb from Vernon Adams to Tajae Sharpe to lead 13-7 at the half.
Henery extended the lead midway through the third, and Barkley and Callaway connected again, this time from 14 yards out, to pull within 16-14 late in the frame. Callaway had a productive and efficient night, catching 4 passes for 63 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Adams opened the fourth quarter with a 16-yard pass to Marlon Mack to lead 23-14.
Antonio Brown, the erstwhile NFL All-Pro, made good on his SFL debut, igniting a big fourth quarter with a 69-yard touchdown reception. He finished with 8 catches for 179 yards and the score.
On the heels of Brown’s bomb, Andrew Harris scored from 10 yards out to take the lead at 28-23 with 1:51 to play.
Michigan was unfazed, driving 55 yards in 1:38. Adams capped it off with a 10-yard TD pass to Mack with just 0:08 left on the clock.
Barkley’s uneven outing doomed the Warriors as he was harassed into 4 sacks and 3 turnovers (2 interceptions, 1 fumble lost). He threw for 300 yards and 3 TDs, but only completed 19 of 44 passes.
Harris was solid in his first start, running for 57 yards on 12 carries, along with 4 catches.
Cornerback Winston Rose racked up a team-high 13 tackles with an interception. Vince Biegel piled up 10 tackles and 3 sacks. Josh Evans added 9 tackles and 2 interceptions.
This week, the Warriors travel to play the 1-0 New York Marauders.