After a one-week respite, the Milwaukee Warriors returned to their frustrating ways, dropping a close one to the Nashville Renegades, 38-34.
Close but not close enough has been the theme of the season as five of their six losses have come by a combined 13 points.
“It’s been frustrating, for sure,” said Milwaukee head coach Dave Dickenson. “Just when we think maybe we’ve got this ship headed in the right direction, you look down and we’re taking on more water.”
Scoring started slow, with the only points in the first quarter coming on a Nashville field goal. Early in the second, Elliott Fry tied it up with a 32-yard field goal, and a 5-yard Corey Clement touchdown put Milwaukee in front 10-3.
Nashville added another field goal before Andrew Harris plunged in from a yard out to stake the Warriors to a 17-7 lead late in the half.
The Renegades were refreshed coming out of the break, scoring 32 points in the second half. They got it started with a 70-yard bomb from AJ McCarron to Tyreek Hill. Milwaukee answered with a 1-yard Matt Barkley to Antonio Brown score, and Hill scored on a 19-yard run to make it a 24-20 Warrior lead after three.
Harris ran it in from 16 yards for the Warriors to kick off the fourth, but Hill responded with a 52-yard run. After an interception, the Renegades grabbed the lead at 35-31 on a 1-yard Jordan Howard run.
A 51-yard field goal extended their lead to 38-31.
Milwaukee got back on the board with a 52-yard Elliott Fry field goal with 4:54 left to trail 38-34, but it would be their last points in the loss.
Behind a porous line that allowed 3 sacks and constant pressure, Barkley struggled again, completing just 20 of 43 for 199 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions, with a fumble.
Brown was his top target, catching 6 passes for 61 yards and a score.
Harris had a fantastic game on the ground, rumbling for 155 yards and 2 TDs on 26 attempts.
Cornerbacks Aaron Grymes and Delvin Breaux shared the team lead with 6 tackles apiece. Winston Rose and Vince Biegel each notched an interception, and the team was held without a sack.
Sitting at a disappointing 2-6 record, the Warriors are running out of time to jump back into contention, and they face a tough test this week when they host the 6-2 Omaha Express.