The run was fun while it lasted. Atlanta’s winning streak ended at six in a row with a 20-16 road loss to the Dallas Six-Shooters this week.
“Obviously I’m disappointed we lost because you want to win them all, but the way we played to get here was remarkable, so a little letdown is gonna happen,” said Atlanta coach Rob Ryan. “Dallas is a quality team, much better than their record, and they were the better team tonight.”
Defense dominated throughout, and the game’s first six possessions ended in a punt. Atlanta ended the scoreless deadlock late in the first quarter, stringing together a 6-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Rodney Anderson capped it off with a 6-yard run to lead 7-0. It would be their only touchdown of the game.
Wil Lutz bumped the lead to 10 with a 34-yard field goal early in the second.
Dallas’s offense responded with 10-straight points to knot the game up with 1:34 left in the half.
The Firebirds went into quick-strike mode, driving 71 yards in just 1:18, setting Lutz up for a 22-yard field goal to regain the lead, 13-10, with 13 seconds left in the half.
The Shooters opened the second half with a bang. On the first play of the half, McCown found Joe Hills over the top for a 58-yard score to retake the lead. A 30-yard field goal minutes later made it a 20-13 game.
Atlanta inched closer with a 46-yard Lutz field goal with 4:19 left in the third, but they would not light up the scoreboard again in the loss.
The passing game was spotty, as Nick Arbuckle was limited to 27 of 50 passing for 247 yards with no touchdowns or turnovers. His top target was Robert Davis, who caught 7 for 99 yards.
Rodney Anderson had a good game on the ground, running for 93 yards on 15 carries with one score.
The pass rush was solid, racking up 5 sacks. Ryan Carrethers led the way with 3, and Kony Ealy and Aldon Smith each notched one QB takedown.
The 7-3 Firebirds aim to bounce back this week when they host the 7-3 Atlantic Division leading Washington Wave this week.
“This one stung, but we can’t lick our wounds for long,” said Ryan. “Washington isn’t going to show us any sympathy, so we have to bounce back fast.”