The Warriors keep winning. Victors in three straight games and four of five overall, Milwaukee added to their tally with a 20-14 win over the Jacksonville Stingrays.
“I really like the fire the team has been playing with lately. It’s like night and day from the start of the year,” said Milwaukee coach Dave Dickenson. “Now, we’ve just to keep that fire burning if we want to make a run at the playoffs.”
The offenses started hot before slowing down. Jacksonville scored on their opening drive, moving 65 yards in under two minutes and scoring on a 30-yard pass from Matt Nichols to Hunter Renfrow. The Warrior defense would not allow them to reach the end zone again.
Milwaukee answered on their first possession, tying the game up on a 28-yard pass from Matt Barkley to Antonio Callaway.
The next score did not come until 2:10 left in the half when Elliott Fry hit a 26-yard field goal to lead 10-7 heading into the half.
The Warriors opened the second half with a bang, driving 93 yards in 7 plays on their first possession. The lion’s share of the work was done by Corey Clement, who broke off a 70-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 17-7.
Clement’s emergence has been a big development for the team. He was the unquestioned top back when the franchise was in Minnesota, but never quite lived up to his potential. When his new contract demands were too high this offseason, management let him walk and signed Andrew Harris to take his place. When his market didn’t materialize like he hoped, Clement returned on a cheaper deal for the chance to play in the state where he played college ball.
“It says a lot about Corey that he was willing to come back here. It shows maturity,” said Dickenson. “We’ve seen a whole new dedication out of him. I’m very proud of him.”
Fry added a 25-yard field goal late in the third quarter to stake the Warriors to a commanding 20-7 lead.
With 6:37 left in the game, Jacksonville got back on the scoreboard with a 36-yard Kevin Minter scoop and score, but they would not score again.
Barkey was solid if unspectacular, completing 22 of 41 for 289 yards, 1 touchdown, and no turnovers. Callaway caught 6 for 106 and a score. Antonio Brown caught 5 for 109.
Andrew Harris was limited to 35 yards on 23 carries, but caught 9 passes for 58 yards. Clement picked up 79 yards on 8 attempts.
The pass defense was excellent, limiting Jacksonville to just 116 yards through the air. Joe Ostman led the defense with 11 tackles, 1 sack, and 4 stuffs. Mike Catapano added 9 tackles and a sack.
Sitting at 5-6, Milwaukee hosts the 6-5 New Orleans Nightmare this week.