Both teams scoreless in the fourth quarter, Hills scores 3 touchdowns
The Baltimore Brigade (3-3) fell by just one point, 35-34, to the Atlantic City Blackjacks (3-3) Saturday afternoon at the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. Both teams went scoreless during the fourth quarter, which concluded with the Blackjacks blocking a 20-yard Baltimore field goal attempt as time expired.
Quarterback Shane Boyd completed 25-39 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Joe Hills finished the game with nine catches and three touchdowns (one receiving, two rushing), extending his Arena Football League record to 98 consecutive games with a receiving touchdown. Wideout Milton Williams III hauled in eight receptions for 68 yards and one touchdown, topping his previous career high of seven receptions. Defensive back Jamal Robinson, a first-time starter, recorded seven tackles (all solo), one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. In his Brigade debut, linebacker Lenroy Neysmith also racked up seven solo tackles.
Atlantic City put up the first score with a rushing touchdown. Boyd answered with a 11-yard touchdown pass to Hills in the first quarter. During the second quarter, Hills hauled in two rushing touchdowns and fullback Rory Nixon rushed in three yards for a score. Baltimore led at the half 27-21. The Brigade extended their lead with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Boyd to Williams at the start of the third but was unable to add points to the board for the remainder of the game. The Blackjacks were the last to score with 52 seconds left in the third quarter and Baltimore trailing 35-34.
The scoreless fourth quarter was due to a couple of dropped balls. Baltimore shaved off nearly eight minutes before fumbling the ball to Atlantic City at the third-yard line. After almost five minutes, Baltimore defensive back Joe Powell forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive back Josh Victorian with 3:30 seconds left on the clock. Baltimore was able to advance the ball to Atlantic City’s five yard line but was unable to complete a pass for a score. Settling for a field goal attempt from the 20-yard line, the Blackjacks blocked the kick securing their victory.
The Brigade hit the road to face off against the undefeated Albany Empire next week on Saturday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Washington and ESPN3. This is the first matchup between Albany and Baltimore this season. The following week, Baltimore will travel to Columbus to take on the Destroyers on Saturday, June 15 at 3:30 p.m.