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Power hang on for first road win

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Kevin McCabe led the way offensively and the defense made a late stand on a two-point conversion as the Pittsburgh Power beat Milwaukee 49-47 to improve to 2-1 on the young season.

Pittsburgh Power 49  – Milwaukee Mustangs 47
Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
The Pittsburgh Power traveled to Milwaukee for their first game away the Consol Energy Center in franchise history. They had a chance to take advantage of a Milwaukee Mustang team that struggled coming out of the gate, dropping their first two games by allowing an average of 55 points and over 300 yards. The Power, meanwhile, were fresh off of their first win in franchise history after an impressive display against the Iowa Barnstormers. This week, however, back-up quarterback Kevin McCabe would get the start because of the lingering injury to start Bernard Morris. McCabe continued his impressive play and thanks to a late stand on a two-point conversion attempt by the Power defense, Pittsburgh picked up their first road victory in their history and also went over .500 for the first time.

McCabe was great early, shaky in the fourth, but he and the defense did just enough to hold on late. Mustang kicker Garre Lindholm missed two extra points and a late two-point conversion was stuffed by the Power defense to preserve the nail-biter. The Power continue to play like a team that has been in the league a while, and not an expansion team.

1st quarter
Pittsburgh 7-0:
Kevin McCabe and Jerome Mathis connected for a 12-yard touchdown strike.
Pittsburgh 14-0: After a Milwaukee fumble, Joshua Rue took just one play to rush for the fifth time this season, this time from three yards out.
Pittsburgh 21-0: After another Milwaukee fumble, the Power offense took advantage once again as McCabe threw his second touchdown pass of the quarter, this time he found Nick Zeck for his first career touchdown.
Pittsburgh 21-7: The Mustangs finally held onto the ball and drove 37 yards on a drive that ended when quarterback Eric Ward found Dway Elay, Jr. on a 21-yard touchdown pass.

2nd quarter
Pittsburgh 28-7:
For the first time this season, someone other than Rue rushed into the end zone for the Power offense. Eddie Johnson ended a 41-yard drive with a three yard touchdown run.
Pittsburgh 28-13: Mustang quarterback Ward found an opening and scrambled 13 yards to cut the deficit to 15 points, but kicker Garre Lindholm missed the extra point.
Pittsburgh 28-20: Ward threw his second touchdown of the game when he and Eddie Thompson hooked up for an 11-yard touchdown pass as the first half was ending, but they left too much time for the Power offense.
Pittsburgh 35-20: McCabe and Thompson connected again, this time from 11 yards out as the half expired.
The Power led 35-20 at the half as Power kicker Paul Edinger missed a field goal as time expired.

3rd quarter
Pittsburgh 35-26:
The Mustangs took the second half kickoff and scored on their first possession. Back-up quarterback R.J. Archer connected with Damian Harrell from 17-yards out, but once again Lindholm missed the extra point, which would come into play late in the game.
Pittsburgh 42-26: For the third straight week, Rue scored a second rushing touchdown. The four-play, 40 yard drive concluded with his four yard rushing score.
Pittsburgh 49-26: In what would wind up being the last score of the evening for the Power, McCabbe threw his fourth touchdown pass, this time finding Lonnell Dewalt for a 27-yard touchdown pass.
Pittsburgh 49-33: Just before the quarter ended, Archer threw his second touchdown pass when he connected with Antoine Burns from 16-yards away to take momentum to the fourth quarter.

4th quarter
Pittsburgh 49-41:
From just a yard out, Jaso Onyebuagu cut the lead to 10 and Elay caught the pass from Archer for the two-point conversion.
Pittsburgh 49-47: The Mustang defense picked off a McCabe pass in their end zone and Andre Jones returned it 54 yards to cut the lead to two. On the ensuing two-point conversion, however, Archer's sneak was stuffed by the Power defense and the scoring would end for both teams.

On the ground:
Rue actually carried the ball a season high six times for 28 yards. He had another two rushing touchdowns, increasing his season total to six on the ground. Thompson became only the second player to score a rushing touchdown for the Power this season, his first of the year. The Mustangs ran the ball 12 times and wound up for 57 total yards. Ward and Onyebuagu had a rushing score each, but Archer was stopped on the Mustangs second two-point conversion.
Through the air: McCabe only attempted 29 passes and completed 16 of them. His early passing success was key in giving the Power an early lead that Milwaukee could not quite rally from. He threw three touchdowns and his final interception was returned 54 yards. He did finish with 182 yards. For Milwaukee, Ward got injured in the first half and gave way to Archer in the second half. Ward finished completing 12 passes on 21 attempts for 113 yards. He had two touchdown passes and one interception. Archer was just 8 for 16, but he also threw two touchdowns and 102 yards.

The Power defense made two big plays on Milwaukee's first two drives. The defense forced two fumbles which led to 14 Power points and their stand on Milwaukee's fourth quarter rally attempt preserved the franchise’s first ever road victory.

Edinger did his job, making every extra point he attempted. He missed a field goal, but it did not cost the team at the end.

Game Ball
The Power defense did just enough to preserve the win. Their fumble recoveries led to a deficit that the Mustangs could not recover. Their stop on the second two point conversion kept the lead with Pittsburgh, who never trailed.

Next Up
The Power return home to the Consol Energy Center to take on the Tulsa Talons on Saturday night.

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