Las Vegas tops Florida to win UFL championship
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Las Vegas coach Jim Fassel and cornerback Isaiah Trufant were grateful for the opportunity to play in the inaugural United Football League championship game on Friday.
Graham Gano kicked a 33-yard field goal in overtime to give the Locomotives a 20-17 victory over the Florida Tuskers.
“It was a great effort, a great game,” said Fassel, who coached the New York Giants from 1997-2003 and led them to the Super Bowl after the 2000 season. “We waited for an opportunity, and we got it. If the fans don’t think this was good football, they don’t know what good football is.”
Las Vegas (5-2), which lost twice to the Tuskers during the regular season, became the first team to beat Florida (6-1) during the first-ever UFL overtime game in front of 14,801 fans at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Florida won the coin toss and had possession first in OT, but Brooks Bollinger was intercepted by Isaiah Trufant to set up Gano’s winning kick.
“We knew we had to come out and get a stop to give our offense a chance,” said Trufant, who suffered two groin pulls in the week before the game.
DeDe Dorsey, who carried 11 times for 66 yards, scored the second of his two touchdowns on a 1-yard run with 5:58 left to give the Locomotives a 17-14 lead. Dorsey also caught four passes for 32 yards.
The Tuskers took a 14-10 lead with 10:27 left in the fourth on Bollinger’s 10-yard scoring pass to Frank Murphy.
The Tuskers opened the scoring in the first quarter with an eight-play, 64-yard drive culminating in Bollinger’s 8-yard TD pass to Marcus Maxwell.
The Locomotives then marched 79 yards over 10 plays to the Tuskers’ 2 early in the second quarter, but running back Marcel Shipp fumbled and Patrick Chukwurah recovered.
Las Vegas cut the lead to 7-3 on Gano’s 46-yard field goal as time expired in the second.
Losman completed 21 of 35 passes for 193 yards.
Bollinger was 22 of 45 for 306 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Michael Pittman caught six passes for 77 yards and Maxwell had five receptions for 80 yards for the Tuskers.
Matt Bryant kicked a 27-yard field goal for Florida with 2:06 left in regulation to send the game to overtime.
“They did a great job on defense, containing our offense,” said Florida coach Jim Haslett, who last coached in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams from 2006-2008. “You can’t have a couple of penalties in overtime and throw an interception.”