ALBANY HOLDS OFF GUNSLINGERS TO SECURE TOP SEED
San Antonio, TX - The Albany Empire defeated the San Antonio Gunslingers on July 23rd 61-55 at the MVP Arena in Albany. The win marked the end of the regular season for the Gunslingers and secured home field advantage in the post season for Albany.
The teams put on a showcase of arena football in the first half, combining to score on nine of ten possessions. The kickers were nearly perfect, scoring eight of nine extra points. The Gunslingers’ Drew Pearson kicking a deuce and missed the lone extra point of the half. And only the clock could deny Albany a tenth score as time expired with the Gunslingers ahead 36-28 at the half.
It was the Gunslingers who faltered first, after both teams scored to open the second half. San Antonio missed on a 32-yard field goal attempt, and the Empire wasted no time to close the lead to 42-40. Albany then stopped the Gunslingers a second time on downs before Sam Castronova connected with Darius Prince in the end zone to give the Empire their first and final lead of the game 47-42. Castronova went on to finish the game 19 of 26 passing with six touchdowns and one interception. Darius Prince caught four touchdowns, joined by Aaron Wascha for two. Albany’s kicker Mark Orozco had a perfect game, going seven for seven on extra points.
San Antonio fought to the bitter end. Trailing 61-55, Kyle Chandler intercepted Castronova for a touchback. With 22 seconds left, Robert Kent quickly moved the Gunslingers to the Empire twenty yard line on completions to Kali Rashaad and Phillip Barnett. But Albany’s Dwayne Hollis intercepted Kent’s next pass as time expired. Kent completed 21 of 41 passes and eight touchdowns. Phillip Barnett caught a personal best six touchdowns, and Neiko Creamer and Kadir Chisolm caught one each.
Albany next hosts Jacksonville in the League semi-finals in their bid to become back to back champions of the National Arena League, while San Antonio enters the post-season thinking, “Just wait ‘til next year.”
About the San Antonio Gunslingers
The San Antonio Gunslingers are members of the National Arena League (NAL). They play all their home games at the Freeman Coliseum. Follow the Gunslingers on Facebook at @210sagunslingers, on Twitter @SA_Gunslingers and Instagram @sanantoniogunslingers. Those interested in season tickets can visit https://sanantoniogunslingers.com/season-tickets to pre-register for the 2023 season.