SAN ANTONIO, TX - The San Antonio Gunslingers hold on to win at home 55-49 over an inconsistent West Texas Warbirds squad struggling in their first season in the National Arena League. Each team gave up five possessions in the contest at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.
Pierre Turner started the scoring for San Antonio on their opening possession with an 11 yard touchdown run. The Gunslingers would go on to score four more times to lead 39-17 at the half. But San Antonio would fritter away that 22 point lead to find themselves trailing the Warbirds 49-47 late in the fourth quarter. Facing a fourth down on their own ten yard line, the Gunslingers needed a clutch conversion. Kali Rashaad answered the call, hauling in a 39-yard pass to the West Texas one yard line. Two plays later, Arvell Nelson ran for his second rushing touchdown to put the game away 55-49. Nelson finished completing 15 of 28 passes with three touchdowns, two fumbles, and two interceptions. Kali Rashaad caught two touchdowns and Phillip Barnett grabbed his 11th touchdown reception of the year. Kicker Drew Pearson finished with a perfect five for five performance on extra point conversions, and wowed the crowd at the Freeman with two more deuces to bring his season total to three.
Mitch Kidd, Jordon Gandy, and Trevon Shorts combined at quarterback to complete 16 of 26 passes with two touchdowns to one interception. West Texas receivers Donovan Rasberry and Jalen Childress each caught one touchdown. Trevon Shorts rushed for two more scores. Kicker Kevin Didio-Weber was a perfect six for six on extra point attempts and added two more deuces to bring his total to five for the season.
The win keeps San Antonio atop the league standings at 7-1 and will likely clinch a playoff berth with their next win over an opponent to be named by the league. The Gunslingers head coach Fred Shaw said of the result and his team, “Last year we didn’t know how to finish games. This year we find ways. But come Monday, playtime is over for these guys. Our fans deserve better.” For West Texas, the loss leaves them mired in sixth place at 2-7, above the recently exiled 1-7 Albany Empire. The Warbirds are currently scheduled to play the Fayetteville Mustangs next week in Fayetteville.
ABOUT THE SAN ANTONIO GUNSLINGERS
The San Antonio Gunslingers are members of the National Arena League (NAL) and were awarded Franchise of the Year by the NAL for their overall performance during the 2022 season. Gunslingers play all home games at the Freeman Coliseum. Follow the Gunslingers on Facebook at @210sagunslingers, on Twitter @SA_Gunslingers and Instagram @sanantoniogunslingers. For Gunslingers season tickets, group packages or partnerships, visit https://www.sanantoniogunslingers.com/tickets or call (210) 298-6900.
ABOUT NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE
The National Arena League was founded in 2016 and hosted its inaugural season in 2017 as the premier league in arena football. The National Arena League has kicked off its seventh season in 2023. For more information regarding expansion opportunities or partnerships, contact Commissioner Chris Siegfried at firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information about the NAL visit www.nationalarenaleague.com, facebook.com/nationalarenaleague, twitter.com/NALfootball, Instagram.com/nationalarenaleague.