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Sour ending to Raptors' inaugural season

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By Eric Benner
Herald Writer
EVERETT -- Even before the the Everett Raptors took the field Thursday night, they knew the postseason was out of reach and their inaugural Indoor Football League campaign was near its end.
And in many ways the Raptors played Thursday like their season couldn't end soon enough. They lost to the Allen Wranglers 56-38 in rather convincing fashion at Comcast Arena.
Everett wound up its season with a 5-9 record and lost two of its past three games at home, finishing 2-5 overall at Comcast Arena. Still, the Raptors were in the playoff race until victories last weekend by the Wranglers and Wichita Wild ended their slim postseason hopes.
The Wranglers (8-5) were playing Thursday solely for playoff seeding. They clinched an Intense Conference postseason berth by beating the Nebraska Danger last weekend.
The last time these two teams met, the Raptors' pulled out a thrilling, come-from-behind 74-73 overtime victory. The Wranglers made sure that didn't happen again, capitalizing on nearly every Everett miscue and emphatically answering every Raptors score.
In the fourth quarter, for example, the Raptors' Maurice Young returned a kickoff 50 yards for a touchdown to pull Everett within 11 with 14:12 remaining. The Wranglers answered with Ramonce Taylor running back the ensuing kickoff for 49 yards. Allen quarterback David Knighton then completed a one-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Avery just seconds later -- their third touchdown connection of the game -- to put the Wranglers back up 18 points with 13:03 to play in the fourth.
The first half was highlighted by a touchdown by Everett offensive lineman Andy Endemann, a two-yard run that gave the Raptors a 7-0 lead with 11:49 to go in the first quarter.
Everett had several key defensive stops late in the first half, including a goal-line stand and an interception by Austin Smith that led to a Dan Kleckner 29-yard field goal that cut the Wranglers' lead to 21-17 at halftime.
Allen outscored the Raptors' 35-21 the rest of the way.
Everett quarterback Shane Austin finished 21-for-35 for 198 yards and three interceptions. He led his team with 47 yards rushing.
Former Washington State and University of Idaho running back De'Maundray Woolridge led the Everett receiving corps with five receptions for 67 yards and had one touchdown.
Along with his kickoff return TD, Young scored on a three-yard pass from Austin.
Knighton completed 17 of 27 passes for 157 yards and four touchdowns for the Wranglers.
Story tags » FootballSemipro Football

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