Saturday, July 19, 2003

get win
in San Diego

A loss by Bakersfield tonight
would bring an arenafootball2
playoff game to Hawaii

SAN DIEGO >> Fleetwood Mac will be performing at the San Diego Sports Arena tonight.

Last night, the Hawaiian Islanders had one of the legendary band's most famous lines in mind: "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow." Thanks to a 34-26 victory over the San Diego Riptide, the Islanders (10-5) can think about clinching a home game for the arenafootball2 playoffs.

Hawaii can secure the home-field advantage tonight with a loss by Bakersfield to Wichita or a win next Sunday over Bakersfield at Blaisdell Arena. A victory over the Blitz (7-7) in the regular-season finale would also clinch the West Division title for Hawaii.

In front of 5,783 last night, the Islanders snapped a two-game skid in defeating San Diego for the third time this season, and the second time in four weeks.

It was also the second-lowest point total scored against the Islanders this year and, "We'll take it," said the team's defensive backs coach, Doug Semones. "It's always hard to win on the road. For us to be able to pull it off, keep them down to 26 points, that says a lot about the defense.

"The offense did well tonight, too, doing what they needed to do to keep ahead of (San Diego). But the defense made some big plays, especially in the red zone, where we had eight stops tonight."

Hawaii held San Diego to 8 rushing yards.

Former University of Hawaii standout Eddie Klaneski had two of the Islanders' three interceptions and was named the defensive player of the game. Kohei Satomi came up with a huge come-from-behind tackle at the 21 that likely prevented the Riptide from needing just a 2-point conversion to tie the game in the final 40 seconds.

"San Diego didn't make it easy for us," said Islanders head coach Cal Lee. "I'm proud of the job our team did. They hung in there all the way. Defense has been the backbone of our team and tonight they showed that 'never-die attitude.'

"We didn't have (leading receiver) Nian Taylor (hamstring), but we had our defense and they did the job tonight. It was a big chore for us to win again on the road. "

San Diego (5-10) trailed the entire game but stayed within striking distance until the end. The Riptide threatened to force overtime in the waning seconds, having a first-and-goal at the 9 with 28.4 seconds to go. Reserve quarterback Wesley Phillips tried to find former UH receiver Dwight Carter several times without success before giving the ball up on downs.

Darnell Arceneaux, in his second game back after a hand injury, ran out the final seconds. Arceneaux finished with 205 yards passing, throwing for three touchdowns and running for another. He was voted the game's MVP by the media.

"Darnell is our guy, such a leader out there," said Lee.

Arceneaux completed his first five passes, including the game-opener to brother Anthony. The pair connected for the Islanders' second touchdown of the game to put Hawaii up 14-6.

"We got off to a good start," said Anthony Arceneaux. "My brother just happened to trust me on that (touchdown) play. He threw it up and I went after it.

"We feel good right now, but we still have Bakersfield."

"It was a team effort tonight," said Darnell Arceneaux. "We had eight guys on the same page both sides of the field.

"My parents were here and it was good for my dad to see me and Anthony connect on one. Hopefully, we can ride this one into the playoffs."

A ragged first half ended with the Islanders nursing a 20-13 lead.

The Riptide closed to within 27-26 with 3:05 left in the game but failed to tie it. San Diego kicker Ryan Geisler, who blew the game-winning field goal attempt against the Islanders on June 21, saw the PAT snap sail over his head; he was finally tackled some 35 yards down field.

Josh White scored what would be the game-clinching touchdown with 57 seconds remaining on a 7-yard run.

arenafootball2 standings

American Conference
Atlantic Division W L Pct. Str.
Cape Fear 9 6 .600 W1
Norfolk 8 6 .571 W2
Greensboro 8 7 .533 W4
Charleston 7 7 .500 W1
Richmond 6 9 .400 L1
Northeast Division W L Pct. Str.
y-Albany 11 3 .786 L1
y-Mohegan 10 5 .667 W1
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 6 9 .400 L1
Rochester 2 12 .143 L1
South Division W L Pct. Str.
X-Tennessee Valley 14 0 1.000 W14
Florida 8 6 .571 L2
Macon 8 6 .571 L1
Birmingham 7 7 .500 L1
Columbus 4 10 .286 W1
National Conference
Central Division W L Pct. Str.
x-Tulsa 11 3 .786 W1
Arkansas 8 6 .571 W1
Memphis 5 9 .357 L2
Bossier City 3 12 .200 L7
Midwest Division W L Pct. Str.
x-Quad City 12 2 .857 W12
Cincinnati 6 8 .429 W2
Louisville 5 10 .333 W2
Peoria 4 10 .286 L3
Green Bay 2 12 .143 L2
West Division W L Pct. Str.
y-Hawaii 10 5 .667 W1
Wichita 8 6 .571 L2
Bakersfield 7 7 .500 W1
San Diego 5 10 .333 L2

x-clinched division title, y-clinched playoff berth

All times HST
Mohegan 63, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 53
Greensboro 61, Richmond 49
Hawaii 34, San Diego 26

Islanders 34, Riptide 26

Hawaiian Islanders (10-5) 7 13 7 7 -- 34
San Diego Riptide (5-10) 0 13 7 6 -- 26

Scoring summary
First quarter
HI -- Darrick Branch 4 pass from Darnell Arceneaux (Kimo Naehu kick)
Second quarter
SD -- Kane Claunch 1 run (kick failed)
HI -- Anthony Arceneaux 41 pass from Darnell Arceneaux (Naehu kick)
HI -- Darnell Arceneaux 1 run (kick failed)
SD -- Altie Parker 36 pass from Wesley Phillips (Ryan Geisler kick)
Third quarter
HI -- Darrick Branch 21 pass from Darnell Arceneaux (Naehu kick)
SD -- Phillips 1 run (Geisler kick)
Fourth quarter
SD -- Lamont Webb 7 pass from Phillips (run failed)
HI -- Josh White 7 run (Naehu kick)
Individual stats
RUSHING -- Islanders: White 6-28, Vai Notoa 2-17, Darnell Arceneaux 4-15, Darrell Jones 1-1. Riptide: Phillips 4-15, Rico Curtis 2-2, Kane Claunch 1-1, Trey Merkens 2-(-2), Eddie Miller 1-(-3), Jesus Reyes 1-(-5).
PASSING -- Islanders: D. Arceneaux 18-27-0-205. Riptide: Phillips 12-22-1-145, Claunch 10-17-2-111.
RECEIVING -- Islanders: Anthony Arceneaux 4-73, Darrick Branch 3-38, Isaac White 3-35, Jones 3-26, Sae Paogofie 2-31, Taulia Lave 2-14, Morrie Roe 1-(-12). Riptide: Altie Parker 6-81, Lamont Webb 6-73, Miller 4-43, Dwight Carter 3-25, Curtis 2-23, Reyes 1-11.


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