Star-Bulletin Sports


The Islanders' Darrell Jones was tackled by the Talons' Larry Hollinquest after catching a pass for a gain yesterday. The Islanders lost the game 70-42.

Islanders lose fourth in a row

By Nick Abramo

Tulsa wasn't what the doctor ordered for the Hawaiian Islanders.

The visiting Talons gave the Islanders a bleak homecoming last night at the Blaisdell Arena, thumping them 70-42 in front of 2,453 faithful, rabid arenafootball2 fans.

The Islanders were dealt a blow off the field, too, as head coach Guy Benjamin was forced to do just what the doctor ordered; he was home resting with an ongoing medical condition. General manager Chad Carlson took over behind the bench.

The Talons (4-1) got most of their scoring punch from wide receiver Mitch Allner, who finished with five touchdowns, one on a pass from Anthony Buich, two from Joe Phears and two on length-of-the-field kickoff returns of 56 and 57 yards.

"Mitch played phenomenally," Tulsa coach Skip Foster said. "He's not flashy, but he's played arena football for two or three years now and he runs great routes."

As has been the case in previous games, Hawaii (1-4) relied on the Darnell Arceneaux-to-Darrell Jones combination. They hooked up for three touchdowns, all in the first half.

Kicker Tony Dodson helped the Talons' cause in a big way. He kicked a 63-yard field goal, and many of his kickoffs were over the net and unreturnable by Jones, the awaiting speedster. Dodson was 7-for-9 on extra-point tries.

"Darrell Jones not being able to return the ball really hurt us," Carlson said. "We lost to a great Tulsa team, but our guys played their hearts out and they're exhausted and drained. And I never felt like we were too far behind. That's the way I am. People can say I'm crazy, but I'll never think we're out of it. The record for touchdowns in a minute is five, I think, so anything can happen."

Allner opened the second half in dramatic fashion with his second kickoff return for a TD, giving the Talons a 44-27 lead. Hawaii countered with Arceneaux's 7-yard sweep around right end.

Allner also provided the next dent in Hawaii's armor, hauling in a 35-yard pass from Phears. Eric Butler, Tulsa's 270-pound fullback, rambled up the middle for a 6-yard score and a 58-34 lead near the end of the third quarter.

Morrie Roe provided a glimmer of hope for Hawaii, sacking Phears for a safety with 9:18 left in the game, but Phears put more fear into the Islanders by bootlegging left all the way to the boards and finding Sean Love for an 11-yard score and a 64-36 bulge.

Former University of Hawaii backup Jared Flint, subbing for Arceneaux late in the game, lofted a 10-yard TD toss to Robert Kemfort to finish Hawaii's scoring.

Tulsa's final exclamation point came when Itis Atkinson recovered a failed Hawaii onside kick and scrambled a few yards into the end zone.

"We had a lot of success with our big plays," Foster said. "But Hawaii stopped our short game. Our kicker kicking it over the net -- I don't know how many times -- and giving Hawaii the ball at their own 5 was huge."

Jones said he hoped the ball going over the net would somehow flip down to him, but it rarely did.

The Islanders had early leads of 6-0 and 13-9, thanks to Arceneaux's 12-yard touchdown pass to Jones and Josh White's first TD in an Islanders uniform. White, looking like a speeding bull, sprinted for 12 yards around left end, cutting inside into the end zone for the final few yards.

Arceneaux and Jones hooked up twice more in the first half -- a 16-yarder to the left corner and a 45-yarder off the end-zone net as time ran out in the half.

But the Talons took a 16-13 lead on Allner's first kickoff return for a TD and began to create some distance, going up 30-13 on Phears' TD tosses to Keonta Golson for 9 yards and to Allner for 15. Love added to the Talons' first-half total, catching Phears' 25-yard TD pass, crashing over two Islanders to get into the end zone.

Hawaii could have been closer at the half, had it not been for Robert Kemfort's case of the dropsies on Arceneaux's bullet to the open receiver who had a clear path to the end zone.

Most of Arceneaux's other long passes throughout the first half were right on target to streaking receivers, but were batted down by the ominpresent Tulsa defensive backs.

Foster said his team is "overall, from top to bottom" better than last year's squad that went 13-3 and into the playoffs.

"We're 4-1 and there's no way we should have lost in the second week of the season (27-14 against Bossier City)," he said.

Arceneaux, who was banged up early in the second half before giving way to Flint, finished 17-for-37 for 212 yards and three touchdowns in addition to his rushing TD. Phears, who subbed in for Buich early, was 10-for-18 for 125 yards and four TDs.

Talons 70, Islanders 42

Tulsa 16 21 21 12 -- 70

Hawaii 13 14 7 8 -- 42

First quarter
Hawaii -- Darrell Jones 12 pass from Darnell Arceneaux (kick failed).
Tulsa -- Mitch Allner 22 pass from Anthony Buich (kick blocked).
Tulsa -- FGTony Dodson 63
Hawaii -- Josh White 12 run (Jake Huggins kick).
Tulsa -- Allner 56 kick return (Dodson kick).

Second quarter
Tulsa -- Keonta Golson 9 pass from Joe Phears (Dodson kick).
Tulsa -- Allner 15 pass from Phears (Dodson kick).
Hawaii -- Jones 16 pass from Arceneaux (Huggins kick).
Tulsa -- Sean Love 25 pass from Phears (Dodson kick).
Hawaii -- Jones 45 pass from Arceneaux (Huggins kick).

Third quarter
Tulsa -- Allner 57 kick return (Dodson kick).
Hawaii -- Arceneaux 7 run (Huggins kick).
Tulsa -- Allner 35 pass from Buich (Dodson kick).
Tulsa -- Eric Butler 6 run (Dodson kick).

Fourth quarter
Hawaii -- Morrie Roe safety.
Tulsa -- Love 11 pass from Phears (run failed).
Hawaii -- Robert Kemfort 10 pass from Jared Flint (run failed).
Tulsa -- Shan Jordan 5 kick return (kick blocked).

RUSHING -- Tulsa: Butler 1-6, Phears 3-4. Total 4-10. Hawaii: White 2-23, Derek Zoller 2-11, Arceneaux 1-7, Jones 2-(minus 1). Total 7-40.

PASSING -- Tulsa: Phears 10-18-0-125, Buich 5-7-0-92. Hawaii: Arceneaux 17-37-0-212, Flint 5-12-1-81.

RECEIVING -- Tulsa: Allner 6-106, Jordan 4-35, Love 3-55, Keonata Golson 2-21. Hawaii: Jones 8-134, Isaac White 5-49, Kemfort 4-76, Chris Paogofie 2-12, Avion Weaver 1-12, Wesley Morris 1-8, Roe 1-2.

A -- 2,453.

Hawaiian Islanders

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