From staff and wire reports
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. >> The odd bounces of indoor football worked against the Hawaiian Islanders last night as the team suffered its first loss of the arenafootball2 season.
Bakersfield took control by scoring on a kickoff that bounced off a goalpost and the Blitz held off the Islanders for a 58-43 victory at Centennial Garden.
"Bakersfield played awfully well, and we didn't play good enough to win," Islanders coach Cal Lee said.
The Islanders dropped to 2-1 and fell into a tie with San Diego and Wichita in af2's National West Division. The loss also prevented them from posting back-to-back road wins for the first time in the history of the 2-year-old franchise.
After dropping two road games, Bakersfield (1-2) made its home debut a successful one by thwarting several Islander rallies.
Bakersfield quarterback Chad Elliot completed 23 of 33 passes for 294 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for a score. Corey McCoy and Ryan Sloth scored three touchdowns each for the Blitz.
Islanders quarterback Darnell Arceneaux passed for three scores and ran for another. Chris Paogofie added two rushing touchdowns.
Bakersfield led 24-23 at halftime and took command by scoring twice in a bizarre sequence early in the third quarter.
Sloth extended the Blitz's lead to 31-23 with an 18-yard touchdown reception at the 13:05 mark.
The ensuing Bakersfield kickoff hit the goalpost and bounced into the field. Sloth scooped up the loose ball at the 1-yard line and took it in for another touchdown to give the Blitz a 38-23 lead.
"That was a gift," Lee said. "It was one of those things that happens."
The Islanders closed to 38-37 on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Arceneaux to Channon Harris and a 2-point conversion.
After a Bakersfield touchdown, the Islanders responded with a 13-yard scoring run by Paogofie to cut the deficit to 45-43 with 8:29 left. But the 2-point conversion attempt failed when Arceneaux's pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage.
Bakersfield then put the game away with a nine-play, 47-yard drive that took more than six minutes off the clock.
Sloth scored on a 2-yard run with a minute left to seal the outcome.
"We gave it the best we could, but they made some great plays," Lee said.
The Islanders return to Blaisdell Arena for the first time in nearly a month on Saturday when they face the San Diego Riptide.
"It'll be good to come back and play at home, and we've got this whole week to work on getting better," Lee said.
The Islanders face Bakersfield twice more this season, with the next meeting set for May 10 in Honolulu. The teams close the regular season with their third meeting July 27 at Blaisdell.
Blitz 58, Islanders 43
At Centennial Garden
HI -- Nian Taylor 36 pass from Darnell Arceneaux (Kimo Naehu kick).
BB -- Corey McCoy 11 pass from Chad Elliot (Jon Baker kick)
BB -- McCoy 32 pass from Elliot (Baker kick)
HI -- Darrell Jones 38 pass from Arceneaux (Naehu kick)
BB -- FG Baker 29
HI -- Arceneaux 1 run (kick failed)
BB -- Elliot 8 run (Baker kick)
HI -- FG Naehu 37.
BB -- Ryan Sloth 18 pass from Elliot (Baker kick).
BB -- Sloth 1 fumble return (Baker kick).
HI -- Chris Paogofie 5 run (kick failed).
HI -- Channon Harris 22 pass from Arceneaux (Jones pass from Arceneaux).
BB -- McCoy 36 pass from Elliot (Baker kick).
HI -- Paogofie 13 run (pass failed).
BB -- Sloth 2 run (Baker kick).
BB -- Gerrick Bivins 8 pass from Elliot (kick failed).
RUSHING--Islanders: Paogofie 4-25, Vai Notoa 4-21, Arceneaux 4-8, Josh White 1-7. Blitz: Nathan Buergey 2-8, Elliot 2-3, Sloth 2-3, Melvin Blue 1-0, Julian Yearwood 2-(-12).
PASSING--Islanders: Arceneaux 12-30-0-190. Blitz: Elliot 23-33-0-294.
RECEIVING--Islanders: Harris 5-79, Taylor 5-71, Jones 1-38, Morrie Roe 1-2. Blitz: Bivins 10-112, McCoy 4-88, Sloth 4-52, Nathan Munson 2-20, York Frierson 2-15, Buergey 1-7.