San Diego coach Darrel "Mouse" Davis argued with a referee over a call during last night's game vs. the Hawaiian Islanders at the Blaisdell Arena.

Islanders lose shootout

The San Diego Riptide couldn't contain Hawaiian Islanders return man Anthony Arceneaux last night at Blaisdell Arena. But the Riptide offense more than made up for their special-teams shortcomings to roll to a 91-77 win in the highest scoring game in arenafootball2 history.

San Diego's total set an Islanders franchise record for points allowed and the Riptide (3-5) held off a furious rally to snap a five-game losing streak against the Islanders (5-3).

"This is what the game is supposed to be, a lot of points," said San Diego coach Darrel "Mouse" Davis, one of the sport's innovators.

San Diego won despite giving up three kickoff returns for touchdowns by Arceneaux. But the Riptide got substantial help from the home team, as the Islanders turned the ball over four times in a nightmarish third quarter. San Diego converted all of them into touchdowns to take command of what was a close game.

"At halftime we said the only thing that kept them in it was we were giving up big plays on special teams," said Riptide offensive specialist Dwight Carter. "We said we had to come out aggressive in the third (quarter) and take the game."

The Islanders, who lost at home for the first time this season, scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to cut a 77-48 San Diego lead to eight late in the game. But the Riptide continued to pour on the points to hang on for the victory.

San Diego quarterback Kane Claunch completed 27 of 37 passes for 379 yards and seven touchdowns for the Riptide, winners of their second straight.

"I was just trying to take what the defense gave me, and I felt like I was in a good rhythm," Claunch said. "The coach does a good job of disguising coverages, mixing it up between zone and man and we were able to read it tonight."

Carter, a former University of Hawaii receiver, caught nine passes for 90 yards and a touchdown.

Darnell Arceneaux of the Hawaiian Islanders hit the wall as he scored in last night's record-breaking loss to San Diego.

The Riptide's performance was just enough to counter Arceneaux's record-breaking performance. Besides his three TD returns, Arceneaux caught a scoring pass for the Islanders.

Arceneaux scored touchdowns on back-to-back kickoff returns in the final minute of the first half and added another score in the fourth quarter.

"Those were credits to great blocking," Arceneaux said. "They busted their butts to get on guys, give me lanes and give me holes to read.

"You get that feeling and you feel a little bit untouchable back there."

His returns eclipsed the franchise's single-season and career records for kickoff returns for touchdowns. His 254 return yards also set the team record.

The teams traded blows in the first half before San Diego turned to trickery to take the lead.

Riptide kicker Rich Ehmke recovered his own onsides kick to give the Riptide the ball back. Three plays later, Jesus Reyes took a pitch from Claunch on the left side, pulled up and lofted a pass to a wide-open Brad Greetis at the goal line.

"That's Mouse," Islanders coach Cal Lee said. "He had to dig really, really deep for that play."

With the Riptide leading 35-28, Arceneaux took over.

He electrified the crowd of 3,505 by fielding a kickoff off the net and sprinting up the middle of the field for a 52-yard return. It was the Islanders' first kickoff return for a score in 18 games.

After the Riptide reclaimed the lead, Arceneaux struck again. This time he appeared to be bottled up, but he reversed his field, bolted through a seam in the coverage and raced to the end zone.

The Islanders fumbled the ball away on their first two possessions of the second half, and San Diego capitalized on both to take a 56-42 lead.

Both teams added touchdowns, and with the Riptide leading 63-48, Arceneaux mishandled the kickoff and Nakoa McElrath pounced on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.

An interception by San Diego's Ryan Smith set up Claunch's fifth TD pass of the night. On the ensuing kickoff, Arceneaux followed his blockers up the left side and bowled over Ehmke at the goal line for his third score.

The Islanders will face the Bakersfield Blitz on the road next week. The Blitz can move into a tie with the Islanders for first place in the West Division by beating Central Valley tonight.

Note: The previous af2 record for points came in a 2002 game in which Arkansas beat Tulsa 102-63.

Riptide 91, Islanders 77

At Blaisdell Arena
San Diego Riptide (2-5) 14 28 28 21 -- 91
Hawaiian Islanders (5-2) 21 21 6 29 -- 77

SD--Kane Claunch 1 run (Rich Ehmke kick)
HI--Darnell Arceneaux 6 run (Kimo Naehu kick)
SD--Nakoa McElrath 16 pass from Claunch (Ehmke kick)
HI--Joe Correia 1 run (Naehu kick)
HI--Randyn Akiona 10 pass from D. Arceneaux (Naehu kick)
SD--Ryan Cuthbert 2 run (Ehmke kick)
SD--Brad Greetis 24 pass from Jesus Reyes (Ehmke kick)
HI--D. Arceneaux 5 run (Naehu kick)
SD--Matt Guardia 2 run (Ehmke kick)
HI--Anthony Arceneaux 54 kickoff return (Naehu kick)
SD--Dwight Carter 4 pass from Claunch (Ehmke kick)
HI--A. Arceneaux 57 kickoff return (Naehu kick)
SD--Marty Graham 7 pass from Claunch (Ehmke kick)
SD--Cuthbert 1 run (Ehmke kick)
HI--D. Arceneaux 7 run (kick failed)
SD--Graham 27 pass from Claunch (Ehmke kick)
SD--McElrath kickoff recovery in end zone (Ehmke kick)
SD--McElrath 22 pass from Claunch (Ehmke kick)
HI--A. Arceneaux 56 kickoff return (Naehu kick)
HI--Morrie Roe 19 pass from D. Arceneaux (A. Arceneaux pass from D. Arceneaux)
HI--Nian Taylor 27 pass from D. Arceneaux (kick failed)
SD--Jesus Reyes 34 pass from Claunch (Ehmke kick)
HI--A. Arceneaux 11 pass from D. Arceneaux (D. Arceneaux run)
SD--McElrath 17 pass from Claunch (Ehmke kick)

RUSHING -- Riptide: Cuthbert 4-5, Guardia 4-12, Claunch 2-(-1). Islanders: D. Arceneaux 5-28, Correia 1-1, Vai Notoa 2-1.
PASSING -- Riptide: Claunch 27-37-2-379, Reyes 1-1-0-24. Islanders: D. Arceneaux 18-30-2-247.
RECEIVING -- Riptide: Graham 5-71, Carter 9-90, McElrath 6-92, Reyes 4-79, Greetis 2-47, Rico Curtis 2-24. Islanders: A. Arceneaux 7-92, Akiona 5-64, Taylor 2-41, Nate Jackson 2-21, Roe 1-19, Aaron Smith 1-10
Att -- 3,505.


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