Fighters edge Gladiators with less than 16 seconds left on the clock.

Photos by Dominic Ceraldi

On home turf for only the second time this season, The Fighters’ fate came down to the final few seconds Saturday night in their second meet up with the Duke City Gladiators. Trailing majority of the matchup, the Fighters strung together a comeback that resulted in a 42-41 victory.
The Fighters (5-1) started the scoring early as Justin Rankin ran for 22 yards to put the Fighters on the board within the first 4 minutes of play. From there, momentum shifted, and Duke City scored the next three touchdowns – leaving the Fighters without another point until the second quarter when Sheldon Augustine tallied a touchdown on a 57-yard punt return.
Despite the attempted comeback from Frisco, Duke City dominated the game heading into halftime with Frisco trailing by 14.
Justin Rankin in combination with quarterback Blake Sims surged for two important runs resulting in touchdowns in the third quarter to bring the game within seven points heading into the final 15 minutes.
The final quarter was tense, as Frisco was fighting to keep their four-game winning streak alive. With 16 seconds left Rankin wheeled past the line to find the endzone for the fourth time of the night. Bryce Crawford’s kick splits the uprights and puts the Fighters up by one.
Duke City gained possession back with 11 seconds left on the clock to make a final run at their chance of a victory over Frisco. Gladiators quarterback, Ramone Atkins completes a 46-yard Hail Mary pass down field to Dello Davis that ends on the Frisco two-yard line. Duke City is pushed back 15 yards due to an unsportsmanlike conduct call on the play. With time dwindling down, Duke City brings their kicker on to seal the game with one second left on the clock. The atmosphere in Comerica Center in Frisco was electric as the kick veers right and misses the uprights – giving the Fighters their fifth consecutive win.
Frisco will take on the undefeated Arizona Rattlers next Saturday, April 30 at Comerica Center.