After nearly a month on the road, the Amarillo Venom returned home to host the Wildcatters of West Texas on April 26 at the Cal Faley Coliseum of the Amarillo Civic Center. After starting the season with three consecutive victories, they would drop the next two on the road to San Angelo and New Mexico. The Venom would escape with the win of 73-65 in what turned out to be a shootout of exceptional quarterback play.
“We took coach’s advice and just gelled together,” Venom quarterback Brendan Crawford said. “Everything is a team effort, it wasn’t just one person playing well it was everyone. It was a team effort.”
Crawford would complete 16 of his 23 passes for 199 yards and five touchdowns in what would turn out to be a shot for shot duel with Wildcatters quarterback Kasey Peters who would finish the game with 228 yards and five touchdowns on 19 completions.
“We have to take it day by day,” Crawford said. “We have to game plan and listen to Coach Reese about what he says and what he has in store for us, because he’s going to put us into position to win and then, it’s about us being able to capitalize.”
In a game that featured both offenses, the defenses struggled during the first half. In his first game for the Amarillo Venom in the 2014 season, defensive back Kendrick Walker would make a pivotal interception that would prove to be a game decider as it would give Amarillo the ball, and the lead for good.
“My thought was that we finally got it together,” Walker said. “The secondary had a rough time in that first half. We finally started communicating and got it together, so that was just the cherry on top.”
Coach Julian Reese led his team to victory, ending a two game skid. He would later be adamant about the need to stay focused and prepared for the next game.
“I’m tired of telling people we’re the best and we need to start showing it,” Reese said. “We have great skill guys, but we have to show it and stop talking about being the best. People aren’t going to believe it until we do it.”
The teams would go blow for blow and score for score until Peters would leave the game with a leg injury. Backup quarterback Bobby Guillory, who played earlier in the game as a wide receiver, would take his place. However, Guillory would not be able to produce the points necessary to keep pace with the Venom offense.
After giving up a safety and later the interception by Walker, the Venom would escape with the narrow victory.
The Venom return home May 3, to take on the New Mexico Stars at the Amarillo Civic Center at 7:05 p.m.