Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009 | 10:39 p.m.
- Las Vegas Locomotives win inaugural UFL game (10/08/09)
- Case Grande football league invades Las Vegas (10/07/09)
- What to watch for in UFL season opener (10/07/09)
- Former Arizona Cardinals leading rusher anxious for UFL season (9/28/09)
- UFL announces broadcast team (9/22/09)
- Three-time NFL Pro Bowler signs with UFL (8/27/09)
- Local UFL team will be the Locomotives (8/10/09)
- Q&A: Las Vegas Locomotives coach Jim Fassel (8/10/09)
- Monday List: An ode to the UFL’s Las Vegas ‘Locos’ (8/10/09)
- UFL unveils season schedule (8/6/09)
- UFL Las Vegas signs 19 players (8/6/09)
- UFL hopefuls show off skills at Sam Boyd Stadium (6/14/09)
The United Football League is only three games into its inaugural season and an elite team has emerged.
The undefeated Las Vegas Locomotives and Florida Tuskers met Wednesday night at Sam Boyd Stadium, but it was the Tuskers that came out with their unblemished record intact.
They dominated the Locomotives in a 29-15 victory.
“I’m just disappointed,” Las Vegas coach Jim Fassel said. “I thought we would play better than that. I really did. That’s not the kind of football we put on the field.”
Both teams were coming off their last games with strong performances by their quarterbacks. But Florida’s Brooks Bollinger looked to be in a different class than Las Vegas’ J.P. Losman on this night.
Bollinger passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns on 24-for-32 passing, while Losman struggled to find consistency early and finished 19-for-35 with 239 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
“All I know is I dropped back and the couple of times I did have time, I didn’t come through for the team,” Losman said. “I’ve got to make some throws.”
The announced attendance of 12,160 didn’t appear to have as much fun as they did a week ago, when Las Vegas beat the California Redwoods 30-17. When the Locomotives went down 22-0 in the third quarter, the fans started to boo.
They were the most vocal on the next possession when Losman threw an interception in the end zone.
Their tenor changed, however, midway through the fourth quarter when UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue appeared on the big screen and announced that the Locomotives would play one more game in Las Vegas.
The Locomotives were slated to play their final game at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles on Nov. 20 against the New York Sentinels. Instead, the game will be played in Las Vegas.
“We just thought it was important to capitalize on the fact that we have some momentum building here,” Huyghue said. “Our championship game is here and we think it’s a good way to reward the fans for their continued patronage.”
The commissioner’s announcement coincided with the Locomotives’ awakening. After being shut out offensively for the first 52 minutes of the game, Losman found receiver Samie Parker in the middle of the field for an 11-yard touchdown reception.
Losman and Parker connected for another touchdown five minutes later on a fourth-and-goal play.
“I didn’t even care about getting in the end zone, honestly, to tell you the truth,” Parker said. “I would rather have come out with the victory.”
A Locomotives win never seemed like a possibility. The Tuskers received the ball to open the game and proceeded to go 80 plays in less than four minutes before Bollinger threw his first touchdown pass.
Florida gradually built its lead from there.
Las Vegas didn’t even score until the beginning of the fourth quarter when running back DeDe Dorsey blocked a punt in the end zone for a safety to make the score 22-2.
Parker’s two touchdowns came shortly after. As well as Las Vegas played in the fourth quarter, it was too late.
“I think you’re fighting for some respect at that juncture,” Fassel said. “I hate that situation when there’s five, six, seven minutes to go in the game and for all intents and purpose, it’s impossible to come back. But you can’t stop trying to get your team to win.”