Wallace closes 18th year in pro arena ball with nine TDs as Tarpons top Tigers
LAKELAND, Fla. – The Florida Tarpons saved the best for last.
Quarterback Chris Wallace, finishing up his 18th season of professional arena football, threw six touchdowns in the first half -- and threw for three more in the second half -- as the Tarpons took down the Tampa Bay Tigers in Florida's final game of the 2018 season, 77-18, at the RP Funding Center.
After dropping their first three games of the year, the Tarpons rallied for three straight to close out the campaign at .500 in their seventh season of indoor football.
The Tarpons, who have won two league championships in those years and been to five-league championship games, are already looking forward to more exciting things in 2019.
“While things happened this season that were disappointing and beyond our control in many cases, it's still a great foundation we built in the latter part of the year to get ready for a bigger and better 2019,” said Tarpons President and Coach Michael Taylor.
Wallace found George Jenkins High School graduate Reggie Ellis from 30 and 8 yards out in the first quarter, and hit Ricardo Miller on an 18-yard play to give Florida a 25-6 lead into the second quarter.
In that frame, Wallace hit Keith Deveaux from 13 yards out, and found John Banks twice, once from 30 and another from 25 yards for a 45-12 halftime cushion. Tigers quarterback Mike Larosa found Tex Guzman and Calique Bell for first half scores from 30 and 8 yards out respectively.
The Tarpons scored every way possible just about. Kicker John Lunsford had four “unos” – that's putting the ball through the uprights on the opposite end of the field on a kickoff – while they also scored two safeties and Dasmine Cathey had a fumble recovery in the endzone for a touchdown.
In the second half, Wallace had two more TD passes to Banks, and another to Ricardo as well. Bell opened the second half with a 30-yard scoring catch for the Tigers only points of the final two quarters.