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Freedom indoor football: Key interception helps preserve Fort Wayne victory

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Sunday, April 20, 2008 10:10 am
He'd been burned over the top in the corner of the end zone before. Steven Kee wasn't going to let it happen this time. With six seconds left on the clock, Kee stepped in front of a pass thrown by Rock River's Steve LaFalce on the Fort Wayne 2-yard line to make a game-saving interception and preserve the Freedom's 55-54 comeback win over the Raptors in front of 3,069 fans on Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.

Kee figured the ball would be coming his way. Teammate Luther Stroder came off the bench during a Rock River timeout with eight seconds left and told him to watch out for a pass in his direction.

“All I could really think about was last game, I misread the (receiver's) turn; I got beat over the top, and we lost the game,” Kee said. “So I was really concentrating this time. We really pulled together as a defense. It was a whole defensive effort, and it just put me in the right spot.”

The defense had to step up its effort in the second half to account for Rock River's Randy Bell, who scored five of the Raptors' touchdowns. A rash of unnecessary personal foul penalties against the Freedom, including one that gave the Raptors new life on their final drive, also put them in a bind.

After Kee's interception, Coach Willie Davis stormed the field and pumped his fist. Davis knew his team played far from a perfect game, but he'd take a win any way he could get one.

“It was a great win for us,” Davis said. “I've got to say, I'm proud of those guys. On defense, Shonn Bell, Steven Kee, Maurice Terrell and those guys played great. Our quarterback Antoine (Taylor) played great and stepped up in the second half. Our offensive line shoed some heart and kept fighting.

“We had some silly personal foul calls, but we have so much passion and the guys wanted to win so bad. But we just settled down a little bit. We didn't have any turnovers in the second half, and we were a different team.”

A different team in the second half was just what the Freedom needed to be. Randy Bell took the opening kickoff and weaved his way through the Freedom for one score, and on another play he broke tackles from nearly every Freedom player on the field for another score.

Taylor threw two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, in the first half. But in the second half, he turned things around on the ground and in the air, hitting Rockey Harvey for one of his three scores and running for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion.

Rock River led 42-26 at the end of the third quarter, but the Freedom poured it on in the fourth quarter, scoring 29 points to the Raptors' 12.

Taylor's 11-yard strike to Stroder tied the game at 54, and kicker Justin Hoover's extra point kick with 46 seconds remaining was true. It was the only time the Freedom led.

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