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Predators put on a show

Posted 7/5/2011

Predators put on a show

By Nick Gourdoux

Leader-Telegram staff

The Chippewa Valley -Predators returned to Carson Park on -Monday to take on
the River City Rough Riders in their first full home game since week two of
the Northern Elite Football League season.

The Predators were greeted by a boisterous crowd armed with vuvuzelas and
rattlers that was anxiously awaiting the postgame fireworks display. Much to
the pleasure of the fans, the Predators put on a show of their own.

Explosive hits, deep bombs and powerful runs were plentiful on nearly every
drive as the Predators won, 27-7, to clinch an NEFL playoff berth.

"The fans here are tremendous," receiver Donte Pettis said. "One of the
reasons me and a couple other guys come up from the Cities is because of the
fans and the organization here. It's tremendous to be able to play in front
of them."

Pettis didn't disappoint as he hauled in two first-half touchdown passes
from L.A. Anderson to give the Predators an early 14-0 lead. 

"L.A. is a tremendous athlete and if they give him time to throw us the
ball, our chemistry is good and he'll pick you apart," Pettis said.

Early on in the third quarter, Anderson found Arron Solie on a deep, 53-yard
touchdown strike to increase the Predators lead to 20-7. 

The lone River City score came on a blocked punt that Travis Mangene
returned for a touchdown.

That was about the only mistake the Predators made.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Predators dominated, holding the
Rough Riders to minus-10 yards rushing on 21 carries. 

"We flow 11 players to the ball every time," safety Montae Bailey said. "If
one guy misses, you'll get hit by three others."

Bailey and his counterpart, Ukee Dozier, were all over the field. The two
safeties routinely were in the backfield disrupting run plays before they
even started. 

"We have really aggressive DBs and we're very physical," Bailey said. "We
work out together a lot, so our mentality is if we work out harder during
the week, it should be easier during the games."

Dozier and Bailey did more than crowd the line of scrimmage in run support.
Dozier intercepted two passes, while Bailey had one which he returned for a
touchdown called back because of a penalty. Bailey also returned a punt for
a touchdown, but it too was nullified by a penalty.

"Playing safety back there, you have to look for work," Bailey said. "To
finally get plays and have them called back is (disappointing), but that's a
part of the game."

The Predators capped off the scoring when backup quarterback Rocko Hunt
scored on a 2-yard scramble with 50 seconds left. 

The win improved the Predators to 4-1 on the season, and kept their hopes of
earning a first-round bye in the playoffs alive. 

The last home game the Predators had scheduled was canceled because of heavy
rain and lightning. NEFL president Matt Risen - who is also the Predators
general manager - said there are no plans to have the game made up.

Without the aid of an extra game, the Predators have to hope that the
first-place Fox Valley Force lose one of their remaining games in order to
earn the ever-important first-round bye.

The Predators have a short week this week as they prepare for their game
against the Central Wisconsin Spartans on Saturday at Carson Park.
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