Billings Takes Down Albany 36-35

In a game that had huge playoff implications, the Billings Outlaws defeated the Albany Firebirds in a back-and-forth affair, 36-35!

First Quarter

To start the game, Albany got off to a fast defensive start, with Jamal Hickbottom hammering Isaac Harker for a sack-fumble. Returning the favor, Derrick Harvey plowed through the backfield and took Medlock down for a sack, pushing the Firebirds back. 

On the next play, Medlock threaded the needle to Darius Prince and got the game’s first points, making it 7-0 Albany. 

The Firebirds collected two more points off the kickoff, giving them a 9-0 lead to start the game. Moving down the field on penalties and timely calls, Harker found Derrick Harvey with a one-handed catch. Adding a blocked extra-point run, the score was 9-8.

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Second Quarter

To start the second quarter, Medlock scrambled out of a potentially huge loss, gaining no yards but avoiding a massive sack. Medlock found Darius Prince again, while the Billings defense looked a little confused about who should have been defending, putting Albany up 15-8. 

Duane Brown grabbed the ball off the net and took it nearly all the way home to set up Billings with great field position. Even with that field position, Albany was able to hold the Outlaws to a field goal, keeping Albany ahead 15-11.

Playing sticky defense, Billings popped the ball up, and Derrick Harvey was in the right spot to intercept Jake Medlock, putting Billings right back in scoring position. 

Albany played tough defense again, holding the Outlaws off from scoring on the two-yard line. Jake Medlock put his body on the line and took off for a long run, almost hurdling an Outlaw to put them in great field position. 

Chase McGowen put his hands up and got Albany to turn the ball over again deep in their territory.

Third Quarter

Early in the third quarter, Medlock dumped the ball off to Darius Prince, who ran up the sideline. Phillip Barnett boxed out the Billings defender and put the Firebirds up 22-11.

Harker got the ball out quickly to Harvey for a first down. Getting tricky, the Outlaws pulled out a reverse run play to Harvey who converted a touchdown, drawing closer 22-18.

Fourth Quarter

To start the fourth quarter, the Outlaws made a huge stop on a run play and followed that up with a sack by Chase McGowen. Medlock found Townsend for a huge play to gain back all the yards and then some, putting the Firebirds back in scoring position. 

After being stopped multiple times on the goal line, Medlock found Darius Prince darting in the back of the end zone. Playing with some tempo, Harker ripped a pass to Duane Brown, who was tackled at the 1-yard line. 

On the very next play, Hunter Swoboda powered the ball in for a touchdown, bringing Albany back to 29-24. Trying for an onside kick, Albany was ready for it and recovered in great field position. 

Molonich hammered the ball in for a touchdown, giving the Firebirds a 35-24 lead.

Jamal Hickbottom came up with another huge sack, pushing Billings back deep late in the game. With the game on the line, Harker found Duane Brown for a touchdown. 

Needing the 4-point play to stay in it, Harvey snagged a pass over the boards to convert. On the kickoff, Bailey Griffen hit the 2-point play and put Billings up 36-35 with 4 seconds left. With one of the craziest finishes of the season, Billings sits atop the AFL standings! 

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