Kansas City earns first victory of the season over Pittsburgh Power
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Offense and defense contributed to the Kansas City Command notching their first victory of the season over the Pittsburgh Power (43-37) Saturday night at Consol Energy Center in front of 5,062 fans. Command QB Matt Gutierrez threw for 262 yards 4TD’s, and rushed for another, while KC’s Defense continued their dominant play holding Pittsburgh (2-8) to their lowest point total of the season.
“It feels great to finally get one,” said Command coach Danton Barto. It was ugly all the way to the end but we got the win we needed. It shows you a lot about the character of this team because 0-8 teams don’t find ways to win.”
Despite 14 penalties against the Command (1-8), the defense continued to keep KC in contention with DB J.C. Neal forcing his third fumble of the season, and DL’s Chris Lyle and Tommy Chavis each having fumble recoveries to keep Pittsburgh from pulling away.
“I’ve been saying all year our defense is pretty damn good,” said coach Barto. “On offense, we find ways to make mistakes but we rallied around each other and found a way. Our defense stepped up like it always does and we put it on them to win it for us.”
Backup QB, Derek Cassidy came in for the Power and threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to P.J. Berry on his first play of the game with 8:34 left in the second quarter. He also scored a rushing TD after a KC turned the ball over to start the second half. Cassidy finished with three TD’s, bringing his total to 14 touchdowns for the season.
Kansas City spread the ball around earning scores from four different receivers including former Power WR/QB Xavier Lee who rushed for a touchdown, and Olathe, KS native Anthony Parks earned his first career touchdown (27 yards). The Command offensive scored 4-5 drives in the first half, their best offensive effort of the season.
KC’s third quarter scoring woes continued as Pittsburgh’s defense stopped the Command on back-to-back drives to start the second half while continuing to put the ball in the end zone and going up 34-27 with 4:07 in third quarter. The Command scored their only third quarter offensive points at 1:21 to stay even with the Power at 34-34.
Kansas City’s biggest lead of the season came with just 1:22 left in the fourth quarter when Command QB Matt Gutierrez connected with WR Armand Robinson for a 20-yard touchdown, putting KC up 43-34 and bringing Robinson’s touchdown total to seven in just three games.
“It’s just one game so we have to enjoy it for a few hours and then get back in the film room and get back to work to see where we can improve and get ready for next week,” said coach Barto.
The Command are back home hosting the Georgia Force at 7pm Saturday May 26 at Sprint Center. It is Cash Night at Sprint Center. One lucky fan will walk away $5,000 richer.
Game Award Winners:
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game: Matt Gutierrez – KC
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game: Bradly Chavez – KC
JLS Ironman: P.J. Berry – PIT
AFL Playmaker of the Game: P.J. Berry – PIT
Cutters Catch of the Game: Xavier Lee against the boards – KC
Spalding Highlight of the Game: P.J. Berry’s interception – PIT
National Guard MVP: Matt Gutierrez – KC
Full stats can be found here