Surge 27, Riders 21
SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) _ David Archer passed for 324 yards and the go-ahead touchdown, rallying the Sacramento Surge past the San Antonio Riders 27-21 on Saturday night and into the World League of American Football playoffs.
Sacramento (8-2) won the North American West title and will host Barcelona in a first-round playoff game. San Antonio (7-3) is out of the playoffs unless Birmingham (6-2-1) loses Sunday to Ohio (1-8). An Ohio victory would send the Riders to Orlando on Saturday.
San Antonio’s Ivory Lee Brown rushed for 91 yards, giving him a WLAF-record 767 yards for the season.
Brown gave the Riders a 6-0 lead with a 6-yard run in the first quarter, but Sacramento answered with second-quarter touchdown runs of 15 and 2 yards by Doug DuBose.
But San Antonio quarterback Mike Johnson and tight end Danta Whitaker combined for two touchdown passes that gave the Riders a 21-14 halftime edge.
Johnson’s 2-yard toss to Whitaker, followed by a 2-point conversion pass to wide receiver Darrell Colbert, tied the score.
Late in the second quarter, San Antonio tried a field goal, but the Surge was flagged for illegal use of hands. Johnson took advantage of the penalty to hit Whitaker on a 6-yard TD pass with 53 seconds left in the half.
Cary Blanchard’s 28-yard field goal cut the lead to 21-17, and the Surge took a 24-21 advantage on Archer’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Brown late in the third quarter.
Archer, who completed 26 of 38 passes, drove Sacramento 54 yards to set up Blanchard’s 19-yard field goal with 9:53 to play, ending the scoring.