After a slow start, the Spokane Empire scored 14 fourth-quarter points to rally and beat the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles 31-29 in an Indoor Football League game Sunday at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
After being down 10-9 at halftime, Empire quarterback Charles Dowdell threw an interception that was returned by Screaming Eagles defensive back James Calhoun for a touchdown, making the score 17-9 early in the third quarter. But on the next possession, Empire running back Mulku Kalokoh ran 5 yards for a touchdown. An ensuing two-point conversion pass from Dowdell to wide receiver Brian Pray tied the score at 17.
Down 23-17 in the fourth quarter, Dowdell led his team the length of the field with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Pray to take a 24-23 lead. Dowdell then ran for a 30-yard touchdown, extending the lead to 31-23.
On the Screaming Eagles' final possession of the game, quarterback Verlon Reed found wide receiver Juwan Dotson for a 5-yard touchdown, making the score 31-29 with 2 seconds left on the clock. A 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Dotson after the TD pushed the ball back to the 18-yard-line as the Screaming Eagles prepared for a two-point conversion to tie the game. Reed looked for wide receiver Devin Mahina, but the pass was tipped away as the Empire held on for the win.
The Empire (7-2) next play at Sioux Falls (8-1) on Saturday, May 6. The Empire are at the top of the Intense Conference, while Sioux Falls leads the United Conference.