The Las Vegas Locomotives cruised to a 41-7 victory tonight over the New York Sentinels before a crowd of 13,306 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. A complete game book can be obtained here. In what was their final tune-up before the UFL Championship Game, the Locos benefited from five Sentinels turnovers and had five different players score touchdowns. Las Vegas (4-2) will face the Florida Tuskers (6-0) in the inaugural UFL title game set to kick off Nov. 27 at 12 p.m. PST at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The Locomotives set the tone early in this contest, blocking a Sentinels’ punt on New York’s first possession. Running back Josh Scobey knifed through the Sentinels’ line for the block, and Ezra Butler scooped up the loose ball and ran 17 yards for a touchdown to give Las Vegas a 7-0 lead.
Both teams’ defenses stayed tough for the remainder of the first quarter. New York’s next three possessions resulted in two punts and an interception, while Las Vegas punted twice before mounting what would become its first offensive scoring drive. Taking possession with 1:04 to play in the first quarter, backup quarterback Tim Rattay—starting for J.P. Losman—moved the Locos 62 yards in seven plays for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. Rattay found tight end Jake Nordin for a 4-yard touchdown toss to cap a drive that featured a 23-yard Rattay pass to David Kircus and a 21-yard run by DeDe Dorsey.
The Locos’ next drive covered 63 yards in 13 plays, before they settled for a 32-yard Graham Gano field goal and a 17-0 lead heading into halftime.
New York’s offense continued to struggle after the break, as five Sentinels possessions in the third quarter netted a total of -8 yards on 14 plays. Three possessions ended on turnovers, including two fumbles that the Locos turned into touchdowns. Rattay’s second touchdown toss of the night, covering 3 yards to Samie Parker, increased the Las Vegas lead to 24-0, and Marcel Shipp’s 1-yard scoring run raised it to 31-0 with 8:49 to play in the third quarter.
The third Las Vegas touchdown of the quarter also came on a short field, this time the result of a New York breakdown on special teams. The Locos’ Brian Hernandez returned a Sentinels punt 54 yards to the New York 5-yard line, setting up a quick 5-yard scoring run by Dorsey for a 38-0 lead.
The Sentinels erased the shutout on their next possession when Charles Ali scored on a 1-yard run to cap the longest New York drive of the night, 80 yards in nine plays. Quarterback Ingle Martin, who had replaced starter Quinn Gray in the second quarter, completed 5 of 6 passes for 71 yards on the drive, including a 25-yard strike to wide receiver Steve Sanders to set up Ali’s touchdown.
A 34-yard Gano field goal with 6:46 to play capped the scoring at 41-7, and Locos safety Nick Turnbull ended the next New York possession with his second interception in as many weeks.
Rattay completed 10 of 21 passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns in the starting role. Russ Michna entered the game in the 4th quarter and completed 6 of 8 passes for 55 yards. Eleven different Locos players caught passes while Dorsey rushed 14 times for 60 yards to lead the Locos. Martin threw for 131 yards in relief, completed 11 of 23 passes, and was intercepted twice. Cortez Hankton led all receivers with six catches for 68 yards.
The game had a somber moment early in the third quarter when New York running back Noah Herron fell to the turf after being stuffed at the line of scrimmage on a rushing attempt. While he was tended to by trainers and physicians, players from both teams surrounded Herron and fell to one knee in an emotional display of concern and support. As he was wheeled off the field on a stretcher, Herron was able to raise one arm to acknowledge the cheers of fans.
Herron sustained an injury to his head and neck and was taken by ambulance to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas for treatment.
“We are relieved that Noah is in stable condition and is receiving appropriate medical treatment,” said UFL Commissioner Michael Hyughue during the game. “Upon arrival to the hospital, he had movement in his extremities and we consider this a positive sign.”