The two-time defending UFL champion Las Vegas Locos rode the arm of Chase Clement and the leg of Clint Stitser to a 30-10 victory over the Omaha Nighthawks before a crowd of 6,500 on Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Clement, the 2010 UFL Championship Game MVP, completed 21 of 30 passes for 254 yards and one touchdown and also rushed for another score while Stitser, who was signed after the Locos’ opening weekend loss, was a perfect 3-of-3 on field goals while scoring the game’s first nine points.
The Locos (2-1) moved into second place with the victory at the halfway point of the season, while the Nighthawks fell to 1-2 and the two teams will meet again in Omaha next weekend on Saturday, October 15.
The Locos opened the scoring with a 24-yard field goal by Stitser with 1:03 left in the first quarter, capping a 74-yard, 10-play drive.
Clement completed 4 of 5 passes for 77 yards on the series, including a 47-yarder to wide receiver Andrae Thurman on third and 16 at the Las Vegas 14.
The Locos increased the lead to 6-0 early in the second quarter on a 34-yard field goal by Stitser that followed an interception by free safety Nick Turnbull of a deflected Jeremiah Masoli pass that he returned to the Omaha 17-yard line. Stitser’s third field goal was a 45-yarder with 3:51 remaining before intermission that made it 9-0. That capped a 67-yard, 15-play drive that began on the Las Vegas 9.
Las Vegas extended its lead to 16-0 early in the third quarter when Clement hit tight end Jamie Petrowski slicing across the middle with a 15-yard touchdown pass. Clement was 3 of 3 for 40 yards on the 52-yard, 8-play drive.
Omaha (1-2) finally got on the scoreboard with a 43-yard Jeff Wolfert field goal with 4:00 to go in the third quarter. That capped a 63-yard, 11-play march that included a 20-yard run by Garrett Wolfe.
The Locos increased their lead to 22-3 midway through the fourth quarter on a 6-yard sweep around right end by Clement. The 68-yard, 7-play drive was highlighted by a 44-yard completion from Clement to wide receiver Saalim Hakim up the left sideline.
Omaha finally found the end zone with 4:40 to go when Masoli scrambled to his right and lobbed a 21-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Aubrey Quarles, but had left their comeback too late.
After Las Vegas recovered the ensuing onside kick, running back Marcel Shipp concluded the night’s scoring with a 28-yard touchdown run with 2:10 remaining. Shipp finished with a game-high 76 yards rushing on 13 carries.