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ARENA FOOTBALL

Avengers Win This One Going Away, 62-32

June 23, 2002|MIKE TERRY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Chad Dukes and Greg Hopkins, free agents the Avengers had to convince to play Arena League football in Los Angeles, played huge roles, offensively and defensively, Saturday when they led the Avengers to a 62-32 victory over the Carolina Cobras before 11,706 at Staples Center.

It was the largest margin of victory the Avengers (6-4) have enjoyed in their brief history.

Hopkins caught seven passes for 75 yards as a receiver. As a linebacker, he had two interceptions against Aaron Sparrow of Carolina (4-6). He returned the second one 37 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Dukes, a fullback, ran for two touchdowns Saturday, including a 23-yarder in the second quarter. Playing linebacker, it was Dukes' pressure on Sparrow that caused the quarterback to throw the pass that Hopkins intercepted and returned for the score.

Dukes and Hopkins aren't the only ones behind the Avengers' success. Chris Jackson's remarkable season rolled on as he had eight receptions for 135 yards and four touchdowns.

Tony Graziani completed 16 of 21 passes for 206 yards and four touchdowns before getting relieved by Matthew Sauk.

*

Other Arena League winners Saturday: the Chicago Rush, a 52-38 victor over the Detroit Fury, the Arizona Rattlers, a 54-21 winner over the Indiana Firebirds, the Dallas Desperados, who defeated the Tampa Bay Storm, 62-56, in overtime, and San Jose, which beat New York, 65-41.

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