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ARENA BOWL XIX

Colorado Wins Title on a Kick

June 13, 2005|From Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Clay Rush kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired to give the Colorado Crush a 51-48 victory over the Georgia Force on Sunday in the ArenaBowl in front of 10,822 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

John Dutton set up the winning field goal with a 37-yard pass to Kevin McKenzie with five seconds left. Georgia was penalized for roughing Dutton on the play, giving the Crush the ball on the four.

Former Denver Bronco quarterback John Elway accepted the Foster ArenaBowl Trophy as part-owner of the Crush, which won its first title in only its third season in the Arena Football League.

Elway called it a thrill to win the ArenaBowl as an owner, but "a totally different gratification" from winning the Super Bowl in 1998 and 1999.

He also called having the arena championship decided on the last play "a great exhibition of what this league is all about."

Dutton finished 23 of 41 for 347 yards and three touchdowns. Damian Harrell led the Crush in receiving with eight catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns, and Willis Marshall added six receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown and also ran four times for 12 yards and three scores.

Georgia's Matt Nagy was 24 of 36 for 247 yards and four touchdowns and also ran for a score. Derek Lee had 12 catches for 133 yards and three touchdowns, and Chris Jackson added seven receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.

The exciting finish came in a game that saw six running touchdowns and one field goal in the first half -- unusual in a league that emphasizes passing.

It also featured two teams with NFL owners. Elway, Pat Bowlen and Stan Kroenke of the Broncos own the Crush, and Arthur Blank, whose Atlanta Falcons came within one game of going to the Super Bowl last season, owns the Force.

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Arena champions

Championship games:

* 2005: Colorado 51, Georgia 48

* 2004: San Jose 69, Arizona 62

* 2003: Tampa Bay 43, Arizona 29

* 2002: San Jose 52, Arizona 14

* 2001: Grand Rapids 64, Nashville 42

* 2000: Orlando 41, Nashville 38

* 1999: Albany 59, Orlando 48

* 1998: Orlando 62, Tampa Bay 31

* 1997: Arizona 55, Iowa 33

* 1996: Tampa Bay 42, Iowa 38

* 1995: Tampa Bay 48, Orlando 35

* 1994: Arizona 36, Orlando 31

* 1993: Tampa Bay 51, Detroit 31

* 1992: Detroit 56, Orlando 38

* 1991: Tampa Bay 48, Detroit 42

* 1990: Detroit 51, Dallas 27

* 1989: Detroit 39, Pittsburgh 26

* 1988: Detroit 24, Chicago 13

* 1987: Denver 45, Pittsburgh 16

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