By Matt Watkins

For Amarillo Globe-News

The defending Champions Indoor Football League South Division champion Amarillo Venom got off to a good start to 2017 with a 70-69 overtime win against Duke City in Tingley Coliseum in Alburquerque, N.M. on Saturday night.

Both teams struggled early with a nine-yard run by James Langford being the only scoring for Amarillo in the first. The Gladiators would answer with a four-yard pass from Donovan Porteri to Larry Cobb for a 7-7 tie after the first.

The second quarter would consist of each team trading scores, with Venom quarterback Nate Davis rushing for a touchdown, which was answered by a Dewayne Davis one-yard rushing score shortly after. Davis would put Amarillo ahead once again with a 27-yard touchdown toss to Kiwaski Tenner with 55 seconds left in the half to make it 21-14.

However, Duke City would respond again by driving the length of the field, capped by a one-yard score by Porteri with 10 seconds remaining. Venom kicker Jacob Felton would miss a 22-yard field goal attempt as the first half came to a close, making it a 21-21 game at the break.

The Gladiators would come out hot in the third when Porteri hit Cobb again for an 11-yard touchdown to give Duke City its first lead, 27-21 after a missed point after. After the Gladiator defense came up with a big stop, Antonio Bray would catch a 17-yard scoring pass from Porteri to extend Duke City’s advantage to 34-21 with 8:39 t0 play in the third.

The Venom would get back on the board on the ensuing drive on a 13-yard touchdown from Davis to Cedric Gilbert to cut the deficit back to six, 34-28, with 5:14 left in the quarter. Porteri would again answer for the Gladiators with a 32-yard strike to Julian Walker to go back up, 41-28.

Langford would add a five yard run for Amarillo to make it 41-35, before Bray capped a long drive for Duke City with a one-yard score to make the lead 48-35. The Venom would keep it close heading to the fourth however, as Davis would find Raymond Johnson on a 16-yard score that made it 48-42 after three quarters.

Amarillo would strike first again in the fourth, after a clutch interception by Donnie Duncan, with a 25 yard pass from Davis to Alex Watson, but the missed put after left tied 48-48 with 12:29 left in the game. The Gladiators would score 1:02 later on a one-yard run by Bray that got their lead back up to 55-48.

The Venom, however, would fight back and score again on a five yard keeper by Davis after a tough drive that once again tied the score at 57-all. Duke City would come right back and regain the lead, 62-57, on a Porteri 14-yard pass to Walker with 2:15 remaining.

Davis would keep Amarillo alive with 27 seconds left, he rushed in from one yard out to tie the game 62-62 and take it to overtime, where after Porteri and Davis traded 25-yard touchdowns, a one-yard two-point conversion run by Davis would clinch the win for the Venom.

Davis finished 24-38 passing for Amarillo, with 201 yards and five touchdowns through the air, he also rushed for three more. Johnson also had a big night, catching 11 passes for 130 yards and two scores.

Amarillo 70, Duke City 69

Amarillo;7;14;21;20;8 —70

Duke City;7;14;27;14;7 —69

First Quarter

A —James Langford 9 rush (Jacob Felton kick), 5:30

DC —Larry Cobb 4 pass from Donovan Porteri (Brian Weems kick), 1:11

Second Quarter

A —Nate Davis 12 rush (Felton kick), 5:19

DC —Dewayne Davis 1 rush (Weems kick), 3:37

A —Kawaski Tenner 27 pass from Davis (Felton kick), 0:55

DC —Porteri 1 rush (Weems kick), 0:10

Third Quarter

DC —Cobb 11 pass from Porteri (conversion failed), 14:13

DC —Antonio Bray 17 pass from Porteri (Weems kick), 8:39

A —Cedric Gilbert 13 pass from Davis (Felton kick), 5:14

DC —Julian Walker 32 pass from Porteri (Weems kick), 4:41

A —Langford 5 run (Felton kick), 3:56

DC —Bray 1 run (Weems kick), 1:58

A —Raymond Johnson 16 pass from Davis (Felton kick), 0:00

Fourth Quarter

A —Alex Watson 25 pass from Davis (conversion failed), 12:29

DC —Bray 1 run (Weems kick), 11:27

A —Davis 5 run (Felton kick), 5:05

DC —Walker 14 pass from Porteri (Weems kick), 2:15

A —Davis 1 run (Felton kick) 0:27

Overtime

DC —Walker 25 pass from Porteri (Weems kick)

A —Johnson 25 pass from Davis (Davis run)

Amarillo;Duke City

First Downs

20;22

Passing Yards

201;333

Rushing Yards

115;32

Total Yards

316;365

Passing Attempts-Completions-Interceptions

38-24-2;39-21-1

Penalties-Yards

8-56;6-65

Fumbles-Fumbles Lost

1-0;1-1

Free Tickets & Donations To Assist Texas Panhandle Fire Relief

Amarillo, TX – With the fires extinguished or contained and as the communities in the Texas Panhandle begin the task of putting their lives back together following the devastating fires, the Amarillo Venom have chosen to join the relief efforts by foregoing admission for this Saturday night’s game against Dallas Marshals and, instead, seek donations.

Beginning Today, Monday March 13th, FREE TICKETS – while they last – can be picked up at the Civic Center box office, , by calling the Venom at 806.350.7277.  The Venom will be taking donations at the game, 100% of which will go to the Texas Panhandle fire relief efforts.

 

“We are – and always have been – neighbors first and a business second,” said Venom owner Stephanie Tucker.  “And right now, our friends, family and neighbors need our help.  Growing up on a family farm and ranch, and still have the majority of my family in this line of work, makes this fire hit closer to home.  The lives lost and the livelihoods in devastation make this a “NO-BRAINER.”  Our family while living in Wheeler had to evacuate our home and that was one of the scariest moments in my life.  The Tucker family along with many of our friends and sponsors have come together to make this night happen.”

Thanks to our friends at Amarillo National Bank, Diversified Waste Management, Dobbs Pumps, McDonalds, Triangle Realty, and Western Equipment, along with media partners, KGNC for helping us make this night possible.

The Amarillo Venom, members of the Champions Indoor Football League, host the Dallas Marshals Saturday night, March 18th at the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Coliseum.  Game time is 7:05 p.m.  Gates open at 6:00pm.  First 100 fans through the gate will receive a free t-shirt courtesy of Western Equipment.

For interview opportunities, please contact Stephanie Tucker via the contact information at the top of this page. 

Press Release – Venom and Colorful Closets of Amarillo Partner in Quarters For The Win Contest

Amarillo, TX – The Amarillo Venom and Colorful Closets of Amarillo are coming together to help clothe area youth in the Quarters for the Win contest. The Venom is asking schools, organizations and businesses to collect quarters to benefit Colorful Closets of Amarillo.

To sign up and register your organization for this contest, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. An AguaOne water jug to collect money will be delivered to your organization.

The organization that collects the most money will receive a FREE party during spring break with B’s Bouncers, KISSFM DJ party with Hacker Morning Show and Venom players and mascot. The winning organization will also receive FREE kids tickets to the March 18th Venom game courtesy of Aqua One.

The deadline to collect money for this contest is March 1st.

Colorful Closets is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that collects, organizes & distributes clothing to AISD children, K-12, while spreading the love of Christ. For information about Colorful Closets, visit their Facebook Page at facebook.com/colorfulclosetsAMA.

For further questions regarding the Venom or to order game tickets, please contact our office at 806-350-7277. The AMARILLO VENOM is a proud member of Champions Indoor Football League.

Venom QuartersForTheWin Flyer 8.5x11

Of the five losses the Amarillo Venom had endured in its 2016 campaign, its final setback had the worst sting.

The Venom were unable to capture its third championship as the team lost to Wichita Force 48-45 in the 2016 Champions Bowl on Monday night at the Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kan.