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Mettenberger goes down with injury as Express fall to Stallions

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah–Starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger went down with an ankle injury on the first play of scrimmage for the Express offense.

The play was a bad omen for the Express the rest of the game.

The offense couldn’t string any drives together in the second half as the Express fell to 1-5 on the season Saturday afternoon with a 22-9 loss to Salt Lake.

The Memphis Express return home on Sunday, March 24, to face the Birmingham Iron. The game starts at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local) and will be broadcast on NFL Network. Get tickets here.

“It was another difficult game on the road. We got behind and we couldn’t come back,” Express head coach Mike Singletary said. “In the end, it wasn’t enough to turn it around.”

A 19-0 deficit proved too much on the road and now the Express face a steep uphill climb the rest of the way.

“On the road, you can’t get behind by a large deficit like that,” Singletary said. “Salt Lake had a great gameplan and we put ourselves in too deep of a hole. We came alive a little bit later, but it was too little, too late”

Quarterback Brandon Silvers came in to replace Mettenberger and the Troy product lit it up through the air. Silvers finished the game 23-for-37 passing for 242 yards with one touchdown and one fumble.

Even with the impressive numbers through the air, Silvers was sacked six times and fought through adversity in the ballgame.

It was a tough situation for Silvers to replace Mettenberger on the road but fighting through adversity is nothing new for the Troy product.

“We only put up nine points on the board, so I could definitely have played better,” Silvers said. “I knew I had to be ready when my number was called. My prayers are with Zach and you never want to go into the game that way.”

“We didn’t know how serious the injury was to (Zach) Mettenberger at first,” Singletary said. “(Brandon) Silvers came in and made plays. I thought he came in and gave us a boost. It’s a tough situation, but it’s football.”

Silvers connected with wide receiver Reece Horn early and often and kept the chains moving. Horn became the first 100-yard receiver in Memphis Express history with eight catches for 129 yards.

Horn has consistently been the best receiver all season for the Express and Saturday solidified his case.

“It’s a great feeling,” wide receiver Reece Horn said about his performance. “I just want to run great routes and put the team in position to win. It feels great to do that, but I’m a team player and it sucks to lose. We have to figure this out.”

The Express defense didn’t play their best game of the season but held the Stallions offense to only three points in the second half and gave the offense the chance to win the game.

The offense only totaled 239 total yards and went 2-for-15 on third down.

In the end, the offense couldn’t overcome the injury of their starting quarterback and couldn’t put together consistent drives.

“It’s tough losing a guy like that,” Horn said about losing Mettenberger to injury. “He puts so much time and work into this game and for him to go down like that as a receiver is sad to see. I was one of the first guys to go over there and pat hi on the back.”

 

– aaf.com –

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