BLOOMINGTON - Two interceptions that happened and one that didn't doomed the Bloomington Extreme Saturday.
Evansville bested Extreme quarterback Dusty Burk for two key second-half interceptions, and Bloomington let a potential interception turn into a BlueCats' touchdown as Evansville claimed a 58-46 United Indoor Football victory before a U.S. Cellular Coliseum crowd of 5,611.
"We didn't play very well on either side of the ball the second half," Extreme coach Ted Schmitz said. "They are a good team. But they shouldn't put up 58."
Bloomington slipped to 5-4 and saw its franchise-record five-game winning streak snapped. Eastern Division rival Evansville improved to 3-6.
Glenn Johnson had given the Extreme a 46-45 lead on a 23-yard touchdown reception from Burk with 2:30 remaining. Evansville forged back ahead on a 39-yard scoring pass from Brent Dearmon to Odest Shannon that went through the hands of Bloomington defender Terrill Mayberry.
"A lot of things didn't go the way we wanted them to," Mayberry said. "We had the effort, but we had too many missed assignments. We've got to get together as a defensive unit. There are a lot of things we need to fix."
A Burk pass tipped at the line of scrimmage was intercepted by Tarron Acuff with 34 seconds left. Evansville tacked on a 25-yard touchdown run by Kirkley in the final seconds.
Burk finished with franchise records of 24 completions and 261 yards passing and tied the record of six touchdown passes. He was, however, intercepted four times.
Bloomington got off to a fast start but was held to 15 second-half points.
"The worst thing is to get on a roll and get up 14-0. Then you think you're good. We talked about that, but they don't believe you," said Schmitz. "We thought we were pretty good. Then we stunk."
Reggie Gray paced the Extreme receivers with nine catches for 104 yards and two scores. Glenn Johnson had six receptions for 93 yards and three TDs.
Dearmon completed 17 of 23 passes for 235 yards and four touchdowns.
"That kid was strong," Schmitz said. "Anybody in the East can beat anybody."
The BlueCats scored 23 unanswered first-half points yet still trailed 31-29 at the half.
Bloomington put up 14 quick points on its first six plays from scrimmage.
Burk connected with Gray for a 33-yard touchdown strike to open the scoring. After a Dorian Pitts interception, Burk and Johnson collaborated on a 6-yard scoring pass.
Evansville pulled within 14-13 on Dearmon touchdown passes of 31 yards to Kirkley and 16 yards to Shannon. After Nate Meyer missed the extra point following Shannon's score, the BlueCats' David Reese tackled the Extreme's Shatone Powers in the end zone on the ensuing kickoff for a one-point rouge.
Deion Holts then blocked a long Peter Christofilakos field goal out of bounds for a safety that gave the BlueCats a 16-14 edge.
Kirkley's 11-yard TD run boosted the Evansville lead to 23-14 before Bloomington got back on track.
Johnson hauled in a 28-yard TD toss from Burk, and Walton grabbed a 10-yard scoring pass as the Extreme pulled ahead 28-23. Shannon's 10-yard scoring catch from Dearmon put Evansville temporarily back into the lead at 29-28, but Meyer's extra point sailed wide right.
A 25-yard Christofilakos field goal at the 25-second mark of the half pushed Bloomington in front 31-29. Meyer's 48-yard field goal attempt at the halftime horn missed left.
Evansville totaled 313 yards of total offense to 265 for the Extreme.
Flex, the Extreme's new mascot, was introduced to the U.S. Cellular Coliseum crowd before the game.
The gray rhino was created through a contest sponsored by the Pantagraph and the Extreme. Matthew Isaacs, 8, of Bloomington submitted the winning entry from a pool of over 200 submissions.