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Defense shines for the Stars in loss

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The last-place New Mexico Stars fell to 1-3 after a 55-45 loss in a Lone Star Football League contest played in Abilene Saturday evening.

The highlight of the night on offense was by Seth Smith, who took a handoff 37 yards for a touchdown midway through the first quarter.

“All I could think about was getting to the end zone,” Smith said. “Arena football has a smaller field, so making people miss is much harder. It makes a long run like I had last night special because it is so much harder to do on a smaller field.”

Smith finished with eight rushes for 56 yards and two TDs.

DeMarcus James was the defensive stud, with several highlight reel tackles that resulted in Bombers wide receivers visiting fans’ seats around the arena walls. He capped his night off with a tackle along the wall that resulted in one Bombers player getting up wobbling and an Abilene fan being pushed back one full row in the seats.

“As a defensive back, my job is to shut down and punish wide receivers,” James said. “If I have to go over the wall to do it, then over the wall I will go.”

James had a game-high eight tackles.

Joshua Floyd finished the night with five catches for 90 yards and three TDs, rushed one time for seven yards and gained 14 yards on two kickoff returns; Roland Bruno added six catches for 38 yards; on defense Marcus Allen chipped in with 5.5 tackles of his own (four unassisted and three assisted).

“The good news about this loss is I didn’t see anything on the field that isn’t correctable,” said Stars head coach Chris Williams. “We have another bye this week for (quarterback) Brendan Crawford to learn our system, and I have no doubt we will be ready to face San Angelo at home on the 27th.”

The Stars opened their first season of play in the Lone Star Football League with a 60-42 win at San Angelo (1-2) on March 16. The Bandits won their first game last Saturday when they beat Amarillo, 71-50.

Next Saturday’s home game will be “Student Appreciation Night” at the Star Center; valid student ID gets 50 percent off.

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