AMARILLO, Tx. - Snakes alive!
That could be the best way to describe tonight's second annual Lone Star Football League Championship Game that pits the Amarillo Venom against the Laredo Rattlesnakes.
The top-seeded Venom (10-3) will be seeking their second straight title when the ball is teed up here at 7:05 inside the Civic Center Coliseum. The Rattlesnakes (9-4) finished as the No. 2 seed.
"Everybody is excited," Amarillo quarterback and Bellaire native Nate Davis said during a telephone interview late Thursday night. "We're hungry to go back-to-back."
While the main emphasis on offense in the LSFL, Davis said the outcome could be determined by the defenses.
"Laredo's philosophy is to try and outscore you," Davis added. "If we can get a couple of stops on defense, we'll be alright."
The Venom, led by the strong-armed former San Francisco 49ers draft pick, finished second in the five-team league with a 61.2 scoring average. Laredo scores at a 56.1 clip, which was last in the league.
In its 70-42 semifinal blowout win over Abilene, Davis continued his fantastic season in the Lone Star State. He completed 23 of 38 passes for 217 yards and seven more touchdowns, raising his season total to 51. Five of those end zone-finders came in the first quarter when the Venom raced out to a 35-6 lead. He also tossed a pair of interceptions and now has six.
For the season, Davis, who missed two games while with San Antonio of the Arena Football League and sat out the regular-season finale against Laredo, has found his talented crew of receivers for 1,934 yards on 168 of 297.
"Teams are starting to play us a lot differently," Davis noted. "Last year I threw a bunch of touchdowns in a short period of time, and no one really knew who I was. This year teams know what we have, but we're clicking on all cylinders right now."
In addition to his eye-popping passing numbers, Davis is also the third leading rusher in the entire league. He has lugged the leather 19 times for 163 yards and half-a-dozen six-pointers. he has a long run of 46 yards.
"I'm not a runner by any means," Davis admitted. "I only use my legs when I have to. I've run more this season than I did last year."
When Davis looks for a target, he has three favorites in Raymond Johnson, Doug Williams and Alex Watson. Johnson has snagged a team-high 58 receptions for 693 yards and 17 TDs.
Williams is one catch behind Johnson, and has totaled 602 stripes while landing a team-best 18 six-pointers. Watson has 45 catches for 520 yards and nine TDs.
Laredo is led by former Virginia Tech standout Bryan Randall. He has completed 160 of 267 passes for 2,050 yards and 44 touchdowns compared to six picks in 11 games.
His prime targets are Damian Clarck with 56 catches for 859 yards and 22 TDs in just eight contests.
Jerome McGee has landed 41 balls for 494 stripes and seven scores.
The Rattlesnakes survived a scare from third-seeded New Mexico in their 61-56 semifinal victory.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org