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Piranhas Devour the Fighting Pike

The Piranhas scored 34 points in the second quarter and went on to beat the Minnesota Fighting Pike, 49-23, in front of an announced crowd of 8,117 in an Arena Football League game Friday at the Target Center.

The Piranhas led, 7-3, at the end of the first quarter but James Johnson rushed for two touchdowns and Scooter Molander threw for two more in the second quarter. The final score came when Rodney Mazlon returned a kick 50 yards for a touchdown to give the Piranhas a 41-10 lead with eight seconds left in the half.

“I had three lanes I could have chosen,” Mazlon said. “I couldn’t have asked for better blocking.”

Molander completed 12 of 18 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns (six and 29 yards) before being replaced by Troy Kopp of Mission Viejo High. Kopp completed eight of 16 passes for 81 yards but was intercepted twice.

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“That was definitely the best first half we have played all year,” Molander said. “We took advantage of the big plays our defense made and strived off that. Our special teams played well and that can really set the tone for the game.”

Nathan Burchette, Anthony Bridges and Adrian Jarrell each caught five passes for the Piranhas, which had 19 first downs and limited Minnesota to eight. Bridges also had an interception.

The Piranhas improve to 6-0 and matched the team’s victory total of last season when it was the Las Vegas Sting. Minnesota is 1-5.

“We still have things we need to iron out,” Piranhas’ Coach Babe Parilli said, “but I can’t ask our guys to play any harder. This team continues to show character each and every week.”

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