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Memphis Showboats win first game of the season

It was the first win for the franchise since it dissipated in 1985.
Credit: NBC
Cole Kelley celebrates a touchdown to help the Memphis Showboats beat the Michigan Panthers, 29-10 on May 6th.

DETROIT — The Memphis Showboats picked up their first win of the season, Saturday, beating the Michigan Panthers in Detroit, 29-10. It was the franchise's first win since the summer of 1985.

Cole Kelley took over as starting quarterback and now has full control of the ship, so to speak. He threw for 151 yards on 15/26 passing and ran for two short touchdowns. 

Memphis' defense played their best game of the year. Coming into Sunday, they ranked last in most major categories, including points allowed per game (33), yards allowed per game (367.7) and takeaways (1). 

On Sunday, they forced four turnovers. Jeff McCulloch slammed the door of a comeback shut late in the fourth on a sack-fumble that he turned into a scoop and score. 

"We been searching for turnovers, trying to win the turnover battle," said head coach Todd Haley after the win. "The defense kind of came to life."

The Showboats started the season 0-3 and Week 3 stung the worst. After Memphis took the lead with around 2:00 left, the Houston Gamblers were able to score the go-ahead touchdown with 13 seconds remaining.

Saturday shook off the demons. Memphis never trailed in the game.

"It's a great team win, everybody's been working really hard. They haven't got down on themselves or on our team and I think it showed tonight so that was just a big win to get," Haley said.

The Showboats will try to stack another win next Sunday when they play the New Orleans Breakers in Birmingham, Alabama.

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