By Dan Canavan
LAS VEGAS – Last week, the Colonials traveled to Las Vegas for another heartbreaking loss, which extended Hartford’s record to 1-4. Although the Colonials struggled offensively for most of the game, Quarterback Josh McCown registered a late touchdown to force overtime with 01:04 remaining in regulation. But in overtime, Locos Kicker Steve Hauschka posted a 53-yard field goal with 17 seconds left to secure a 24-21 victory before 8,451 fans at Sam Boyd Stadium. It was the longest game in the short history of the UFL.
After the game, Commissioner Michael Huyghue said: “We remain committed to Las Vegas as a UFL city.” Huyghue continued, “of course we would like to have more people in the stands, but this is a building process. Today’s crowd of 8,451 is still a good showing in a market where there are so many alternatives on a Saturday afternoon.”
And Commissioner Huyghue is right. The Locos, who are clearly not marketing to the cash-heavy casino tourists, remain a work in progress. The Las Vegas UFL product was nothing like the fan experience at Rentschler Field, which is surprising for the entertainment capital of the world. And just getting to the game proved difficult. Sam Boyd Stadium is located in Whitney, Nevada, an unincorporated township just outside the city in the shadows of the Frenchman Mountains. Only an inflatable locomotive end zone prop stood between a professional football game and Nevada desert sand dunes. The Locos were not providing any shuttle service from the Las Vegas Strip, and our cab driver had not even heard of the UFL or Sam Boyd Stadium. And after stepping out of our cab, we quickly realized that there is no regular taxi service in Whitney, Nevada. So, despite the entertaining overtime play, the longest game in UFL history ultimately gave way to a long and memorable expedition back to the Strip.
While we were hiking back into town, the Colonials traveled to Sacramento, where they are scheduled to take on the Mountain Lions on Saturday night. Colonial fans can catch the broadcast in the Hartford area on the VERSUS network at 11 p.m. The game can also be heard on ESPN Radio 1410/WPOP-AM with Jason Page handling play-by-play and Rob Lunn providing analysis.