AMARILLO, Texas -- The Sioux City Bandits had only a short amount of time to attempt a comeback against Amarillo on Saturday after the Venom took a 70-69 lead with 13 seconds remaining.
The Bandits missed on a pass, setting up a 40-yard field goal attempt by Greg Conry. The kick was off the mark as time expired, giving the Venom the victory.
The Bandits fell to 1-2 overall and Amarillo improved to 2-2.
"We had a shot at it. We couldn't hold them off," Bandits coach Erv Strohbeen said. "The longer you let good teams hang around, the more chance you have to lose."
The Bandits had a 15-point lead early in the third quarter but Sioux City couldn't slow down Amarillo's offense in the second half as the Venom scored 46 points.
The Venom had 338 yards of total offense with all but 12 of those from quarterback Nate Davis. He even contributed four of the 12 rushing yards. Davis was 24-for-37 passing and while he did throw two interceptions and was sacked three times, he still passed for 326 yards and seven touchdowns.
Ricardo Barnett caught eight passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns, Jah'son Patterson caught five passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns and Raymond Johnson had three receptions and all three were for touchdowns as he had 52 yards.
Strohbeen said the team just had too many miscues.
"Overall, we had a couple of mental miscues, a lot of mental mistakes on both sides of the ball that led to the high score," Strohbeen said. "We just couldn't close them out. Offensively, we would get a lead and then miscues. Second half, had some mental miscues. Can't have them hang around."
The Bandits played with a new starting quarterback with Dillon Turner taking the snaps. He was efficient, completing 9-of-14 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns. He did throw an interception.
Sioux City also had a new lead back as Daryl Virgies had 17 of the team's 32 carries. He rushed for 90 yards and five touchdowns. Virgies had a 5.3 yards per carry average. Braden Meints rushed six times for 20 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 55 yards and a score.
"Daryl, he's an electric back and glad he is back. He played for us last year and did well. I think Braden stepped up with (wide receiver) Frederick Bruno out injured," Strohbeen said. "Dillon threw the ball well and gave us a mobile option. He had a pretty good game minus one interception that he would like to have back. Definitely good additions to the team."
Ben Pister had five tackles and three sacks in the loss and he recovered a fumble. Henry Livingston and Anttonio Brown each had an interception.
Amarillo went up 7-0 early on Barnett's 10-yard reception but the Bandits came back with 20 straight points, all on touchdown runs by Virgies of 17, 6 and 2 yards.
Johnson hauled in an 18-yard pass for a score for Venom but Sioux City answered again, this time with a four-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Maxwell and a 6-yard score by Virgies to go up 33-14. The Venom did score right before the half on Patterson's 22-yard reception and the Venom made a 25-yard field goal to make it 33-24.
Sioux City scored with 11:18 left in the third quarter on Dillon Turner's 1-yard run to go up 39-24. Johnson hauled in a 24-yard pass and Davis scored on a 2-yard run as the Venom cut it to 39-38 with 5:59 left in the third.
Meints scored on a 7-yard pass but the Venom got a 2-yard run by Davis. Meints then scored on a 2-yard run by Johnson answered with a 49-yard kickoff return. The Bandits did go into the fourth quarter with a 53-51 lead.
Anthony Eboreim caught a 26-yard touchdown for the Bandits and Virgies scored on a 1-yard run to go up 66-51 with 9:38 remaining.
The Venom controlled the rest of the game. Patterson hauled in a 7-yard touchdown and Barnett caught a 26-yard touchdown.
Conry made a 23-yard field goal with 50 seconds left to put the Bandits up 69-64, but Johnson hauled in a 10-yard pass with 13 seconds left and Conry's game-winner was off the mark as time experienced in the 70-69 loss