|Date||June 12, 2005|
|Arena||Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada|
|Offensive Player of the Game||Willis Marshall, WR/DB, Colorado|
|Defensive Player of the Game||Ahmad Hawkins, DS, Colorado|
|Ironman of the Game||Willis Marshall, WR/DB, Colorado|
|Winning Coach||Mike Dailey|
|Losing Coach||Doug Plank|
|Announcers||Tom Hammond, Pat Haden, Lewis Johnson and Marty Snider|
ArenaBowl XIX was the 2005 championship game of the Arena Football League (AFL), and was played at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first-ever neutral-site title game in AFL history drew 10,822 fans to see the Colorado Crush defeat the Georgia Force 51–48 to claim the Foster ArenaBowl Trophy. ArenaBowl XIX is widely considered one of the greatest games ever played.
Game summary Edit
In a matchup of two first-time ArenaBowl participants (not counting the Force's appearances in ArenaBowls XIV and XV as the Nashville Kats, as those games are attributed to the new Kats franchise), the Crush claimed the Foster ArenaBowl Trophy in just their third year of existence.
The Crush got out to a 7-0 lead on the first of four touchdowns by Willis Marshall and added a Clay Rush field goal to extend the lead to 10-0 before the Force got on the scoreboard. The teams then traded touchdowns throughout the remainder of the first half, with the Crush leading 24-20 at the break. The first half was especially notable for being the first time in ArenaBowl history in which neither team threw a passing touchdown.
Crush quarterback John Dutton, the MVP of ArenaBowl XVI, and Force signal-caller Matt Nagy would soon change that, however, as the two combined for seven passing touchdowns in the second half. Rookie Derek Lee caught three touchdown passes in the half for Georgia, but it was not enough to offset the Colorado attack, as Dutton threw two touchdowns to Damian Harrell and another to Marshall.
With 18 seconds remaining, Nagy threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Chris Jackson, tying the game at 48. However, the Crush quickly moved into field goal range, and kicker Clay Rush converted his third field goal of the day, this one from 20 yards out as time expired, giving Colorado their first-ever ArenaBowl title with a 51-48 win.
Marshall was named both Offensive Player of the Game and Ironman of the Game, with six catches for 111 yards and one touchdown in addition to three rushing touchdowns. Ahmad Hawkins earned Defensive Player of the Game honors by registering the game's lone interception.
Colorado coach Mike Dailey earned his second championship ring while Georgia's first-year head coach Doug Plank, the league's 2005 Coach of the Year, came up short in his fourth consecutive ArenaBowl, having lost the previous three as the defensive coordinator for the Arizona Rattlers.
Scoring summary Edit
- COL - Marshall 1 run (Rush kick)
- COL - FG Rush 20
- GA - Nagy 1 run (Garner kick)
- COL - Marshall 4 run (Rush kick)
- GA - Aldridge 27 run (Garner kick failed)
- COL - Marshall 3 run (Rush kick)
- GA - Thomas 2 run (Garner kick)
- COL - Harrell 12 pass from Dutton (Rush kick)
- GA - Lee 2 pass from Nagy (Garner kick)
- COL - FG Rush 26
- GA - Lee 34 pass from Nagy (Garner kick)
- COL - Marshall 45 pass from Dutton (Rush kick)
- GA - Lee 27 pass from Nagy (Garner kick)
- COL - Harrell 30 pass from Dutton (Rush kick)
- GA - Jackson 20 pass from Nagy (Garner kick)
- COL - FG Rush 20
- On the Arena Football League's 20 Greatest Highlights Countdown (which was shown on arenafooball.com during the AFL's 20th season) this game is tied at #17.