MUSKEGON — Saturday night at Mercy Health Arena, the West Michigan Ironmen and Charlotte Thunder gave arena football fans the game many were hoping to see last season.
The host Ironmen pulled out a 55-51 thriller over the Thunder before a strong, lively crowed in the Arena Professional Football League 2022 season opener for both squads. West Michigan and Charlotte tried to schedule each other last year in a makeshift championship game for the American Arena League but it never materialized.
Veteran quarterback Alex Carder hit newcomer Sterling Alexander with four touchdown passes to spark the Ironmen, who had to make a game-saving tackle on the final play of the back-and-forth contest.
West Michigan’s Alje Buiter tackled Charlotte’s Daniel Bender at the Ironmen 3 to preserve the victory.
Watch the entire replay of the game in the video at the top of this story, produced by CatchMark and carried on the CatchMark SportsNet YouTube channel. Listen as the colorful broadcasting team of Eric Zane and Mike Taylor call the action.
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Here are highlights and reaction from the game, followed by dozens of photos.
Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark
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