The Amarillo Venom started the 2018 season on a strong performance with a convincing 62-42 win over the Dallas Marshals in front of an estimated home opening crowd of 2,700 fans on Saturday night at the Amarillo Cal Farley Coliseum Civic Center Complex.

The Venom (1-0) struck quick, scoring on their opening possession when veteran quarterback Nate Davis found his go-to target Raymond Johnson on an 18-yard touchdown giving Amarillo a 7-0 advantage. It’s a lead the Venom took with 12:46 left in the first quarter, and never relinquished.

Davis’ night was far from done. The Ball State and former NFL QB, accounted for eight of the nine touchdowns in the win.

Four of his TDs came by calling his own number. Davis scored on runs of eight, four, three and one-yard.

Davis then spread the wealth to four different receivers through the air.

One of those four touchdown tosses went to second-year receiver Xavier Amey, who finished with two catches for a game-high 42 yards.

“Our two outside (receivers) are new,” said Amey, who played his college football at West Texas A&M. “We just need Nate to get us all familiar and comfortable with our speed. We got some things to clean up, but I feel like our offensive line, quarterback, and play calling was great.”

On the other side of the ball, the Venom held the Marshals to just 65 total net yards and forced two interceptions. One of those interceptions was an ESPN top 10 worthy one-handed snag by Cashman Thomas.

Thomas also had a 49-yard kick return in the fourth quarter.

The game was a reunion of sorts for Thomas. Thomas played at WT in 2007-2008.

The 29-year old also played his played for a first stint for the Venon during the 2012-2013 season's.

“It’s actually exciting,” Thomas said. “I still got fans at WT. Coach (Don) Carthel is like a big supporter for me, he’s the one who brought me out here.”

Venom seventh-year coach Julian Reese was eager to get his team back on the field after three weeks of training camp.

For the first game, Reese was happy with his team’s play, but expects improvements.

“For the first outing it was good,” Reese said. “We got the victory which is all that matters, Obviously we got to clean some things up here and there. But overall, it’s a good win with a young core of good guys.”

Coach Reese discussed that one of the thing that needs a little work was his lineman on the offensive and defensive side.

“Just little tweaks up front,” Reese explained. “Just footwork up front on both offense and defense.”

One of the new league rules this season in Champions Indoor Football is the use of the challenge flag. Reese didn’t hesitate to use it Saturday night, even cracking a joke on himself about the use of the flag.

“I got to put a weight in my challenge flag because it didn’t go anywhere when I threw it,” Reese said. “But I’m one for one when using it.”

 

Amarillo 62, Dallas 42

Dallas:9;3;16;14 — 42

Amarillo:14;14;14;20 — 62

FIRST QUARTER

­A—Raymond Johnson 18 pass from Nate Davis (Hollabaugh kick) 12:46

D—2 run Dondre Lewis-Freeman (kick failed) 8:44

A—Davis 4 run (Hollabaugh kick) 7:03

D—Dunavant 20 FG 1:25

SECOND QUARTER

A—Xavier Amey 25 pass from Davis (Hollabaugh kick) 5:33

D—Dunavant 30 FG, 1:46

A—Davis 8 run (Hollabaugh kick) 0:24

THIRD QUARTER

D—Team Safety, 14:53

D—Kolton Browning 1 run (kick good) 12:41

A—Areleaus Lee Jr. 24 pass from Davis (conversion successful) 10:04

D—Dondre Lewis-Freeman 5 pass from Kolton Browning (Dunavant kick) 5:06

A—Davis 3 run (kick blocked) 0:07

FOURTH QUARTER

A—9 pass Renato Portugal from Nate Davis (Hollabaugh kick) 12:27

D—Clifton Rhodes 40 kick return (Dunavant kick) 12:14

A—Davis 1 run (Hollabaugh kick) 8:30

D—Browning 1 run (Dunavant kick) 4:30

A–Jer’yl Christian 1 run (kick failed) 4:02

Game stats weren’t reported to the Amarillo Globe-News

 

Champions Indoor Football standings

South Division

Team;Overall

Amarillo;1-0

Wichita;1-0

Dallas;1-2

Duke City;0-0

Texas;0-1

North Division

Team;Overall

Salina;1-1

Bismark;1-1

Kansas City;1-1

Omaha;1-1

Quad Cities;0-0

Sioux City;0-0

Friday’s games

Bismark at Quad Cities, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s games

Texas at Amarillo, 6 p.m.

Salina at Dallas, 7:05 p.m.

Sioux City at Omaha, 7:05 p.m.

Wichita at Duke City, 7:05 p.m.

 

 

Champions Indoor Football standings

South Division

Team;Overall

Amarillo;1-0

Wichita;1-0

Dallas;1-2

Duke City;0-0

Texas;0-1

North Division

Team;Overall

Salina;1-1

Bismark;1-1

Kansas City;1-1

Omaha;1-1

Quad Cities;0-0

Sioux City;0-0

Friday’s games

Bismark at Quad Cities, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s games

Texas at Amarillo, 6 p.m.

Salina at Dallas, 7:05 p.m.

Sioux City at Omaha, 7:05 p.m.

Wichita at Duke City, 7:05 p.m.