Knotted at 8-all, the Chargers went to the air again. This time it was a 30-yard TD strike to Malachi Smith, with Jaime Betancur reeling in his second two-point grab for a 16-8 Chargers’ lead. The air show continued as QB Drew Radil zipped a TD and two-point frozen rope to Mike Dopazo to once again deadlock the bout. Tied at 16-16, the Bengals’ defense caught a break when the Chargers’ QB stepped out of bounds in the end zone for a safety, giving the Bengals an 18-16 advantage.
The boost was short-lived as the Chargers’ James Johnson snared an interception at midcourt. After two plays, the Chargers cashed in as Janaaron Aquino latched onto a TD toss, followed by James Johnson’s two-point catch for a 24-18 lead. The seesaw duel continued with the Bengals regaining the lead at 26-24 on the heels of Mike Dopazo’s third TD reception and Anthony Minotto’s diving two-point catch. Down by two, the Chargers’ defense stepped up to cause a safety as Michael Tedesco, Jan Patrick Egan and James Johnson pounced on the Bengals’ ball-carrier.
With under two minutes remaining, the Chargers broke the 26-all tie with a coast-to-coast TD strike to Janaaron Aquino to take a 32-26 advantage. As the clock ticked down, the Bengals went for it all and it paid off. Anthony Minotto broke free on a goal-to-goal fly for a TD, followed by his two-point haul, making it 38-36 with just six seconds left to play. The Chargers had one last shot, but the Bengals’ Anthony Minotto continued his late-game heroics by out-leaping three receivers to seal the victory with an interception.