The Kentucky Horsemen clinched a playoff berth Saturday night in Rupp Arena.
They did it in style, scoring 28 points in a row to beat the division-leading Tennessee Valley Vipers 42-40.
The Horsemen want more.
"Yeah, we're in the playoffs," said quarterback Justin Rascati, who threw three touchdown passes. "That's not our goal, to be in the playoffs. We want to make some noise and win a championship."
Never miss a local story.
With their fourth win in a row and sixth in seven games, the Horsemen (9-5) also remained alive to catch Tennessee Valley (10-4) in the race for first place in the South Division of arenafootball2.
The Horsemen play their final home game next Saturday, July 18, against Peoria. Then comes the regular-season finale, July 25, at Florida.
"A huge win," Coach Mike Harmon said. "The guys played with great effort, great heart."
The Vipers, defending Arena Cup champions, already had clinched a playoff spot.
Kentucky's quarterback tandem of Rascati and Jared Lorenzen directed just enough offense to beat the league's No. 2-rated scoring defense. Lorenzen notched his 20th rushing TD of the season and passed for two scores.
The last of the Horsemen TDs — a 12-yard pass from Lorenzen to Harry Lewis on third-and-eight — gave Kentucky a 42-34 lead with 50.6 seconds left.
"The corner shot down (to blitz) and left Harry wide open," Lorenzen said.
"We were kind of hoping they would (pass) because we had no timeouts left," Vipers Coach Dean Cokinos said. "If they score, that's good for us because it gave us a chance to go down and score and go for two."
Travis Blanchard nearly returned the kickoff for a score, shoved out at the 2.
Kevin Eakin's fourth TD pass of the game, a 1-yarder to Larry Shipp, made it 42-40 with 34 seconds left.
But Aaron Mason, called for interference one play earlier, broke up Eakin's conversion pass to Jeremy Grier.
"As a DB, it's going to happen," Mason said. "You're going to get in adverse situations. You've got to have a short memory ... and put it behind you."
The Vipers whipped the Horsemen 41-13 on June 6, Kentucky setting a franchise low for points scored.
Trailing 21-7 early in the second quarter, the Horsemen turned things around by outscoring the Vipers 21-0 the rest of the half, and 7-0 in the third quarter.
Lonnell Dewalt, who set a franchise season record for touchdown receptions with his 31st, a 4-yarder from Jared Lorenzen, started the spree with a 6-yard pass from Rascatti.
Tennessee Valley then drove to the Horsemen 4-yard line.
Eakin couldn't find a receiver, tried to tuck the ball, but instead fumbled. Kentucky's Adebiyi Ojutiku recovered and rambled 34 yards to the Viper 12.
"At first I though it was an incomplete pass so I'm thinking 'OK, just dive on the ball,'" said Ojutiku, from The Citadel and playing his first game since leaving the Florida Firecats. "My teammates lifted me up and I tried to take it as far as I could."
That led to Lorenzen's 1-yard sneak for the tying TD with 1:10 left.
John Cooper recovered an onsides kick after the ball deflected off a Viper, and that led to a 28-yard scoring pass from Rascati to Lewis at :17.
The third-quarter TD was another 28-yarder, Rascati to Quentin McCord.
The Vipers came back with Blanchard's second rushing TD of the night and Grier's third TD grab.
But Nick Hayes, perfect on his first four PAT kicks, hit the upright to leave Kentucky with a 35-34 lead.