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Slaughter's IFL debut has everything but a win
By John Juettner | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 2/27/2010 11:58 PM | Updated: 2/27/2010 11:59 PM

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The first touchdown of the Chicago Slaughter's 2010 season was of the spectacular variety.

Running back Jarrett Payton launched a pass to De'Cody Fagg for a 34-yard score on the 50-yard field Saturday night at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

Chicago's first game in the Indoor Football League was spectacular as well, it just didn't deliver the result the Slaughter would have liked. The Slaughter lost 49-47 to Rochester when Raiders kicker Adam Lanctot connected from 35 yards as time expired.

After unveiling the team's 2009 championship banner and having a ceremonial first play that saw new owner and former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon hand off to Payton, the season began in front of a rowdy crowd of 6,944.

Fagg, the former Florida State star, was projected to be selected somewhere in the late rounds of the 2008 NFL draft. But on Feb. 24, 2008, while he was working out for teams at the NFL combine, he shredded his ACL while trying to make a catch along the sideline.

Many thought the injury was a career-ender, but Saturday night Fagg made his professional football debut, and the touchdown pass from Payton was his first catch.

"It was awesome," Fagg said. "Actually right before that play when I came out of the huddle I went to a fan and said, 'Watch this touchdown.' Because the whole game they had been keying on Jarrett."

Fagg, who finished with 7 catches for 139 yards and a pair of TDs, also nearly provided a winning close to the game. With 32 seconds left, he caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Donato to put the Slaughter up 47-46. The 2-point conversion pass attempt was incomplete.

Payton, who rushed for 34 yards and a touchdown, had some advice for Fagg.

"I told him, 'You can't do this forever.' I'm 29, I'm doing this until the wheels fall off," Payton said. "I told him, 'Go out and play like it's the first time you've ever gotten to play.' "