Pauni’s Game Winner Named af2 Catch of the Week

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Updated: February 3, 2014

Estero, FL- The arenafootball2 (af2) Florida Firecats announced today that receiver James Panui’s touchdown reception with 16.7 seconds left in regulation last Saturday night was named “The Big Game” Catch of the Week for week four. The play, which broke a 62-62 tie, was Panui’s fifth scoring reception of the game and proved to be the eventual game winner over Kentucky. Florida defeated their divisional rivals 68-62 at Germain Arena.

“The play didn’t end up that way it was called,” said Panui. “We had run the same play earlier; I told Wallace if the defender jumps the slant I’ll break it off. The defender jumped and Chris threw me a perfect pass.”

Panui got his first start in place of injured teammate Chris McKinney and responded with his biggest game in a Firecats uniform. Panui finished the night with 12 receptions for 131 yards and five TD’s. He also had six kick returns for 61 yards.

“If it wasn’t for Panui we probably don’t win that game. He really opened my eyes as to what kind of a playmaker he is. He went up and over the defender and made a great play,” Offensive Coordinator Clint Dolezel said. “You can bet that you’ll see a lot more of him on the field.”

Panui is in his second season with the Firecats. Last year he appeared in nine games for Florida snagging 34 receptions for 315 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged 22.96 yards per return last year for the team. Born in Germany, Pauni is one of two international players on the Firecats roster this year.

With a 2-2 record the Firecats sit in second place in the American Conference South Division, ahead of the Tennessee Valley Vipers and the Kentucky Horsemen.

The Firecats head out on the road this Saturday for a divisional tilt with the Tennessee Valley Vipers on April 25th. Kick off is scheduled for 8:30pm. Fans can listen to the game on Fox Sports 1200/1460am.