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Younghoe Koo legend grows as Atlanta wins, 23-20

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Four games was the duration of Younghoe Koo's tenure as a Chargers kicker in the NFL.

Koo's stay in the Alliance of American Football is now five games old and so far it's been perfect.

For the second consecutive week, the acrobatic kicker delivered game-winning histrionics as his 35-yard field goal with nine seconds on the clock delivered the Atlanta Legends their second straight victory when they downed the Memphis Express, 23-20, on Sunday afternoon at Georgia State Stadium.

"We were confident once we got the ball down deep in their territory we were going to be able to win the game," said Legends coach Kevin Coyle, who refers to his kicker, long snapper and holder as Koo and the Gang, in the postgame press conference.

The latest episode of the Younghoe Koo show saw him boot a trio of field goals - 38 yards, 25 and 35 - to improve to 11 for 11 on the season. The week prior, Koo kicked the Legends to their first win of the season when his 33-yard boot put Atlanta past Arizona. In his brief stay with the Chargers in 2017, Koo was only three for six on field goals.

Atlanta's now 2-3, while Memphis, which was also coming off its first win of the season, dropped to 1-4 despite a pair of touchdowns from former Rams running back Zac Stacy (13 carries for 32 yards).

Legends quarterback Aaron Murray had a stellar day as he threw for 306 yards and a touchdown on 27-of-43 passing. Running back Tarean Folston had 11 carries for 83 yards and a trip to pay dirt, while also hauling in Murray's scoring pass. Receiver Seantavius Jones had game-highs of five catches and 89 yards receiving.

Memphis quarterback Zach Mettenberger was nine of 17 for 181 yards and a score along with a rushing touchdown. Mettenberger, a former Titans starter, led the Express to its first win the previous week in his first start.

Koo's initial field goal of the afternoon gave Atlanta a 3-0 lead before Stacy's seven-yard TD run put Memphis ahead, 6-3. Following a Folson two-yard score and a subsequent Murray two-point conversion pass, Atlanta took back the lead at 11-6. Another Stacy scoring run, this one from two yards, grabbed a 12-11 Express lead, but Koo kicked a 25-yard field goal as the first half expired for a 14-12 advantage.

The second half was still a see-saw affair, but with less scoring.

Mettenberger's one-yard run and a score on the ensuing two-pointer put the Express back up, 20-14.

A Murray-to-Folson connection tied the game once again and set the tone for Koo's eventual dramatics.

"We're getting better every week," Coyle said. "It's a group of guys that's committed to each other.

"They have confidence in themselves, they know that we have talent on this team."

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