Rush defeat Power 45-14 behind stout defensive effort
Sunday April 14, 2013
The Rush (2-2) earned their second consecutive victory 45-14 over the Pittsburgh Power (0-3). Chicago set a franchise record by holding Pittsburgh scoreless in the first half.
The Rush went into the locker room with a 14-0 lead following their best defensive half of the season. Pittsburgh was held scoreless in a half for the first time in the franchise’s three-year history. On the first drive of the game, newly assigned quarterback Daniel Southwick was pressured by Pittsburgh linemen Neil Purvis and Dominic Pittman, who each accounted for a sack. However, Southwick was able to connect with Reggie Gray on a fourth down attempt to keep the drive alive. Southwick had consecutive passes blocked by Pittsburgh lineman Darius Powell, but completed the shaky drive with a 19 yard touchdown to Gray on third down.
Pittsburgh had their first shot on offense with just less than eight minutes remaining in the first quarter. Jorrick Calvin’s broken up pass kept the Power out of the end zone as first quarter time expired. Chicago led 7-0 after the first quarter, however the ensuing first play of the second quarter was a 4th down and goal at the 2 yard line. The Rush defense held up the Power and collected its first stop of the game.
Southwick’s second drive in a Rush uniform lasted nearly five minutes. He connected with Jared Jenkins for a 12 yard touchdown to put the Rush up 14-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Defensive lineman Brian McNally’s pressure forced Pittsburgh quarterback Jared Jefferson to throw an incomplete pass. Defensive pressure by the Rush forced a Jefferson fumble that was recovered by Chicago DL Derek Walker, the first fumble recovery of his career, just a couple plays later. Rush kicker Jose Martinez missed a field goal attempt on the Rush’s next possession and the Power went four and out on Jefferson’s four incomplete passes following the missed field goal.
Chicago marched to the Pittsburgh one yard line, but failed to score with one second remaining in the half. The Rush led 14-0 to end the half.
Pittsburgh quickly ended its scoring drought when FB Kirby Griffin punched in a three yard touchdown with 13 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Jefferson’s 33 yard scramble put the Power in position for the score.
The Rush brought in quarterback Carson Coffman due to the concussion-like symptoms Daniel Southwick experienced at halftime. Coffman responded by setting up a 4 yard J.J. Payne touchdown run to put the Rush up 21-7. DB Jorrick Calvin’s tight defense on fourth down forced Pittsburgh to turn the ball over on their next possession.
Pittsburgh’s second score came at the end of the third quarter when Mike Washington caught a nine yard strike over the middle of the field from Jefferson to close the gap to 24-14. Reggie Gray’s 40 yard touchdown to start the fourth quarter put an end to any momentum that had built up on the previous drive. Coffman connected with Rodney Wright with eight minutes remaining in the game, extending the lead to 38-14.
Payne bulldozed into the end zone with one minute remaining to cap off the 45-14 Rush victory. Gray caught 10 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns in the game. Jenkins equaled Gray’s 10 receptions and grabbed one touchdown to go along with 73 yards. Southwick and Coffman combined for 238 yards passing and no interceptions. They threw two touchdowns each.
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