Northern Kentucky Torches Top-Scoring Defense, Clinches Home Field
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY - Jared Lorenzen accounted for eight touchdowns as Northern Kentucky torched the league's top scoring defense and clinched the top seed in the Ultimate Indoor Football League playoffs with the 54-40 victory over Eastern Kentucky Saturday at the Bank of Kentucky Center.
"The guys came out and played hard tonight," said head coach Rodney Swanigan. "Eastern Kentucky played hard. I'm happy to get Northern Kentucky its first home playoff game."
A River Monsters win combined with Saginaw's 58-20 loss to Johnstown secured the league's best regular season record and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The playoffs are slated to begin Saturday, June 4. The fourth and final seed will come down to the final week as Huntington holds a one-game lead over Johnstown, and can secure the spot with a victory or a Generals loss.
After trading scores in the first quarter, NKY took control of the game in the second quarter. Lorenzen ran for a touchdown, and then threw for two as the River Monsters transformed a seven-point deficit into a 14-point lead.
"We made some good adjustments, the coaching staff made good adjustments," said Swanigan. "The offense was doing its thing and we talked about it at halftime, we had to calm the guys down. They were pretty fired up but we had to get them calmed down and let everyone know to follow the leader."
Aric Evans' 40-yard reception early in the third quarter brought the Drillers to within seven points and had the road team believing they could pull the upset.
However, Lorenzen sandwiched two scoring strikes around a Dustin Zink uno to bring any thoughts of an EKY comeback to a screaming halt.
In throwing his seven touchdowns, Lorenzen connected with five different receivers. The left-handed signal caller was 17-of-31 for 227 yards and one interception. Receiver Willie Idlette led the way with 80 yards on five receptions and two touchdowns. Maurice Douse added two touchdown catches, while Harry Lewis, Ricardo Lenhart and Kenneth Joshen each had one.
Jon D'Angelo, the league's leading tackler, was seemingly everywhere as he zeroes in on 100 tackles on the season. He recorded 11 takedowns, bringing his season total to 93. The linebacker added two pass break-ups and a fumble recovery in the victory.
Safety Tez Morris added four tackles with three pass break-ups, while Luke Scarborough, D'arrell Brown and Thomas McKenzie all had sacks.
Northern Kentucky (11-2) wraps up the regular season on 7:30 p.m. May 28 at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center to face the Drillers.
Ultimate Indoor Football League Stories from May 22, 2011
- Northern Kentucky Torches Top-Scoring Defense, Clinches Home Field - Northern Kentucky River Monsters
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