Colorado Crush game notes
Colorado Crush (8-5) at New Orleans VooDoo (8-5)
Date: May 8, 2005
Kickoff: 11 a.m. MT
Site: New Orleans Arena (16,021), New Orleans, Louisiana
Referee: Dennis Lipski (8th year, Big 10)
Umpire: Rick Nelson (6th year, Big 10)
Head Linesman: Rod Pearson (2nd year, Mid-Eastern Athletic)
Line Judge: Art Lucky (8th year, Big 12)
Back Judge: Joe Duncan (8th year, Big 10)
Television: NBC (9News in Denver)
(Bob Papa play-by-play, Pat Haden analyst,
Lewis Johnson sidelines)
Radio: AM 630 KHOW
(Marc Stout play-by-play, David Diaz-Infante analyst)
Series Record: First regular season meeting (Colorado leads 1-0 in playoffs)
Last Meeting: Colorado won 47-44 in AFL Quarterfinals on 6/6/04 at New Orleans Arena
Coaches: Mike Dailey (83-57 in 9 seasons, 20-11 w/ Colorado)
Mike Neu (26-21 in 4 seasons, 19-11 w/ New Orleans)
ALL-TIME SERIES: This will be the Crushs second trip to New Orleans, but the teams first regular season meeting. The fifth-seeded Crush did upset the fourth-seeded VooDoo, 47-44, on June 6, 2004 in New Orleans in the 2004 AFL Quarterfinals to earn the franchises first playoff victory in the postseason debut for both teams. Ahmad Hawkins, playing DS at the time, earned AFL Defensive Player of the Week honors following his performance in which he returned an interception for a TD.
Date Opponent Time/Score TV
Sun, 1/30 @ Orlando L 36-39 0-1
Sat, 2/5 GRAND RAPIDS W 72-56 1-1
Sun, 2/13 CHICAGO L 48-51 1-2
Sat, 2/19 @ Arizona W 74-69 2-2
Sun, 2/27 LOS ANGELES W 58-40 3-2
Sat, 3/12 @ Nashville W 42-35 4-2
Sun, 3/20 COLUMBUS W 52-37 5-2
Fri, 3/25 @ Dallas W 66-58 6-2
Sun, 4/3 LAS VEGAS W 61-40 7-2
Sun, 4/10 PHILADELPHIA W 77-56 8-2
Sun, 4/17 @ Chicago L 51-75 8-3
Fri, 4/22 SAN JOSE L 41-89 8-4
Sat, 4/30 @ Grand Rapids L 52-58 8-5
Sun, 5/8 @ New Orleans 11:00 a.m. NBC
Fri, 5/13 NASHVILLE 7:00 p.m. CET
Sat, 5/21 @ New York 5:00 p.m. FSN
(All times Mountain)
American Conference - Central Division
Team W L T PCT. PF PA H A Conf. Div. Strk
Chicago 8 5 0 .615 660 631 5-2 3-3 6-1 4-0 W1
Colorado 8 5 0 .615 730 703 5-2 3-3 5-4 2-3 L3
Nashville 5 7 1 .423 544 585 2-4 3-3-1 3-4 1-2 W3
Gr. Rapids 2 11 0 .154 606 773 2-5 0-6 1-6 1-3 W1
THE STAKES: A Crush win would
Give the Crush their second win in as many meetings with the VooDoo and a win in the first regular season meeting.
Help them remain at least tied for the Central Division lead.
Snap their longest losing streak (three games) since 2003.
Improve their road record above .500 to 4-3 and snap a two-game road losing streak.
Improve their record to 4-1 vs. the National Conference.
Improve their record to 1-1 vs. the Southern Division.
Clinch a playoff berth, if combined with losses by Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
AFL ON NBC, (Sun, May 8):
11 a.m. (MT)
Colorado @ New Orleans
(airs in Denver and 83% of U.S.)
Tampa Bay @ Georgia
(airs in other 17% of U.S.)
Mike Dailey (83-57 in 9th year, 20-11 in 2nd w/ Colo.):
Dailey is now in his second season in Colorado and ninth as head coach in the AFL, after becoming the Crushs second head coach on June 26, 2003. Dailey joined the Crush following 13 seasons in the Albany/Indiana Firebirds organization, including the final seven as head coach.
In his first season in Colorado, Dailey helped guide the Crush to the largest turnaround in AFL history, inheriting a 2-14 team and leading them to an 11-5 record in 2004, tied for the best in the league. He also led the Crush to their first playoff appearance and first win, advancing to the AFL Semifinals before falling nine yards short of up-ending top-seeded Arizona and earning a trip to ArenaBowl XVIII.
One of the most successful and well-respected coaches in AFL history, Daileys teams have compiled an overall record of 83-57 record, a winning percentage of .593, and he ranks fifth on the AFLs all-time list for coaching wins (regular season and playoffs). His teams have made six postseason appearances and he has won three division titles.
In 1999, Dailey led the Albany Firebirds to an ArenaBowl title and was named the AFLs Coach of the Year.
All-Time Winningest AFL Coaches
Rk Coach Team Wins This Week
1. Tim Marcum* Tampa Bay 174 @ Georgia
2. Danny White 141
3. Mike Hohensee* Chicago 93 @ Arizona
4. Perry Moss 86
5. Mike Dailey* Crush 83 @ New Orleans
6. Darren Arbet* San Jose 81 vs. Los Angeles
7. Michael Trigg 80
8. John Gregory 73
* indicates active coach
Mike Neu (26-21 in 4th season, 19-11 w/ New Orleans):
Named the first coach of the VooDoo on June 17, 2003, Neu led the VooDoo to an 11-5 record in their inaugural season and a Southern Division title and was named AFL Coach of the Year.
Neu came to New Orleans after serving as head coach of the Carolina Cobras in 2002, after being promoted from offensive coordinator in 2001 prior to the team's first round playoff game.
Prior to Carolina, Neu served as head coach and director of football operations for the Augusta Stallions of af2 in 2000. In his only season, Neu led Augusta to a 14-4 record, the American Conference title and was named the league's Coach of the Year. Neu started his AFL coaching career with Nashville in 1998, serving as quarterbacks coach for the Kats. The next year he was promoted to offensive coordinator. Neu began his coaching career in 1994 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Ball State.
Neu's professional playing career started with a stint with the CFL's Calgary Stampeders in 1995 before joining the Orlando Predators in 1996 and moving on to the Nashville Kats in 1997.
Neu played four seasons at Ball State, where he was named the MAC Most Valuable Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in 1993. A four-year starter, Neu guided Ball State to the conference championship his final year and holds school career passing records in passing yardage, passing attempts, completions and touchdown passes.
TOP 5 RANKINGS: 2005 League Leaders entering Week 14
Player Rank Category Stat
John Dutton 3rd
5th Passing Touchdowns
4th Quarter QB Rating
Pass Completions 74
Rashad Floyd 1st
T-5th Solo Tackles
Pass Breakups 94
Damian Harrell 2nd
T-5th Receiving Touchdowns
First Downs 33
Delvin Hughley 3rd Pass Breakups 18
Willis Marshall 4th Kickoff Return Avg. 22.3
Saul Patu T-2nd Forced Fumbles 4
Clay Rush 1st
Field Goal Attempts
Field Goals Made 54
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
OS Damian Harrell: Set the AFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown catch (42) in win over Las Vegas on 4/3/05 ... Streak is currently at 46 games Has 41 career games with 100+ receiving yards (7 in 2005) Also has 31 career games with 3+ TDs (6 in 2005) Named to the All-Arena Second Team in 2004 Now in his seventh AFL season, has amassed 8,111 receiving yards on 580 catches, an average of 14.0 yards/catch, along with 180 receiving TDs (183 total) Has second-most catches and receiving yards in AFL since 2000 Has now reached 1,000 receiving yards in five straight seasons.
QB John Dutton: Now in his third year quarterbacking the Crush,
has completed 285-470 passes (60.6 %) for 74 TDs and 13 interceptions in 2005 Has 11 career 300+ yard passing games (2 in 2005) Has thrown for 14,047 yards, 275 touchdowns and 39 interceptions in career Completed 342-of-536 passes (63.8%) for 4,195 yards, 76 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions in 2004 MVP of ArenaBowl XVI while with San Jose.
WR/LB Kevin McKenzie: Has made five interceptions this season, returning three for TDs Set a new Crush single-game record and career high with 14 receptions at Orlando (1/30) Has three career 100+ yard receiving games (1 in 2005) Tied a career-high with 3 TDs vs. Gr. Rapids on 2/5 Named to the All-Ironman team in 2004 Crushs second leading receiver in 2004 with a career high 1,023 yards and 14 TDs on 85 catches Once scored six TDs in playoff game while with San Jose in 2003.
DS Rashad Floyd: Set an AFL record with 17.5 tackles against Los Angeles on 2/27/05 Named AFL Defensive Player of Week following Week 5 and Defensive Player of Month for February Has posted seven career games with 10+ tackles (4 in 2005) AFL co-leader in tackles with 99.5, on pace (123.2) to
break his own AFL single-season record of 123.0 tackles set in
2004 Named to All-Arena Second Team in 2004.
RECENT CRUSH TRANSACTIONS
4/29/05 Activated OL/DL Maurice Anderson, WR/LB Darcey Levy and FB/LB Chad Dukes from injured reserve Placed OL/DL Donny Klein (back) and FB/LB Rich Young (turf toe) on injured reserve Signed WR/DB Touré Carter from practice squad.
4/25/05 Waived OL/DL Tank Reese.
4/21/05 Placed OL/DL Hugh Hunter on injured reserve Signed OL/DL Derrick Pickens from practice squad.
4/16/05 Activated OL/DL Hugh Hunter from injured reserve Placed OL/DL Maurice Anderson (strained groin) on injured reserve.
4/9/05 Activated OL/DL Tank Reese from injured reserve.
4/7/05 Signed WR/DB Jabir Walker to practice squad.
4/6/05 Signed OL/DL Derrick Pickens to practice squad.
4/5/05 Waived WR/DB Jabir Walker and WR/DB Tim Dodge.
4/4/05 Waived OL/DL Derrick Pickens.
4/2/05 Activated OL/DLs Maurice Anderson and Derrick Pickens Placed OL/DL Hugh Hunter (strained left groin) on injured reserve.
4/1/05 Signed WR/DB Wendall Williams to the practice squad.
3/31/05 Waived WR/DB Herman Bell from practice squad
3/24/05 Activated WR/DB Jabir Walker from injured reserve Placed OL/DL Tank Reese (hamstring) on injured reserve.
3/11/05 Activated WR/DB Willis Marshall and OL/DL Tank Reese from injured reserve Placed WR/LB Darcey Levy (influenza) and WR/DB Jabir Walker (hamstring) on injured reserve.
3/9/05 Placed OL/DL Maurice Anderson on injured reserve (finger).
2/26/05 Placed WR/DB Willis Marshall on injured reserve (influenza) Activated WR/DB Jabir Walker and WR/LB Darcey Levy from injured reserve.
2/23/05 Signed WR/DB Touré Carter to practice squad.
2/21/05 Waived WR/DB Thal Woods from practice squad Activated WR/DB Touré Carter from injured reserve and placed him on waivers.
2/12/05 Placed OL/DL Tank Reese on injured reserve (influenza) and activated OL/DL Chris Watton.
2/8/05 Signed WR/DB Herman Bell to practice squad.
Player Pos. Injury Status
Hugh Hunter OL/DL Strained left groin on IR (4/21)
Donny Klein OL/DL Strained lower back on IR (4/29)
Rich Young FB/LB Turf toe on IR (4/29)
COLORADO CRUSH NEXT WEEK
Colorado return home with a short week as the expansion Nashville Kats pay their first visit to Denver on Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m.. The Central Division rivals met for the first time in Week 7 in Nashville, with the Crush exiting with a hard-fought 42-35 victory on March 12.
THE TIES THAT BIND
Although the Crush and VooDoo have never met in the regular season, there are several familiarities between the two teams:
VooDoo line coach Junior Ili played on the offensive and defensive line at Colorado from 1981-85. He also played in the AFL for the Denver Dynamite in 1992.
VooDoo special teams coordinator Ken Matous played quarterback at Western State in Gunnison, Colo., 1976-77.
VooDoo FB/LB Sunungura Rusununguko played for the Crush in 2004 and under Coach Dailey with Indiana from 2001-03. The Crush traded him to Las Vegas during 2005 training camp.
Crush WR/LB Andy McCullough was originally selected in the seventh round (204th overall) in the 1998 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints.
Crush DS Rashad Floyd and VooDoo OL/DL B.J. Cohen, K Brian Schmitz, and WR/LB Lamont Moore all played together with Orlando Predators.
Crush WR/LB Kevin McKenzie and VooDoo OS Aaron Bailey were teammates in San Jose in 2003.
Crush FB/LB Rich Young and OL/DL Tim Martin played together at Tulsa, along with former VooDoo QB John Fitzgerald.
The Crush set a new record for the biggest turnaround in AFL history in 2004, winning nine more games than the previous season. The 11-5 Crush finished 2-14 in their inaugural 2003 campaign. The Chicago Bruisers won +8 games in 1988, finishing 10-1-1, but played only 6 games the year before as they finished 2-4. The New Jersey Gladiators improved from 2-12 in 2001 to post a 9-5 mark in 2002 and the Detroit Fury turned a 1-13 season in 2002 into an 8-8 record in 2003. Here is how the three years of the Crush franchise compare:
Statistical Comparison 2003 2004 2005
Record 2-14 11-5 8-5
Points/Game 46.8 49.6 56.2
Points Allowed/Game 59.9 46.5 54.1
Turnover Margin -26 +14 +7
Fumbles Lost 22 10 5
Sacks 12 15 17
Sacks Allowed 14 4 4
Three weeks ago the Crush were riding high on a franchise-record seven-game win streak and with a league-leading 8-2 record. Now they have suffered three straight losses by an average of 26.0 PPG and are fighting for the playoffs. Here is how the first 10 games compare to the last three:
Statistical Comparison First 10 Games Last 3
Record 8-2 0-3
Points/Game 56.6 48.0
Points Allowed/Game 47.2 74.0
Turnover Margin +13 -6
Fumbles Lost 3 2
Interceptions Thrown 8 5
Interceptions 16 1
Sacks 15 2
Sacks Allowed 2 2
Defensive Stops 46 3
Returns for TDs 10 1
Yards/Play Allowed 6.4 9.5
Yards/Game Allowed 312.5 353.3
In the last three games, the Crush have given up 353.3 yards per game and have allowed 9.5 yards per play, almost a first down on each play in the last three weeks. On the other hand, Colorado gave up 312.5 yards per game and an average of 6.4 yards per play in the first 10 games. Only Grand Rapids and Austin have allowed more yards per play than the 7.0 by the Crush this season.
Statistical Comparison Plays Yards Average/Play
First 10 Games 487 3,125 6.4
Last 3 Games: 112 1,060 9.5
Game-by-Game Plays Yards Average/Play
@ Chicago 45 335 7.4
San Jose 27 380 14.1
@ Grand Rapids 40 345 8.6
As the Crush defense has allowed 9.5 yards per play in the last three games, the Crush have also given up some quick touchdowns. In the first 10 games of the season, opponents recorded only three one-play scoring drives. In the losses to Chicago, San Jose and Grand Rapids, the Crush have given up eight one-play touchdowns, including six such scores in the record-setting loss to San Jose.
MAN OF STEEL
A true AFL Ironman, Kyle Moore-Brown is in his 11th season in the league and has never missed a game. The game at New Orleans will mark his AFL record 171st consecutive start. The first 139 all came with the Firebirds organization before he signed with the Crush prior to the 2004 season. With Grand Rapids (and former Crush) OL/DL Otis Moore missing two games this season, Moore-Brown now stands alone in the record books with 155 straight regular season games. Each had appeared in every game since 1995, with Moore-Brown having the overall edge with more playoff appearances.
AFL Record for Consecutive Games
Player (current team) Reg. Season Playoffs Total
Kyle Moore-Brown (Colo.)* 155 15 170
Otis Moore (Gra.) 153 1 155
JUST FOR KICKS
Crush kicker Clay Rush is among the all-time great AFL kickers. A two-time AFL Kicker of the Year, Rush currently ranks fourth on the all-time scoring list by kickers and fifth for field goals made. In 2005, Rush leads the league in touchbacks and booted a league-long and Crush record 62-yard field goal (2/27 vs. LA).
AFL All-Time Leading Scorers (Kickers)
Rk Player Years Pres. Tm Points
1. Mike Black 1993-04 n/a 1,240
2. Steve Videtich 1996-pres. Columbus 1,226
3. Remy Hamilton 1998-pres. L.A. 1,037
4. Clay Rush 1999-pres. Colorado 894
5. Daron Alcorn 1997-04 n/a 771
6. Kenny Stucker 1994-99, 2003 n/a 754
AFL Most All-Time Field Goals Made
Rk Player Years Pres. Tm FGM
1. Mike Black 1993-04 n/a 175
2. Steve Videtich 1996-pres. Columbus 155
3. Remy Hamilton 1998-pres. L.A. 132
4. Kenny Stucker 1994-99, 2003 n/a 118
5. Clay Rush 1999-pres. Colorado 110
6. Daron Alcorn 1997-04 n/a 100
Rushs leg has been a big boost for the Crush this season. He leads the league in touchbacks with 54, 15 more than his closest competitor. Thus Crush opponents have been forced to go the length of the field to score more often than any other team, based on their average starting field position.
TOUCHBACKS ON KICKOFFS
Rank Player, Team TB
1) Rush, COL 54
2) Bironas, NYD 39
3) Dodson, Aus.-NAS 34
4) Hamilton, LAA 32
5) Garner, Geo. 31
KICKOFFS (Kicking Team)
Rank Team TotKO AdjKO TB OB I10 Avg.Start
1) Colorado 123 116 54 2 71 10.9
2) Austin 112 97 39 4 63 10.9
3) Chicago 111 104 30 7 62 11.0
4) Tampa Bay 116 97 26 6 55 11.4
5) Phila. 122 111 35 2 61 12.0
ONE FOR THE AGES
FB/LB Chad Dukes ranks fifth on the AFLs all-time rushing list with 1,116 yards. Dukes was the fourth player in AFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in his career. Dukes trails Arizonas Bo Kelly by 128 yards for 4th place.
AFL Career Rushing Yards
Player Team 2005 Career
Les Barley 1,382
Andre Bowden 1,241
Bob McMillen CHI 154 1,304
Bo Kelly ARI 43 1,244
Chad Dukes COL 5 1,116
After setting an AFL record with 123.0 tackles in 2004, Rashad Floyd has registered a co-league-leading 99.5 tackles in the first 13 games, setting him on another record-breaking pace This despite missing almost the entire game vs. Columbus on 3/20 and being inactive in the game at Grand Rapids on 4/30 Floyd set an AFL record with 17.5 tackles vs. Los Angeles on 2/27, besting the previous record of 17.0 set by L.A.s Kevin Cobb at Houston on 6/23/00 Floyd finished 30.0 tackles ahead of second place in 2004 - Indianas Anthony Derricks (93.0).
AFL Record - Most Tackle in a Season
Player Team Year Total
Rashad Floyd Colorado 2005 123.2*
Rashad Floyd Colorado 2004 123.0
Cornelius Coe Indiana 2001 121.5
Damon Mason Orlando 2000 108.0
Damon Mason Orlando 1999 103.0
Damon Mason Orlando 2001 101.0
* Based on current pace (99.5 tackles through 13 games 7.7/game)
After 2004 saw a brand new coaching staff and only five returning
players on the opening day roster from 2003, this years Crush
team strongly resembles the 2004 squad. In fact, the team lost no
players to free agency, and features 16 of 20 players on the active
roster from 2004. Another three returnees are currently on the
injured list. Ahmad Hawkins is the only player to appear in every
Crush game in franchise history.
Third Year Crush Players
John Dutton Saul Patu Ahmad Hawkins
Damian Harrell Bryant Shaw
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
After finishing their inaugural season 0-8 at home, the Crush are now 12-3 under Mike Dailey at the Pepsi Center. Two of the three losses consist of an overtime field goal by Indianas kicker
Clay Rush (now with Colorado) last season, and a 51-48 Chicago win this season on a field goal with 3 seconds remaining.
After allowing 14 sacks in 2003 (12 on Dutton), the Crush pass protection has been stellar under Coach Dailey. The team allowed just four sacks in 2004, and none after Week 6 at San Jose (3/14). The Crush did not allow a sack in their final 446 offensive plays of the 2004 regular season (10+ games). They have allowed just four sacks in 2005, including a first quarter unforced fumble by QB John Dutton that the Crush recovered on the opening play vs. Los Angeles on 2/27/05. After holding nine opponents this season sackless, the Crush have now allowed just those four sacks in their last 22 games (total of 1,005 plays).
Fewest Sacks Allowed (2005)
Team Games Sacks Attempts Sack/Play
Las Vegas 13 4 492 0.81
Colorado 13 4 484 0.82
Austin 14 5 542 0.91
New Orleans 13 7 588 1.18
Chicago 13 7 442 1.56
The Crush lost four players to the NFL, including two key members of the 2004 team. OL/DL Aaron Johnson finished the 2004 NFL season on the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad while WR/DB Robert Redd signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Two rookies also signed with NFL teams, af2 Ironman of the Year Tim Dodge signed with the Carolina Panthers and OL/DL Delbert Cowsette signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dodge has since been released by the Panthers and the Crush.
FLEW THE COOP
With Coach Daileys move to the Crush came a flock of former Albany and Indiana Firebirds migrated west to Denver. The 2004 offseason only bolstered those totals with the addition of Andy McCullough, Delvin Hughley and Clay Rush, although Rush was the only one to play under Dailey (2003).
Former Firebirds (years with Firebirds)
Jose Davis (2003) Mike Dailey (1992-2003)
Chad Dukes (1996-98) Ernesto Purnsley (1997-98, 2000-03)
Delvin Hughley (2004)* Brian Partlow (2000-03)
Hugh Hunter (2002-03)
Andy McCullough (2004)*
Kyle Moore-Brown (1995-03)
Clay Rush (2003-04)
Rich Young (2002-03)
Aaron Johnson (2001-03) is also a former Firebird who played for the Crush in 2004 and is currently on exempt NFL list (Kansas City Chiefs).
Current Crush OL/DL Derrick Pickens also attended training camp with the Firebrids before signing to playing in the CFL.
* Hughley and McCullough never played under Dailey with the Firebirds. Hughley was traded to Indiana as part of the deal that brought Dailey to Colorado.
CRADLE OF COACHES
Strangely enough, little Montgomery Junior College in Rockville, Md., is the cradle of AFL coaches. Crush head coach Mike Dailey (offensive coordinator) and Chicago head coach Mike Hohensee (quarterbacks coach) were assistants on the same staff there. Los Angeles head coach Ed Hodgkiss also coached there. Seven future NFL players played at Montgomery as well as Los Angeles quarterback John Kaleo, who finished his collegiate career at Maryland after leading Montgomery to the national championship game. Sadly, despite all of these successes and an all-time record of 315-154-13, Montgomery JC discontinued the football program in 2002.
Former Montgomery Junior College Coaches
Mike Dailey (current Colorado head coach) Ernesto Purnsley (1997-98, 2000-03)
Mike Hohensee (current Chicago head coach)
Ed Hodgkiss (current Los Angeles head coach)
Brent Winter (current Los Angeles assistant head coach)
Earl Hoffman (former Albany Firebirds quarterback coach)
While the Crush returns the core of last years playoff team, they did add a few key parts in the offseason. Two-time kicker of the year Clay Rush signed as free agent to bolster kickoffs and add range on field goals. Former All-Rookie team member and 1,200-yard receiver WR/LB Andy McCullough and defensive specialist Delvin Hughley were added through the Dispersal Draft. Hughley was a member of the inaugural Crush team in 2003, leading the team in tackles before being included in a trade with Indiana that brought Coach Dailey to Denver. All three players were previously with Indiana.
FREQUENT FLYER MILES
The Crush are co-owned by the Denver Broncos, and they travel like them too. The Crush will travel 16,896 miles on trips this season, an average of 1,056 miles each way. The Broncos traveled 6,988 miles on regular-season trips this past season, an average of 1,061.8 miles each way. The difference between the two teams? A mere 5.8 miles.
SPREAD THE WEALTH
After completing 21 of his 23 completions to just Kevin McKenzie (14) and Damian Harrell (7) in the season opener at Orlando (1/30), John Dutton has gotten almost everyone on the team involved in the last 12 games. On the season, 11 different players have receptions and 10 different players have caught touchdown passes, including Dustin Barno whose first career reception went for a TD in the win over Las Vegas on 4/3 and Touré Carter who caught a TD in his first game this season at Grand Rapids on 4/30/05.
The Crush allowed a franchise record in total offense in
consecutive weeks earlier this season, surrendering 374 total yards
to Grand Rapids, including an AFL record 100 yards rushing by
Michael Bishop and 122 Rampage rushing yards (second largest
total in AFL history) in a Crush win on 2/5. They followed that
up by allowing a franchise record 409 passing yards to Chicagos
Raymond Philyaw and a total of 412 yards to the Rush offense. They also surrendered 75 points and a league-high 89 points in back-to-back weeks @ Chicago and vs. San Jose.
The Crush had allowed just five opposing quarterbacks to
throw for 300+ yards in the teams first two regular seasons. It has
happened seven times already this season - Raymond Philyaw twice (409), Chi., 2/13 and (321) @ Chi. on 4/17, Joe Germaine (319) @ Arizona 2/19, Ryan Vena (308) of Columbus 3/20, Clint Dolezel (321) of Vegas 4/3, Mark Grieb of San Jose (331) 4/22 and Michael Bishop (310) at Gra. Rapids on 4/30.
The Crush have been involved in several of the biggest games in the league this year:
AFL SEASON HIGHS
Most points (team) 89 (89-41) by San Jose, San Jose @ Colorado, 4/22
Most points (individual) 42 by Rashied Davis (7 TD), San Jose @ Colorado, 4/22
Most Passing Yards 409 (30-45) by Raymond Philyaw, Chicago @ Colorado, 2/13
Longest Field Goal 62 yds. by Clay Rush, vs. Los Angeles, 2/27
Most points by road team, game 89, San Jose @ Colorado, 4/22 (87, Albany, 6/21/96)
Most Rushing Yards 100 (6 rush) by Michael Bishop, Grand Rapids @ Colorado, 2/5 (AFL RECORD)
Highest Completion % - 15-15 (100%) by Mark Grieb, San Jose @ Colorado 4/22 (AFL RECORD)
Most Tackles 17.5 by Rashad Floyd vs.Los Angeles, 2/27 (AFL RECORD)
LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD
The Crush are scoring 56.2 points per game, second in the league, and have topped the 70-point mark three times, setting a new franchise highs for points each time 72 vs. Grand Rapids on 2/5, then 74 at Arizona on 2/19, then 77 vs. Philadelphia on 4/10. In the Arizona game, the team exploded for a team-record 33 points in the second quarter (most ever in a quarter) and 50 points in the first half (most in any half).
Scoring Offense (2005)
Team G Pts Avg.
San Jose 13 805 61.9
Colorado 13 730 56.2
Dallas 13 717 55.2
New York 13 686 52.8
Philadelphia 14 737 52.6
AFL LEADERS: TAKE-AWAYS/GIVE-AWAYS
The Crush intercepted at least one pass in each of their first 11 games this season and rank third in the league in turnover margin, trailing only Los Angeles and Nashville.
TAKE-AWAYS GIVE-AWAYS Net
Rank Team Int Fum Total Int Fum Total Diff
1) Los Angeles 19 13 32 8 6 14 = +18
2) Nashville 16 9 25 13 4 17 = +8
3) Colorado 17 8 25 13 5 18 = +7
4) Dallas 15 15 30 11 13 24 = +6
5) New York 21 3 24 11 8 19 = +5
After totaling just 15 sacks in 16 games in 2004, the Crush pass rush has already surpassed that amount with three games to play. In addition, the D has also forced 25 turnovers (17 interceptions, 8 fumbles). Rich Young has led the way with 5.0 sacks, including a safety in Orlando. He also pressured Joe Hamilton into a fumble for a Tank Reese touchdown at Orlando (1/30) and forced a fumble that Andy McCullough returned for a touchdown at Arizona (2/19).
Most Sacks Made (2005)
Team Games Sacks Attempts Sack/Play
1) Nashville 13 19 449 4.06
2) Orlando 14 18 531 3.28
3t) Los Angeles 13 17 467 3.51
Colorado 13 17 487 3.37
5t) New Orleans 13 16 449 3.44
Philadelphia 14 16 520 2.99
STOPPED IN THEIR TRACKS
The Crush are now 8-5 and the defense has made big plays at big times. The Crush have held their opponent scoreless on 49 drives, including 26 times in the second half of a game (there were three additional stops that came in the second half where the opponent was running out the clock). The Crush are tied for third in sacks (17) and have also totaled 17 interceptions, making at least one pick in 11 of 13 games. Below is a detailed look at each stop this season and what the Crush did with the ball following that defensive stop:
Game Qtr Situation Score at time of stop Crush Result
@ Orl 1 Interception 0-0 Touchdown
@ Orl 2 End of half Orl 26-17 ------------
@ Orl 3 Fumble Orl 32-24 Touchdown
@ Orl 4 Missed FG Orl 39-31 Field Goal
@ Orl 4 Missed FG Orl 39-34 Missed FG
@ Orl 4 Safety Orl 39-36 Missed FG
@ Orl 4 End of Game Orl 39-36 -----------
GRR 1 Interception 0-0 Touchdown
GRR 1 Missed FG Col 14-6 Touchdown
GRR 2 End of Half Col 35-23 ----------
GRR 3 Downs Col 48-26 Touchdown
CHI 3 Downs 27-27 Touchdown
CHI 3 Interception Col 41-34 Missed FG
@ Ari 1 Downs Col 17-14 Touchdown
@ Ari 2 Fumble Col 24-14 Touchdown
@ Ari 2 Fumble Col 37-21 Touchdown
@ Ari 2 Fumble Col 50-35 End of Half
@ Ari 4 Interception Col 64-62 Touchdown
@ Ari 4 End of Game Col 74-69 -----------
LOS 1 Interception Col 7-0 Touchdown
LOS 3 Downs Col 44-34 Touchdown
LOS 4 Downs Col 51-34 Touchdown
@ Nas 1 Missed FG 7-7 Touchdown
@ Nas 3 Interception Col 34-28 Downs
@ Nas 4 Missed FG Col 34-28 Touchdown
CMB 1 Interception Col 7-6 Touchdown
CMB 3 Missed FG Col 31-29 Touchdown
CMB 4 Interception Col 38-29 Touchdown
CMB 4 Interception Col 45-29 Touchdown
CMB 4 End of Game Col 52-37 ----------
@ Dal 3 Downs Dal 37-34 Touchdown
@ Dal 3 Interception Col 40-37 Touchdown
@ Dal 4 Safety Col 61-58 Field Goal
@ Dal 4 End of Game Col 66-58 --------
¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬LVG 1 Fumble Lvg 7-0 Touchdown
LVG 1 Downs 7-7 Interception
LVG 2 Missed FG 7-7 Touchdown
LVG 2 Interception Col 14-7 Touchdown
LVG 2 Interception Col 21-7 Touchdown
LVG 4 Interception Col 61-40 End of Game
PHI 1 Interception 0-0 Touchdown
PHI 1 Missed FG Col 7-0 Touchdown
PHI 2 Missed FG Col 42-35 End of Half
PHI 3 Fumble Col 49-42 Touchdown
PHI 4 Downs Col 63-49 Missed FG
PHI 4 Fumble Col 70-56 Touchdown
PHI 4 Interception Col 77-56 End of Game
@ Chi 1 Downs Chi 14-0 Touchdown
@ Chi 2 Interception Chi 27-19 Touchdown
@ Chi 4 End of Game Chi 75-51 -----------
@ Gr. Rap. 4 Missed FG GRR 58-52 Interception
@ Gr. Rap 4 End of Game GRR 58-52 -----------
- italics indicate the team had a lead and possession at the end of the game and was simply running out the clock
A BROKEN RECORD
Damian Harrell has caught a TD pass in an AFL record 46 straight regular season games, including all 43 games as a member of the Crush That streak is also the longest active streak of consecutive games scoring a TD He broke the record for consecutive games with a receiving TD on 4/3 in the win over Las Vegas It is also third-longest streak of consecutive games with a TD Harrells streak began with the Toronto Phantoms vs. Carolina on 7/4/02.
AFL Consecutive Games with a TD Reception
Player (team) Stk began Stk ended # Games
Damian Harrell (Tor/Col) 2002 (Wk 12) --- 46
Eddie Brown (Albany) 1997 (Wk 3) 2000 (Wk 1) 41
Eddie Brown (Albany) 1994 (Wk 1) 1996 (Wk 14) 33
Chris Jackson (LA) 2000 (Wk 1) 2002 (Wk 7) 28
AFL Consecutive Games Scoring a Touchdown
Player (team) Stk began Stk ended # Games
Eddie Brown (Alb/Ind) 1997 (Wk 3) 2002 (Wk 3) 65
Chris Jackson (LA) 2000 (Wk 1) 2003 (Wk 14) 47
Damian Harrell (Tor/Col) 2002 (Wk 12) --- 46
Barry Wagner (Orlando) 1992 (Wk 10) 1996 (Wk 11) 43
Eddie Brown (Albany) 1994 (Wk 1) 1996 (Wk 14) 33
In comparison, the correlating NFL records are as follows:
NFL Consecutive Games with a TD Reception
Player (team) Team Year(s) # Games
Jerry Rice SF 49ers 1986-87 13
Buddy Dial Pitt. Steelers 1959-60 11
Elroy Crazy Legs Hirsch LA Rams 1950-51 11
Carl Pickens Cin. Bengals 1994-95 10
NFL Consecutive Games Scoring a Touchdown
Player (team) Team Year(s) # Games
Lenny Moore Balt. Colts 1963-65 18
O.J. Simpson Buff. Bills 1975 14
Jerry Rice SF 49ers 1986-87 13
George Rogers Wash. Redskins 1985-86 13
John Riggins Wash. Redskins 1982-83 13
DOMINATING THE DECADE:
Harrell also has the second-most receiving yards and catches in the AFL since 2000 Georgia OS Chris Jackson in first in both categories during that span.
AFL Receiving Leaders (2000-05)
Catches Receiving Yards
Player (pres. team) 2000-04 2005 Total
Chris Jackson (Geo.) 480 6,795 79 1,014 559 7,809
Damian Harrell (Colo.) 462 6,566 93 1,183 555 7,749
Greg Hopkins (LA) 466 5,633 64 680 530 6,313
Mike Horacek (NY) 399 5,248 70 945 469 6,193
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR (AND A HALF)?
Harrell has been especially dangerous since Coach Dailey took over the helm of the Crush. Since the start of the 2004 season, he is the second-leading scorer in the league. He is also among the leaders in that span in receiving yards, receptions and long scores.
Total Touchdowns (2004-05)
Player (pres. team) 2004 2005 TDs (Pts)
Marcus Nash (LV) 46 (300) 34 (204) 80 (504)
Damian Harrell (Colo.) 43 (258) 33 (198) 76 (456)
Chris Jackson (Geo.) 45 (272) 24 (148) 69 (420)
Siaha Burley (Ari.) 28 (168) 39 (236) 67 (404)
Aaron Bailey (NO) 34 (204) 30 (180) 64 (384)
Cory Fleming (Orl.) 35 (210) 26 (156) 61 (366)
Etu Molden (Chi.) 32 (198) 27 (162) 59 (360)
Most Receiving Yards (2004-05)
Player (pres. team) Rec. Yds TD Yd/Catch
Marcus Nash (LV) 260 3,253 78 12.5
Chris Jackson (Geo.) 204 2,817 64 13.3
Damian Harrell (Colo.) 207 2,898 76 14.0
Aaron Bailey (N.O.) 209 2,778 60 13.3
Siaha Burley (Ari.) 208 2,582 62 12.4
Cory Fleming (Orl.) 214 2,532 59 11.8
Jason Shelley (Dall.) 181 2,309 43 12.8
Etu Molden (Chi.) 179 2,248 45 12.6
Thabiti Davis (N.O.) 207 2,246 39 10.9
In the loss to Grand Rapids on 4/30, the Crush allowed Michael Bishop to throw for 310 yards and rush for 32 yards, while Anthony Hines had 105 receiving yards and Dialleo Burks had 100 receiving yards. This is the first time in franchise history the Crush allowed a 300-yard passer and 30-yard rusher in the same game. In addition, it is the first time in the regular season the team has allowed multiple 100-yard receivers, let alone a 300-yard passer and multiple 100-yard receivers. In last years AFL quarterfinals, New Orleans John Fitzgerald threw for 305 yards as both Aaron Bailey (140) and Lamont Moore (100) came down with at least 100 receiving yards.
The Crush have followed up a franchise record seven-game winning streak with their first three-game losing skid since Mike Dailey became head coach.
The Crush have allowed sacks in back-to-back games for the first time since Game 3-4 of the 2004 season.
The Crush have been outscored 63-23 in the first quarter of the last three games.
The 89 points allowed to San Jose are the third most in AFL history, the most ever by a road team, and the most ever allowed by the Crush. The previous record for points by a visiting team was 88 by Albany vs. Charlotte on 6/21/96. The 48-point margin of victory was also the largest in the AFL since that Albany win at Charlotte.
San Jose completed all 17 pass attempts, an AFL record for most attempts without an incompletion.
The Crush have topped 70+ points three times this season, setting a new franchise record each time. They scored 77 vs. Philadelphia on 4/10.
The Crush have 12 returns for touchdowns this season 5 interceptions, 4 fumbles, 2 kickoff returns, 1 net recovery.
The 42-35 Crush win at Nashville was the fifth-lowest scoring game in franchise history, falling five points shy of the 72 combined points by the Crush and Austin on 2/27/04. The Crush are now 4-1 in their five lowest scoring games (lost 39-36 at Orlando on 1/30/05).
The Crush were 3-4 on Sundays and 8-1 on all other days in 2004. They are 4-3 on Sundays and 4-2 on Fridays and Saturdays in 2005.
John Dutton reached the 14,000 career passing yard mark at Grand Rapids on 4/30 (14,047 yards).
Nearly half of John Duttons 13 interceptions have come in just two games. Dutton threw three apiece in the win
Andy McCullough reached the 3,000 career receiving yard mark versus San Jose on 4/22 (3,060 yards).
Damian Harrell extended his AFL record for consecutive games with a TD pass to 46. He broke the record earlier this season in the win over Las Vegas in 4/3/05. He broke the former record held by Albanys Eddie Brown (41) set 1997-2000.
The game at New Orleans will extend his AFL-record mark to 171 straight games for Kyle Moore-Brown every game in his 11-year career.
Damian Harrell reached the 1,000 receiving yard mark at Chicago on 4/17 (1,013 yards). This is the fifth straight season Harrell has reached 1,000 yards receiving.
John Dutton tied a career-high with 8 touchdown passes vs. Philadelphia, the third time in his career and second time this season he accomplished the feat. He also threw for 8 TDs earlier this season vs. Grand Rapids (2/5/05) and in an overtime loss vs. LA on 2/16/03.
Willis Marshall caught a career-high four TDs in Dallas on 3/25/05, all in the first half. He had caught three touchdown passes five times (last vs. Chicago, 5/30/04).
Rashad Floyd made 17.5 tackles, a new AFL record, on 2/27/05 against Los Angeles. The previous record of 17.0 tackles was set by Los Angeless Kevin Cobb on 6/23/00 vs. Houston.
Clay Rushs 62-yard field goal at the end of the first half against Los Angeles on 2/27/05 is the second longest FG in AFL history and set a new franchise record. The record (63 yards on 5/18/96) was set by San Joses Aaron Mills at Florida. Rush has kicked the longest two field goals in the AFL this season (also 55 @ Orlando 1/30).
RECORDS BROKEN OR TIED THIS SEASON
Most sacks, game 4 @ Orlando, 1/30 (3 @ Detroit, 5/23/04)
Most interceptions, game 3 vs. Columbus, 3/20 (2 eight times, last vs. Philadelphia, 5/1/04)
Most points scored, game 77 vs. Philadelphia, 4/10 (74 @ Arizona, 2/19/05)
Most points scored, half 50 @ Arizona, 2/19 (41, twice, last vs. Grand Rapids, 4/23/04)
Most points scored, first half 50 @ Arizona, 2/19 (37, twice, last vs. Philadelphia, 5/1/04)
Most points scored, quarter 33 @ Arizona, 2/19 (21 vs. Detroit, 3/4/04)
Most points scored, second quarter 33 @ Arizona, 2/19 (28 @ San Jose, 2/22/03)
Worst margin of defeat 48 vs. San Jose, 4/22 (40 @ San Jose, 2/22/03)
Consecutive games with a TD reception 42 games, Damian Harrell vs. Las Vegas, 4/3/05 (41, Eddie Brown, 1997-2002 w/ Albany)
Longest field goal made 62 yards, Clay Rush vs. Los Angeles, 2/27 (55, Clay Rush @ Orlando, 1/30/05)
Most field goals attempted, game 6, Clay Rush at Orlando, 1/30 (4, Kris Heppner vs. Georgia, 2/2/03)
Most receptions, game 14, Kevin McKenzie at Orlando, 1/30 (13 twice, last Damian Harrell @ Detroit, 5/23/04)
Most field goals made, game 4, Clay Rush at Arizona, 2/18 (2, five times, last Clay Rush at Orlando, 1/30)
Most tackles, game 17.5, Rashad Floyd vs. Los Angeles, 2/27 (12.0 Rashad Floyd vs. Indiana (OT), 4/3/04)
Consecutive games with a TD reception 42 games, Damian Harrell @ Dallas, 3/25/05 (41, Eddie Brown, 1997-2002 w/ Albany)
Most TD receptions, game 5, Damian Harrell vs. Los Angeles, 2/27 (fourth time, last by Damian Harrell vs. Grand Rapids, 4/23/04)
Most TDs rushing, game 2, Rich Young vs. Philadelphia, 4/10 (fourth time, last by Chad Dukes vs. Las Vegas, 4/10/04)
Most points, game 89, San Jose, 4/22 (80, @ San Jose, 2/22/03)
Most points, half 56, San Jose, 4/22 (47, @ Dallas, 3/7/03)
Most rushing yards, game 122, Grand Rapids, 2/5 (86, San Jose, 4/27/03)
Most total yards, game 412, Chicago, 2/13 (374, Grand Rapids, 2/5/05) prior to season was 370, Detroit, 3/4/04
Fewest points, half 7, Las Vegas, 4/3 (twice, last vs. Grand Rapids, 4/23/04)
Most passing yards, game 409, Raymond Philyaw, Chicago, 2/13 (375, Andy Kelly, Det., 3/4/04)
Most rushing yards, game 100, Michael Bishop, Grand Rapids, 2/5 (36 twice, last Chris Avery, Grand Rapids, 4/23/04)
Most receiving touchdowns, game 6, Rashied Davis, San Jose, 4/22 (5, Etu Molden, @ Chicago, 4/17)
Most touchdowns, game 7, Rashied Davis, San Jose, 4/22
Player Needs For Season Avg. Est. Games
Kevin McKenzie 72 receiving yards 2,500 in career 48.4 2
Clay Rush 8 points 900 in career 9.5 1
Willis Marshall 206 receiving yards 4,000 in career 51.9 4
Damian Harrell reached the 8,000 yards receiving yard mark @ Grand Rapids on 4/30.
John Dutton reached the 14,000 yard passing yard mark @ Grand Rapids on 4/30.
Willis Marshall reached the 3,000 career return yard mark vs. San Jose on 4/22.
Rich Young reached the 250 career yard rushing mark vs. San Jose on 4/22.
Ahmad Hawkins reached the 500 career receiving yard mark vs. San Jose on 4/22.
Andy McCullough reached the 3,000 career receiving yard mark vs. San Jose on 4/22.
Delvin Hughley made his 200th career tackle @ Chicago on 4/17
Kevin McKenzie made his 200th career reception vs. Las Vegas on 4/3.
John Dutton threw his 250th career TD pass vs. Las Vegas on 4/3.
John Dutton reached 12,500 yards passing @ Dallas on 3/25.
John Dutton completed his 1,000th pass @ Dallas on 3/25.
Clay Rush attempted his 200th FG vs. Los Angeles on 2/27.
Rashad Floyd recorded his 250th career tackle vs. Los Angeles on 2/27.
Damian Harrell caught his 150th career receiving touchdown at Orlando on 1/30.
John Dutton passed 11,000 career passing yards vs. Grand Rapids on 2/5.
Damian Harrell caught his 500th career pass vs. Grand Rapids on 2/5.
Kevin McKenzie reached 2,000 career receiving yards vs. Grand Rapids on 2/5.
Clay Rush made his 100th career field goal vs. Grand Rapids on 2/5.
Kevin McKenzie scored his 250th career point vs. Chicago on 2/13.
John Dutton attempted the 1,500 pass of his career at Arizona on 2/19.
Clay Rush scored the 800th point of his career and made the 500th extra-point of his career at Arizona on 2/19.
Willis Marshall caught the 50th touchdown of his career at Nashville on 3/12.
PLAYER OF GAME AWARDS
(selected by media)
Week Opp. Offensive Player Defensive Player Ironman of Game
1 @ Orlando Joe Hamilton (ORL) Damon Mason (ORL) Cory Fleming (ORL)
2 vs. Gr. Rapids John Dutton (COL) Rashad Floyd (COL) Kevin McKenzie (COL)
3 vs. Chicago Henry Douglas (CHI) Rashad Floyd (COL) Kevin McKenzie (COL)
4 @ Arizona Damian Harrell (COL) Rashad Floyd (COL) Saul Patu (COL)
5 vs. Los Angeles Damian Harrell (COL) Rashad Floyd (COL) Kevin McKenzie (COL)
7 @ Nashville John Dutton (COL) Ahmad Hawkins (COL) Ahmad Hawkins (COL)
8 vs. Columbus John Dutton (COL) Delvin Hughley (COL) Willis Marshall (COL)
9 @ Dallas Willis Marshall (COL) Delvin Hughley (COL) Will Pettis (DAL)
10 vs. Las Vegas Damian Harrell (COL) Ahmad Hawkins (COL) Willis Marshall (COL)
11 vs. Philadelphia John Dutton (COL) Rashad Floyd (COL) Kevin McKenzie (COL)
12 @ Chicago Etu Molden (CHI) Russell Shaw (CHI) Etu Molden (CHI)
13 vs. San Jose Mark Grieb (SJS) Clevan Thomas (SJS) Rodney Wright (SJS)
14 @ Grand Rapids Michael Bishop (GRR) Damon Mason (GRR) Dialleo Burks (GRR)
(bold opponent - Crush win, bold player Crush player)
AFL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF WEEK
DS Rashad Floyd, Week 5 (vs. Los Angeles, 2/27) 17.5 tackles (17 solo), 1.0 tackle for loss, 3 pass breakups
WR/DB Ahmad Hawkins, Week 10 (vs. Las Vegas, 4/3) 4.0 tackles, two interceptions (returned for 64 yards), 1 pass breakup
AFL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF MONTH
DS Rashad Floyd, February 51.5 tackles, 11 pass breakups, interception, forced fumble
AFL WRITERS ASSOCIATION AWARDS
ALL-AFL TEAM (MID-SEASON)
FB/LB Rich Young
REMAINING SCHEDULES FOR AMERICAN CONFERENCE CONTENDERS
The Crush can clinch a playoff berth with a win Sunday at New Orleans combined with a Los Angeles and Las Vegas loss. However, of the top five American Conference teams vying for four playoff positions, the Crush have the toughest remaining schedule:
Team Overall WK 15 WK 16 WK 17 Opp. Win %
Chicago 8-5 at Arizona Gr. Rapids at Nashville 0.295
Los Angeles 8-5 at San Jose Las Vegas at Grand Rapids 0.436
Las Vegas 7-6 Dallas at Los Angeles Arizona 0.500
San Jose 8-5 Los Angeles at Arizona Georgia 0.538
Colorado 8-5 at New Orleans Nashville at New York 0.551
LAST MEETING: (2005 - AFL QUARTERFINALS): COLORADO 47, NEW ORLEANS 44
SUN, JUNE 6, 2004 NEW ORLEANS ARENA NEW ORLEANS, La. Attendance: 14,369
AWARDS: OFFDAMIAN HARRELL (COL) DEFAHMAD HAWKINS (COL) IRONMANLAMONT MOORE (NO)
NEW ORLEANS -- The Crush's defense scored 9 points via an interception return and a safety and held New Orleans scoreless on 4 of their first 8 possessions, allowing the Crush enough room to overcome 3 turnovers and escape with a 47-44 victory in the quarterfinal round of the AFL playoffs at New Orleans Arena.
The defensive effort helped the Crush withstand a sluggish first half from the usually potent offense, which turned the football over on two of its first three possessions and accounted for just 10 points before halftime. The offense awoke following intermission, scoring touchdowns on four consecutive drives -- including three scoring passes from John Dutton to Damian Harrell -- to grab a 17-point lead.
New Orleans trimmed the Crush's lead to three points with two touchdowns in the last 48 seconds, but an on-side kick with six seconds left failed, allowing the Crush to drain the remaining time to clinch a win in their first-ever postseason game.
The VooDoo went 7-1 inside the New Orleans Arena in the regular season, and roused the crowd of 14,369 several times during the game, particularly late in the second quarter when they scored 10 points in a 39-second span of the last minute before halftime to take a 16-14 lead. But the advantage was short-lived, as Dutton completed passes of 20 and 17 yards to Kevin McKenzie and Harrell, respectively, to set up a 19-yard field goal by Anthony Brenner. The kick gave the Crush a 17-16 halftime lead, and they never trailed after that.
Harrell led the Crush receiving corps by snagging 10 of Dutton's passes for 134 yards. McKenzie added six grabs for 60 yards. Ahmad Hawkins led the defensive charge with nine unassisted tackles and scored on a 14-yard interception return 2:43 into the second quarter.
The victory puts the Crush in the AFL's semifinals just one year after finishing their inaugural season with a 2-14 record. Colorado moves on to face the No. 1 seed Arizona Rattlers at America West Arena in Phoenix. Colorado was the only lower seed to win in the first round.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Colorado Crush...... 0 17 16 14 - 47 Record: (12-5)
New Orleans VooDoo.. 6 10 0 28 - 44 Record: (11-6)
LAST GAME: GAME 13 GRAND RAPIDS 58, COLORADO 52
APRIL 30, 2005 VAN ANDEL ARENA GRAND RAPIDS, MI Attendance: 6,108
AWARDS: OFF-MICHAEL BISHOP (GRR) DEF-DAMON MASON (GRR) IRONMAN-DIALLEO BURKS (GRR)
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Dennison Robinson intercepted a John Dutton pass with 14 seconds remaining, ending Colorado's potential game-winning drive and dooming the Crush to a third consecutive loss, this one by a 58-52 count at Van Andel Arena.
Robinson's theft ended the Crush's chances at a come-from-behind win that would have allowed the team to snap a two-game losing streak. Instead, the Crush fell to 8-5 and a tie atop the Central Division with the Chicago Rush, which won its Week 14 game and now holds the top slot in the division on the basis of a head-to-head tiebreaker with Colorado.
Colorado had battled back from an 18-point deficit thanks to an efficient offense that scored every time it touched the ball from the middle of the second quarter to the final minute of the game. That offensive consistency allowed the Crush to steadily climb out of a 28-10 second-quarter hole, narrowing the gap to 10 points by late in the second quarter and six points early in the second half.
Colorado's defense continued to encounter difficulty, and its frustrating streak of possessions without a defensive stop that began two weeks earlier at Chicago continued into the second half. But the Crush defense finally ended the skein with one minute left, making a stand thanks to a third-down sack of Grand Rapids quarterback Michael Bishop by Saul Patu. One play later, Grand Rapids missed a field-goal try, setting the table for the potential game-winning drive that eventually fell short.
Offensive specialist Damian Harrell scored three times, marking the sixth time this season that he has scored at least three touchdowns. The game was his 31st touchdown hat trick of his career; 23 of those have come with the Crush. Colorado's John Dutton tossed six touchdown passes in the defeat; he has thrown at least six scores in five of the Crush's last six games.
Grand Rapids won for only the third time in its last 35 games and improved to 2-11 on the season. At 8-5, Colorado is still in control of its playoff destiny and would reach the playoffs with wins in its last three games, regardless of how its American Conference rivals fare.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
Colorado Crush...... 10 14 14 14 - 52 Record: (8-5)
Gr. Rap. Rampage.. 21 16 14 7 - 58 Record: (2-11)
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