Crush win season finale at home
DENVER, Colo. - Before the Colorado Crush's (6-10) 51-27 win over the Kansas City Brigade (3-13) was even over on Saturday night, Mike Dailey's troops had their playoff destiny revealed.
The National Conference's Tampa Bay Storm, by beating the Los Angeles Avengers earlier in the night, gave the Crush their fifth consecutive playoff berth before the final second ticked off the clock in Denver.
Regardless of the L.A. loss the Crush would have secured a playoff spot with their impressive 24-point victory tonight against the Brigade. The Crush end the 2008 regular season on a two-game winning streak and await the conclusion of the Utah Blaze and Arizona Rattlers game to decide whether or not they can host next week at Pepsi Center.
Crush QB John Dutton finished off a career season on Saturday night as he surpassed passing marks in both attempts and yards in a Crush uniform. Dutton's 28-of-41 for 288 yards and three touchdowns brought his season totals to 4,547 yards on 450-of-681 through the air-all career records.
"It has been a season to remember that's for sure," Dutton said. "We have made the playoffs and that is what matters at this point. Now we just have to regroup and get back to work next week."
The Crush was able to convert early forced turnovers into points for the second straight week, putting pressure on the Brigade from the start. After a six-play drive to start the game, Kansas City QB Quincy Carter was pressured into throwing an errant pass the careened off the nets and into the hands of Crush DB Delvin Hughley.
The Crush took the turnover 47 yards capped by a Dutton to WR Willie Quinnie 7-yard strike to go up quickly, 7-0.
"Again this week we put ourselves in a good position to win the ballgame," Crush head coach Mike Dailey said. "With the way the chips have fallen this season, we just have to keep finding ways to win and get ready for next week."
Kansas City would follow the interception with a turnover on downs and a fumble, giving the Crush the opportunity to score on their first four possessions of the game. With a 21-0 score mid-way through the second quarter Kansas City coach Kevin Porter, pulled Carter for 10-game starter QB D. Bryant.
On Bryant's first play from scrimmage he found a wide open WR Mike Horacek for a 47-yard score. Yet Colorado would take the lead into halftime, 30-14.
Starting where the first half left off, the Crush defense forced three initial stops in the second half and poured on to a 44-14 lead in the fourth quarter. Crush DB Rashad Floyd caused one of those turnovers, picking off his ninth interception of the season-good enough for third in the AFL.
The Brigade would get within three score late in the fourth quarter on a five-yard pass from Bryant to WR Jerel Myers, but the Crush were able to finish out the season as they started it with a much needed win.
"Going into the playoffs on a two-game win streak is nice, but by no means are we taking it for granted," Dailey said. "We have been on the other side too many times this season to do that. We just have to take care of what we can control as a team."
Colorado can still host a home Wild Card round next week if Utah loses to the Rattlers later tonight. Full playoff scenarios will be released early next week with games to be broadcast on the networks of ESPN.
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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from June 21, 2008
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- Storm Finish Season on High Note, Defeat Avengers 72-47 - Tampa Bay Storm
- Crush win season finale at home - Colorado Crush
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- Crush clinch playoff berth - AFL I
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- Predators clinch playoff berth - AFL I
- Rampage Clinch Playoff Berth - AFL I
- Gladiators Clinch Playoff Berth - AFL I
- Colorado defeats Kansas City 51-27 - Kansas City Brigade
- Rampage Playoff Bound Following 86-70 Win over New Orleans - Grand Rapids Rampage