Hartford Colonials Defeat Sacramento Mountain Lions 27-10 In Home Opener

September 18, 2010 - United Football League (UFL) - Hartford Colonials News Release

The Hartford Colonials made the return of professional football to Hartford a successful one with a 27-10 victory over the Sacramento Mountain Lions before 14,384 fans at Rentschler Field Saturday in the opening contest of the 2010 United Football League game.

The Colonials earned their first-ever win as a franchise with a dominant performance. Quarterback Josh McCown completed 11 of 21 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Former UConn star Andre Dixon led all rushers with 94 yards on 21 carries.

The Colonials defense limited the Mountain Lions to 35 yards on the ground.

Sacramento QB Dante Culpepper had a long afternoon, completing 21 of 40 passes for 174 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Fittingly, they ended the game with a sack of Culpepper by Hartford's Austin English.

Patrick Carter caught five passes for 51 yards for Hartford while Jason Chery had two receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown. Hartford's 27 points established a new single-game record for the franchise. A year ago, they scored 13 points twice as the New York Sentinels.

Sacramento's Cory Ross led the Lions with 22 yards on 14 carries. Rod Windsor led the Sacramento in receiving with five catches for 55 yards.

The Colonials took a 27-0 lead when Lorenzo Booker took a short five-yard pass from McCown got into open field and took off for an 80-yard touchdown reception with 14:03 left in the third quarter.

Sacramento began to show some life in the third quarter when they employed a hurry-up offense to drive 76 yards on 15 yards to get a 21-yard field goal from Fabrizio Scaccia with 6:45 left in the quarter. Culpepper completed six straight passes at one point and 8-of-10 on the drive.

The Mountain Lions added their first touchdown of the season on a five-yard pass from Culpepper to Joe West with 7:37 left in the game to cap off a 12-play, 73-yard drive.

Hartford led 20-0 at halftime, sparked by McCown, who completed 9 of his first

16 passes for 178 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to Markee White and Chery.

Sacramento wasn't able to muster much in the first half. Quarterback Dante Culpepper wasn't sharp, completing just 6 of his first 18 passes for 32 yards and one interception. Culpepper was off on some of his throws while on others, his receivers dropped the ball.

Running back Cory Ross, the UFL's leading rusher a year ago (464 yards in six games), found little running room gaining 16 yards on eight carries in the first two quarters. In the first 30 minutes, Sacramento had just two first downs, 55 yards of total offense and punted seven times. The Colonials blocked one punt to set up a field goal.

Hartford took a 7-0 lead on a quick four play scoring drive that began with a sharp 46-yard pass from McCown to Jason Chery to the Mountain Lion six-yard line. After a one-yard run by Andre Dixon, McCown found White with a five-yard scoring pass with 9:22 left in the first quarter.

On their second scoring drive, Hartford marched 87 yards on 16 plays, eating up

7:18 with a strong dose of Dixon running the ball and McCown throwing it. The Colonials drove to the Sacramento seven before McCown was sacked for a nine-yard loss by A.J. Scable. Taylor Melhaff hit a 34-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead with 11:33 left in the first half.

On Hartford's next series, the Colonials made it 17-0 when Chery beat Sacramento defender Robert Borne and pulled in a 59-yard touchdown pass from McCown.

Marshall McDuffie blocked a punt by Sacramento's Tom Malone with 7:04 left and the Colonials took over at the 20-yard line. Two minutes later, Melhaff hit a 20-yard FG for a 20-0 lead.

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