Lightning enter ArenaCup Playoffs on winning note, eliminate Peoria
STOCKTON, Calif. -WR Troy McBroom tallied a game-high 155 receiving yards on seven catches and two touchdown receptions to help the Stockton Lightning (6-10) end the regular season schedule with a 64-47 victory over the Peoria Pirates before 4,664 at Stockton Arena on Friday in Week 18 of arenafootball2 play.
The win helped the Lightning tie the franchise mark for most wins in one season (6), set in 2007 while eliminating the Pirates from postseason contention. QB Chad Cavender completed 18-of-31 passes for five touchdowns and 260 yards to help lead the Lightning offense, who totaled 268 yards of total offense.
Stockton escaped the first quarter with a 14-13 lead when Cavender threw two touchdown passes to Brandon Horace and a 45-yard bomb to McBroom down the left sideline with 2:12 left, sandwiching two Peoria touchdowns from the arm of QB Luke Drone, who found Dante Ridgeway on a 16-yard strike and Brian Allbrooks on a 21-yard connection.
The McBroom bomb ignited a 36-0 run for the Lightning, including a 29-point blitz in the second quarter which began on Cavender's 12-yard lob to Tonae Martin with 10:29 left. On the ensuing series, Jay Hunt's first of two sacks in the game took down Drone in the end zone for a safety and Mervin Brookins Jr. kept piling the offensive load on with a 56-yard touchdown return just 14 seconds later, hiking Stockton's lead to 29-13.
McBroom's one-yard scamper off the left tackle with 40 seconds left and Cavender's one-yard keeper as time expired gave Stockton a 43-13 lead at halftime.
Peoria, whose playoff fate was sealed by the time they emerged from the locker room after Albany's win over Milwaukee, attempted a late rally by inserting backup QB Kent Smith. The 6-foot-5 signal caller began the first play from scrimmage with a 27-yard keeper and followed a Lightning turnover with a 43-yard scoring circus catch from Allbrooks with 9:41 left, cutting the deficit to 43-26.
The Lightning slammed the brakes on Peoria's rally with Cavender's nine-yard touchdown bullet to Horace with 8:06 left and answered Darren Paige's 55-yard touchdown kickoff return with another Cavender bomb to McBroom, this time for 37 yards as the Lightning bolstered their lead to 57-33 with 5:26 left in the third quarter.
With the game already academic, Smith found Allbrooks with a seven-yard touchdown pass with 34 seconds left in the quarter but the Lightning put the finishing touches in the final quarter with McBroom's second one-yard touchdown dash just 20 seconds into the final frame.
Smith found Ridgeway on a three-yard touchdown heave with 6:59 left in the game to seal the scoring.
The Lightning finished the regular season with a 4-4 home record and improved to 7-6 lifetime against teams outside of the West Division.
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