Venom Race Past Marion
NASHVILLE- Nashville Venom QB Charles McCullum went 15 of 19 for 244 and threw seven TDs with three going to WR Darrell Holmes as the Venom defeated the Marion Blue Racers of the X-League 65-38 in arena football action from "The Snake Pit" (Municipal Auditorium).
On the game's first possession, McCullum was sacked by James Moreland for a safety. The Venom then stopped Marion on their initial possession and Nashville scored on a 36 yard pass from McCullum to WR George Murray (six catches for 111 yards and two TDs). The first half was nip and tuck. The Blue Racers scored with 12 seconds left in the half to cut the Venom lead to 28-26.
"We have been starting slow all season for some reason," said Venom head coach Billy Back. We knew coming in that they had some new players so it took a minute for us to adjust. We weren't happy at halftime."
After trailing early in the third quarter 32-28 on a 29 yard pass from Blue Racer QB Les Obie (27 of 60 for 269 yards and six TDs) to former Venom WR Alex Coleman (six catches 77 yards and two TDs), the Venom scored 22 unanswered points to go up 50-32. With leading receiver Jordan Jolly out for the game, McCullum threw TD passes to three different WRs (Holmes, Dontel Watkins and Murray) during that stretch to put the game away.
"Jolly is one of the best in the business," said McCullum. "We have a group of guys this year that are just as good as last year. We have weapons up and down the roster. They make my job easy."
All three TDs were set up by the defense forcing turnovers on three straight possessions. DB Kenny Veal picked off his fourth pass of the season. Then DB Ken Walton recovered a fumble. DB Jihad Morris joined the fun interception his first pass of the season after dropping one two plays earlier.
"We challenged the DBs at halftime and they stepped up. I really like what I saw out of Jihad Morris. We have been looking for a fourth DB and a lot of guys stepped up."
Marion broke the streak when Obie and Coleman hooked up for the second time. Murray then capped off the scoring slinging a 30 yard TD pass to a streaking Mike Whittaker. Nashville dominated the second outscoring their guests 41-12.
The Venom jump back into PIFL action when they travel to Richmond next week to take on the Raiders. Nashville will return home on June 12th for their regular season home finale against the Erie Explosion.
Jordan Jolly and Stanlee Bradley were out due to lower body injuries. They both remain day-to-day.
Some Venom players and coaches were shirts during warm-ups to support WR Zach Ducker. Ducker suffered a career ending injury against Richmond earlier in the season.
Former Dallas Cowboy and UT Vol Bill Bates was on hand to sign autographs.
Tennessee Titan mascot coordinator Pete Nelson and some of T-Rac's "Rac Pac" were at the game.
Images from this story
Nashville Venom WR George Murray Celebrates with OT Harry John
Nashville Venom DB Ken Walton
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Professional Indoor Football League Stories from June 1, 2015
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