By: Jim Wallin (LFL360.com)
BALTIMORE — The Philadelphia Passion used a strong defensive effort and the game-breaking talents of superstar Marirose Roach (14 ATT./129 YDS., 3 TD) to punch their ticket to a second consecutive playoff berth, prevailing 24-12 over the Baltimore Charm in a slug-fest before a near-capacity crowd at 1st Mariner Arena.
In perhaps one of the most impressive displays of the season, Roach, unable to find an open receiver on the final play of the first-half, chose to take things into her own hands, throttling past the entire Baltimore defense once again on a 19-yard run, and eventual game-winner, to push the Philadelphia lead to 16-6 heading into the half.
The Passion withstood an early second-half surge by the Baltimore defense, as a key defensive stand netted results, ultimately leading to a Moon two-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to four.
However, Roach, starting at quarterback over her usual running back position, dominated on the ground on the successive drive, punishing the defense for 35 yards on three keepers to vault the team to what proved to be the final tally and score. The Philadelphia passing game struggled all evening (34 net yards passing) as Baltimore’s defense, led by Ashley Helmstetter (4 tackles) Charli Jackson (3 tackles, INT) and Kelly Campbell (2.5 tackles, .5 sacks) dominated in the secondary.
However, Philadelphia’s defense, led by Roach (6 tackles) and Angela Perfetto (2 tackles, INT), was even more dominant, limiting the Charm offense to a mere one yard through the air. Baltimore stand-out Kyle DeHaven (8 ATT./44 YDS) was most effective in the first-half but struggled to see opportunities as Philadelphia controlled the tempo for much of the remainder of the contest. Christina Deavers (1 rec., 1 YD ) caught the only completed pass for the home team on the night.
Foreshadowing how the night would transpire, Roach scored on the second play on Philadelphia’s first drive, whistling untouched past the Baltimore defense to give the visitors an 8-0 advantage.
The Charm defense responded on the next Passion drive as Jackson interception set up Kyle DeHaven and ultimately Stacy Moon‘s (1/10, 1 YDS., 3 ATT./4 YDS., 2 TD) touchdown-scoring plunge to cut into the Philadelphia lead to 8-6.
Philadelphia returns home for their regular season finale looking to cap off a perfect regular season as the defending Eastern Conference Champions host the Toronto Triumph. Baltimore’s regular season comes to an end and questions remain as to whether or not the team will qualify for the playoffs.
Photos courtesy: Joe Petro/LFL PHOTOS
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