By: Jim Wallin (LFL360.com)
Trenton, NJ — The Philadelphia Passion stormed into the packed Sun National Bank Center with the incredible force of a catastrophic tsunami, first paralyzing, then engulfing and ultimately drowning the defenseless Toronto Triumph, 74-0, behind an all-around, well-balanced effort on both sides of the football.
Philadelphia immediately capitalized on excellent field position, set up by a dominant defensive effort, to score on their first drive as Heather Roy (3 ATT., 26 YDS, 2 TD) powered into the end zone to lay the foundation of what ultimately would develop into towering skyscraper, casting a large shadow over the visitors by the end of the night.
Toronto attempted to turn the tide on their successive drive, as Donna Paul (4/19, 38 YDS, INT) led what looked to be impressive counter-strike, an 11-play sequence that teemed with balance and productivity the unit sorely missed in their first two games. However, the Passion defense, led by two successive stops on Paul’s rushing attempts inside the five-yard-line proved key in allowing their offense, who would not be stopped once on the night, an opportunity to put a stranglehold on the game early and without incident.
Then the bright lights became brighter and ‘The Marirose Roach Show’ emerged at center stage, as MVP candidate and starting running back Marirose Roach (7 ATT., 80 YDS, 3 TD) used the edge to accelerate coast-to-coast, 46 yards-in-all, to propel the Passion to a 16-0 advantage.
The Passion defense pitched their second shutout of the season behind an inspired effort by their defensive line, anchored by strong performances of Angela Perfetto (7 tackles) and Shanae Thomas (8 tackles), the latter who stormed the Toronto backfield to force errant throws in their third possession (and second three-and-out), to ultimately set up Game MVP Jenny Butler (9 ATT, 75 YDS, 3 TD) for a three-yard score and 24-0 advantage.
Philadelphia led 30-0 at halftime, more than doubling Toronto’s total offensive output in spite of a 10-minute disparity in time of possession.
The Passion passing game also appeared to find itself, as quarterback Christy Bell (5/9, 58 YDS, TD) returned to execute head coach Chandler Brown‘s diverse playbook at a relatively high level all night, building in-game rapport with wide receivers Whitney Paronish (2 REC., 24YDS)and Stephanie Orgi (2 REC., 29 YDS, TD)
If there was a passing game improved over their past game as well, as Paul spread the wealth to Katrina Trabulsey (2 REC., 12 YDS), Davine Burton (1 REC., 18 YDS) and Kay Rowe (1 REC., 8 YDS) before getting knocked out of the contest with an injury.
The Triumph defense resembled more of a revolving door than brick wall, over-matched in terms of experience, depth and scheme all night long. In spite of the poor showing, Sarah Decker (5 tackles) turned in a stand-out individual performance.
About the only fight Toronto seemed to exude fell into the extra-curricular category, as Burton took exception to a Passion touchdown celebration midway through the second-half, igniting an all-out shoving match. Philadelphia ultimately was penalized, however, did let that stop them from having their way with the beleaguered visitors. Perhaps serving as a microcosm in summing up the atmosphere, Roach used her athleticism, acceleration and strength to fight through multiple would-be defenders to score the elusive two points anyway.
And if that weren’t enough the Passion made history as well, posting a single-game record 74-points while also setting the record for margin-of-victory (74) in the rout.
However, the Passion did not come away completely unscathed, as wide receiver Tyrah Lusby left the game with an apparent should injury. Speculation abounds that surgery may be necessary, but there has been no official word from the team on the extent of her injury.
Philadelphia ends the regular season undefeated and will face the winner of next week’s Orlando Fantasy and Tampa Breeze match-up. Toronto will attempt to score their first-ever franchise win in their season finale, traveling to central Florida for a date with the Orlando Fantasy.
PHOTOS COURTESY: JOE PETRO/LFL PHOTOS
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