By: Jim Wallin (LFL360.com)
CLEVELAND – The Philadelphia Passion blasted the Cleveland Crush tonight, 60-18, behind another legendary all-around performance by Game MVP Marirose Roach (14 carries/134 yards, 4 TD — 3-4 passing, 97 yards, 2 TD, 231 total yards) as the visitors prevailed easily in an important inter-conference test before a voluminous crowd.
Losing Lingerie Bowl VIII by one point has sparked an energy and drive that has propelled this Philadelphia Passion team to a dominant 2-0 start, outscoring the opposition 108-18. From the opening drive, 2010 offensive player of the year Marirose Roach and her Passion teammates demonstrated their elite status, scoring touchdowns on three first-half drives to vault the visitors’ lead to 24-12 at halftime.
Coming off of an impressive defensive showing in the last home game against Baltimore, the bottom fell out of the Crush defense at times tonight, as the unit could best be described as a matador hoping to avoid the bull that was Roach.
Despite committing two red-zone turnovers the Crush kept to within shouting distance at halftime and entered the second half with an immediate burst as second-half kickoff was shanked and Cleveland’s Theresa Petruziello (5 receptions, 86 yards, 2 TD) picked it up and returned it to the one-yard line, erupting the packed-in Quicken Loans Arena crowd. But the Crush could not capitalize on the gift once again, turning the ball over once again in the red zone to kill what turned into a must-score opportunity. The center exchange snap from center LaTeefa Moore to quarterback Abbie Sullivan was an adventure throughout the night and ultimately cost the Crush multiple times with turnovers in the critical red-zone.
Following that chain of events, the Passion capitalized with two more Roach scoring runs, the second ultimately pushing the game out of reach at 38 to 12. The bleeding did not stop there for the Crush as their beleaguered defense also surrendered two deep bombs for scores with the combination of Christy Bell and Roach at quarterback.
The emergence of wide receiver Tyrah Lusby (4 receptions, 112 yards, 2 TD), who was a dominant force in 2009 but faded to obscurity in 2010, spells even more trouble for the Eastern Conference.
Both starting quarterback Christy Bell (4-14, 77 yards, TD) and Roach combined their talents at the position to assist Lusby with Bell connecting on a 17-yard touchdown as well as an electric 49-yard score from Roach, preceded by Roach’s first touchdown throw of the evening to Heather Roy (1 reception, 14 yards, TD).
The Crush offense also struggled in the 2nd half with quarterback Abbie Sullivan (8-12, 91 yards, TD) being knocked out of the game with a possible separated shoulder and the running game became a non-story in the 2nd half as the game began to spiral out of control.
Instead Crush Head Coach Dontez Howard opted for the faster Tamar Fennell who showed flashes of greatness then would put the ball on the ground contributing to a three turnovers, including two costly fumbles inside the red zone.
Cleveland dominated the time of possession battle by over 21-minutes, however, Philadelphia’s proved extremely opportunistic and their offense was swiftly efficient, negating conventional wisdom at least for this night. Petruziello had another multiple touchdown game, proving herself as one of the best players in the league this season. Marija ‘The Enforcer’ Condric (10 carries/48 yards), struggled after a strong start as the much-hyped talent has only reached the end zone once this season.
For Cleveland, the road to their first-ever franchise win gets tougher as they travel to Orlando on December 2 while Philadelphia has a key November 18 showdown against a resurgent 2-1 Baltimore Charm squad.
Roach now has 11 total touchdowns so far this season, which leads the league and statistically accounted for over 76-percent of her team’s total offense in this game.
–Photos courtesy of Joe Petro. LFL National Director of Photography –
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