Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Soul turns broad Street Brawl inro rout

By John McMullen

Philadelphia, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - While the Flyers were schooling the storied Montreal Canadiens at the Wachovia Center in the second round of the NFL playoffs, Philadelphia's best team was across the parking lot drubbing the Dallas Desperados in something Soul public relations guru Greg Wiley dubbed the Broad Street Brawl.

The undefeated Soul (9-0) used three straight defensive stops early in the game to take control and never looked back en route to an easy 57-28 win over previously undefeated Dallas (7-1).

"You have to take your hats off for the defense," Said Soul quarterback Matt D'Orazio. "Defense came out and shut out a great offense. Just played tremendous football. We have a great offensive line and if they continue to be the best in the league we can make out so it's a total a team effort."

Monday night's encounter was the latest two undefeated teams clashed in AFL history.

D'Orazio, subbing again for the injured Tony Graziani, completed 20-of-29 passes for 194 yards and six touchdowns with just one interception. Chris Jackson caught seven balls for 83 yards and a TD, while Larry Brackins had seven for 77 yards and three scores.

"We took advantage of the home field, the crowd and the Spectrum," D'Orazio added. "We were excited about a win; we are probably as excited as we are about any win."

Dallas native Eddie Moten added three interceptions, tying his own franchise record also set against Dallas on May 6, 2006.

"I kind of wanted to come out and keep it with offense," Moten said. Offense has been playing great first half of the season.

Clint Dolezel was just 17-of-36 for 206 yards and two TDs with four interceptions for Dallas.

The Soul took charge on the first offensive play of the game. Dolezel and his receiver weren't on the same page and Mike Brown took advantage, picking off a pass and returning it all the way to the Dallas 14-yard line.

Four plays later, D'Orazio went up the middle on a quarterback draw for a seven-yard TD and Philadelphia led 7-0.

The Soul defense broke serve for a second straight time when nose tackle Bryan Save broke through on a 4th-and-goal play to sack Dolezel at the Philadelphia 17.

D'Orazio was able to cash in again by finding Brackins for a 17-yard score on a corner pattern in the back of the end zone.

The Soul defense kept the pressure on Dallas with a third straight stop early in the second quarter. A fierce pass rush caused a hurried Dolezel to force a pass to the back of the end zone and Moten was there for Philadelphia's second pick of the night.

D'Orazio kept the pressure on the reeling Desperados by finding former Denver Bronco Darius Watts for a four-yard TD and a 21-0 Soul advantage.

Dallas finally found the scoreboard when Dolezel took it in from a yard out but any celebration was short-lived as Gabe Nyenhuis blocked the ensuing PAT, and Brown scooped it up and raced to the opposite end zone for a two-point play and a 23-6 Philly lead.

D'Orazio continued to confound the Dallas defense and extended the Soul's cushion to 30-6 when he found a wide open Phil Bogle for a three-yard score. Bogle, an offensive lineman, was eligible on the play and slipped off the line, surprising the Desperados with just under a minute to go in the first half.

Dallas finally got some offense going on their ensuing possession and Dolezel finished things by faking a handoff up the middle and breaking around left end for a two-yard score. The Desperados QB lost his composure, however, and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after spiking the ball right in front of Brown.

That gave the Soul better field position and D'Orazio was able to turn that into a 17-yard TD to Brackins and Philadelphia took a commanding 37-13 lead into the locker room.

D'Orazio opened the door a crack for Dallas by opening the second half with an interception, and Dolezel took advantage with his first TD toss of the game, a 22-yarder to Will Pettis.

Any mometum was quicky stemmed when D'Orazio went to his money man, Jackson for a 17-yard TD. Connor Hughes missed the extra point and the Soul had a 43-20 cushion.

After Moten's second interception of the game, D'Orazio put things away on the first play of the fourth quarter with a one-yard TD run that gave Philadelphia an impressive 30-point cushion, 50-20.

A brilliant finger-tip catch by Pettis and a two-point coversion brought Dallas to within 50-28 with just over 11 minutes to go.

But, an onsides kick attempt by the Desperados failed, giving the Soul the ball inside the 10. Three plays later, D'Orazio threw a strike to Brackins for another score.

Soul Food: The game was moved to the Wachovia Spectrum because of the Flyers game. Attendance was 15,426... The Soul are now 4-5 all-time versus Dallas and 3-2 at home...Defensive back Brian Mance left in the third quarter with a broken left ankle and will miss the rest of the season...Brown also injured his back and did not return...Jackson got some snaps on defense because of the injuries...Jackson's TD catch was the 299th of his career. Only Damian Harrell (309) and Eddie Brown (303) have more in AFL history.

Battle Cage Xtreme

No comments: