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Wilmington Snooze-Terminal, October 3, 2010
Rivers, Rices, Defense Help Cherries Stop Bolts, 26-10
Box   Highlights Video

by Rip Snorter
In Baltimore the Cherries’ defense got its groove back, and the offense had its most productive outing of the season. With Philip Rivers, Sidney Rice, and Ray Rice leading the way, the Cherries (5‑3) took down the Southern Division-leading Bolts (6‑2), 26‑10. Delaware remains one game behind in the Central as the first place Hershey Bars were able to eke out a win at Washington over the Caps in the last minute of overtime.

Although the Cherries led throughout, they had to right the ship in the 4th quarter after a rough patch in which they almost let a 16‑3 lead evaporate in a matter of minutes. All looked rosy when Ray Rice scored on a 13-yard run late in the 3rd quarter to up Delaware’s lead to 13. But John Kasay’s penalty-lengthened extra point try was blocked — earlier he had a field goal attempt blocked — and, as often happens when a lead suddenly remains a point less than anticipated, a letdown occurred.

Two plays later DeAngelo Williams ran 73 yards for a touchdown, the longest play given up this season by the Cherries’ defense. Minutes later, after Delaware went 3 and out, Baltimore penetrated to the Delaware 13 on an egregious personal foul by Terrell Suggs, and the Bolts appeared to be on their way to a go-ahead score. The Cherries desperately needed a big play from someone to turn the tide back in their favor … and they got one: On 3rd and 10, Corey Webster leaped in front of Williams and picked off Donovan McNabb’s pass in the end zone for a touchback.

Rivers had a great night, passing for 317 yards, with 26 completions in 37 attempts, Ray Rice had 141 yards on the ground to go with his touchdown, and Sidney Rice had 7 catches for 126 yards, including a touchdown. The Rices’ yardage totals were their highest of the season. All told the Delaware offense accumulated 470 yards.

But the most startling statistic of the night was McNabb’s passing line — 9-for-32. He made a large number of low throws in the face of consistent pressure from Ray Edwards and Julius Peppers of the Cherries. Brandon Carr and Tyrone Carter, in particular, blanketed McNabb’s receivers. It helped that Carr was pitted for most of the night against James Jones instead of McNabb’s favorite target Vincent Jackson who was hurt late in the 1st half and did not return.

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Other Games
(links to box scores)

Saturday, October 2
Charleston 41, @Providence 7
Eli Manning passed for 5 touchdowns for the 2nd time in the last 3 weeks as the Cannons (3‑5) bombed the Steam Roller (5‑3). Jamaal Charles had 124 yards on the ground and caught 6 passes for 68 yards.

Hershey 16, @Washington 13 (OT)
The Hershey Bars (6‑2) beat the Capitols (3‑5) in the last minute of overtime on a 35-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. Adrian Peterson ran for 150 yards on 32 carries.

@Albany 23, New York 17
The Empires (1‑7) held Thomas Jones of the Racers (3‑5) to only 49 rushing yards, but 28 of those yards came on his touchdown with 5:24 left, breaking open a tight contest.

Syracuse 41, @Richmond 13
The Rebels (1‑7) gave the Crush (7‑1) all they could handle for nearly a half, but with 3:12 remaining until the break rookie LeSean McCoy’s spectacular 62-yard touchdown opened the floodgates. For Richmond Ryan Grant ran for 152 yards.

Sunday, October 3
Connecticut 22, @Philadelphia 19
LaDainian Tomlinson’s late touchdown and two-point conversion boosted the Comets (5‑3) over the Lakers (3‑5) who led most of the game. In the losing cause Percy Harvin had 8 catches for 150 yards.