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Wilmington Snooze-Terminal, November 7, 2010
Cherries Again Take Central, Beat Lakers, 20-13
Box   Highlights Video

by Rip Snorter
On a night when the Cherries’ league-leading passing offense was stuck in low gear, their rushing attack, special teams, and defense stepped up their games. Delaware’s 20‑13 victory over the Philadelphia Lakers, in combination with Hershey’s 17‑14 loss to New York, gave the Cherries their 5th consecutive Central Division title.

The Cherries (9‑4) can earn the top seed in the upcoming playoffs for the 4th straight season if they beat the Empires Saturday while the Baltimore Bolts lose to Washington.

A slow start by Delaware enabled the Lakers (6‑7) to strike out to a 10‑0 lead. The turnaround started immediately after Lawrence Tynes’ 42-yard field goal with 5:34 left in the 1st half. Stefan Logan returned Tynes’ kickoff 62 yards to the Philadelphia 37. On 2nd and 11 Ray Rice ran 37 yards around left end to the 1 and then Brandon Jackson followed Jordan Gross into the end zone to cut the Lakers’ lead to 10‑7. Logan’s return was a follow-up to the 57-yard return he had last week against Richmond.

Special teams — and Ray Rice — also figured in the play that clinched the game for Delaware. Nursing a 20‑13 lead, the Cherries were forced to punt with 1:30 to go. Jeff Feagles got off a high kick. When the ball hit the ground, it took a funny bounce and hit Captain Munnerlyn of the Lakers. Rice recovered at the Lakers’ 32. Two Philip Rivers’ kneeldowns later, the Cherries had the win in hand. Minutes later the final score came in from New York, and the division title was in hand.

Rice had a big game, with 119 yards on 22 carries and 4 catches for 22 yards. He also had the go-ahead score. With 3:20 left in the 3rd quarter and the score tied at 10, Delaware coach Jon Brams gambled on 4th and 1 at the Philadelphia 20. Rivers gave the ball to Rice, and he slipped through a sliver of a hole off left tackle and sprinted to the end zone.

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Other Games
(links to box scores)

Saturday, November 6
@Providence 27, Albany 24
The Steam Roller (7‑6) greatly enhanced their playoff prospects, rallying from 7 points down in the closing minutes to trip the Racers (4‑9). Josh Brown’s 34-yard field goal with 0:15 to go sealed the victory.

Baltimore 27, @Richmond 9
DeAngelo Williams ran for 111 yards and a pair of 1st quarter touchdowns as the Bolts (10‑3) overcame 3 Donovan McNabb interceptions and smacked the punchless Rebels (3‑10).

@Washington 30, Charleston 29
Mason Crosby kicked a 30-yard field goal with 0:15 remaining to give the Capitols (6‑7) the win over the Cannons (5‑8). The difference was the blocked Ryan Longwell extra point attempt following the last Charleston touchdown.

@New York 17, Hershey 14
The Empires (5‑8) won their 4th straight, taking the lead for good on a 30-yard scoring pass from Matt Moore to Malcom Floyd with 2:00 left. Fred Jackson ran for 142 yards for the Hershey Bars (7‑6), losers of 6 of their last 8.

Sunday, November 7
Connecticut 27, @Syracuse 13
After replacing the injured Al Harris, Clinton Hart contributed a fumble recovery and interception to spur the Comets (8‑5) to victory over the reeling Crush (8‑5). Aaron Rodgers passed for 376 yards for Syracuse.