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Wilmington Snooze-Terminal, November 14, 2010
Cherries Whip Emps, 30-20, Earn Top Seed
Box   Highlights Video

by Rip Snorter
Philip Rivers and Ray Rice had big games as the Cherries (10‑4) wrapped up their regular season by taking the measure of the New York Empires (5‑9), 30‑20. Meanwhile, the defending champion Capitols did Delaware a solid by rallying to beat the Bolts in Baltimore. That meant the Cherries will for the 4th consecutive season be the top seed in the EFL playoffs. They will host Syracuse in the semi-finals next Sunday morning. Last night the Crush got their mojo back, ending a 4-game skid by destroying Albany, 45‑12, on the road.

If Delaware gets by Syracuse, whom they beat 25‑20 October 16, they would be home for the championship game against the winner of Saturday night’s semi-final in Baltimore between the Bolts and the Connecticut Comets.

Against the Emps Rivers’ longest completion was only 18 yards, but he was deadly accurate, completing 27 of 35 passes for 235 yards and touchdowns to Lee Evans, Jason Avant, and Donnie Avery. New York’s formidable pass rush got to Rivers only once.

Rice didn’t score, but he had his highest rushing output of the season — 166 yards on only 17 carries, an average of just under 10. In the 2nd half of the season, he exceeded 100 yards on the ground in 6 of 7 games.

The Emps had the first score of each half, in both cases touchdowns. Each time the Cherries responded on their next possession. Delaware’s response in the 2nd half was a 9-play, 67-yard drive aided by a flagrant face mask penalty on New York’s David Harris. Rivers capped off the drive with a 9-yard scoring pass to Avery, giving Delaware a commanding 24‑14 lead with 6:11 left in the 3rd quarter.

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Other Games
(links to box scores)

Saturday, November 13
@Connecticut 34, Providence 31
LaDainian Tomlinson ran for a pair of touchdowns in the 4th quarter and the Comets (9‑5) came back to drop the Steam Roller (7‑7). Providence returners Wes Welker and Kenny Moore each lost a fumble down the stretch.

@Hershey 20, Philadelphia 12
Joe Flacco threw 1st quarter touchdown passes to Antonio Gates and Santana Moss to give the Hershey Bars (8‑6) a substantial lead. They never trailed thanks in part to 3 interceptions thrown by Brett Favre of the Lakers (6‑8).

@Charleston 30, Richmond 26
Jamaal Charles ran 8 yards for a score in the 1st minute of the 4th quarter to put the Cannons (6‑8) ahead of the Rebels (3‑11) to stay. Earlier Richmond had scored 17 unanswered points to take a 13-point lead early in the 2nd half.

Syracuse 45, @Albany 12
The Crush ended their 4-game losing streak and tuned up for the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers baffled the secondary of the Racers (4‑10), completing 22 of 29 for 288 yards. Nearly half of those yards, 142, came on Randy Moss’ 11 catches.

Washington 27, @Baltimore 20
The Capitols (7‑7) overcame an 8-point 4th quarter deficit to keep the Bolts (10‑4) from obtaining the top playoff seed. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a 6-yard scoring pass to Steve Smith with 3:47 left to put Washington ahead.