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Regular Season Head-to-Head
InjuriesNo players will sit out due to injury.
November 18, 2006
The Capitols scored on their first possession, moving 60 yards in 12 plays. Brandon Manumaleuna scored on 3rd and goal from the 2 behind a great block by Robert Royal. The Cherries responded immediately with a seven-play, 71 yard drive. A 2‑yard touchdown run by Tony Richardson tied the score.
The teams twice traded punts, and with 3:39 left in the half, Delaware took over on their own 43. They got a first down on three running plays. Then Drew Brees tried to hit Lee Evans coming across the center of the field near the Washington 35. The throw was behind Evans, and Law made the pick and returned it to the 46.
Two plays later Cotchery beat Lito Sheppard on a deep route and Brad Johnson got the ball to him at the Cherries 27. Then on 3rd and 1 from the 18, Johnson caught the Delaware defense stacked to stop the run, hitting Troy Brown at the 4. A false start penalty moved the Capitols back to the 9, but on the next play Johnson perfectly led Cotchery coming across the middle of the field for the go-ahead score.
The Cherries would make two more costly turnovers in the third quarter:
The Delaware defense tightened momentarily and made a couple of big plays.
The Cherries couldn’t get a first down, though, and settled for a 44‑yard field goal by John Kasay to cut the Capitols’ lead to 21‑10. Then the Delaware defense failed to sustain their momentum, letting Washington move 57 yards, 27 coming on a bomb from Johnson to Hines Ward. The Cherries stopped the Capitols on 3rd and goal from the 8, but the damage was done: David Akers chipped in a 25‑yard field goal with 6:48 to go, effectively negating the Kasay field goal.
A pair of miraculous fourth down conversions by the Delaware offense enabled the Cherries to keep the game within reach inside the last two minutes.
Brees threw a touchdown pass to Daniel Graham on first down, but Kasay’s onside kick attempt was corralled by Ladell Betts, and Washington ran out the clock.
Johnson completed 19 of 39 aerials for 242 yards. He was neither sacked nor picked off. Brees was 22-of-35 for 252 yards, but the Capitols got to him four times, all in the second half. Eric Warfield had a second quarter interception of Brees for Washington to go along with Law’s two.
November 19, 2006
With 4:50 remaining and Syracuse holding a precarious 17‑16 lead, they faced 3rd and 11 at the Steam Roller 23. Crush quarterback Mark Brunell went back to pass. Darren Sharper sacked him and jarred the ball loose. He had trouble picking it up but appeared to the officials to have eventually gained control. From a prone position Brunell managed to trip up Sharper. When Sharper’s arm hit the ground, the ball popped out and Brunell grabbed it. That gave Syracuse a first down on the Providence 32.
Three plays later Jay Feely kicked a 47‑yard field goal to lengthen the Crush lead to 20‑16. Almost two minutes elapsed in the meantime, greatly decreasing the opportunity Providence would have to respond. They would fail in their attempt.
If the officials had ruled that Sharper had not gained control, Syracuse would have faced a fourth down two minutes sooner and Feely’s field goal attempt would have been two yards longer. Had Brunell not managed to trip up Sharper, Sharper would likely have returned the fumble into Syracuse territory, perhaps even all the way for a go-ahead touchdown.
The Sharper play was the last of a stream of Steam Roller miscues and failures to execute that sabotaged their prospects for victory.
The teams entered the break tied at 10 after a nicely executed two-minute drill by Syracuse. On the first play Brunell hit Rod Gardner for 28 yards to the Providence 42. Jay Feely booted a 39‑yard field goal but the Crush were flagged for holding. Feely then connected on a 49‑yarder that counted.
Syracuse retook the lead for good early in the third quarter on a 31‑yard pass from Brunell to Laveranues Coles. The touchdown ended an eight-play, 64‑yard drive following the second half kickoff. Coles beat Ronald Bartell on the play.
After Feely made his fourth quarter field goal, the one that followed the Brunell-Sharper fumble fracas, the Steam Roller took over on their own 27 with 2:43 remaining. Three plays later Mike Rucker sacked Bulger for a loss of 11 yards, and Providence went on to lose the ball on downs with 1:37 left. Brunell completed a 10‑yard pass to Coles, and the Crush proceeded to run out the clock.
Providence had to play most of the game without Holt, the leading receiver in the league. Holt was injured midway through the first quarter and did not return.