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Hartford Crude Rant, October 5, 2008
Brady Breaks Out: Comets Thump Albany, 42-21, Take First
QB Hurls 5 TDs, Passes for 330 Yards
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Wilmington Snooze-Terminal, October 5, 2008
Cherries Trip Hershey, 31-24, For Record 8th Straight
Hall’s Runback Caps Decisive 17-Point 4th Quarter Burst
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New York Slimes, October 5, 2008
Empires Start Slowly, Then Dismantle Philadelphia, 30-6
4th Quarter TDs By Parker, Carter Provide Breathing Room
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Syracuse Posed Standee, October 5, 2008
Crush Hands Providence Ticket Into Win Column, 34-10
Bulger, Welker, and Holt Repeatedly Burn Secondary
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Richmond Timed Distant, October 5, 2008
Injury-Riddled Rebels Fall Again, 35-14, to Washington
Jackson Passes for 250 Yards, 3 TDs; Sproles Runs Punt Back All the Way
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Baltimore Sunk, October 6, 2008
Ed Reed Shines as Bolts Rip Charleston, 31-13
Returns Punt for 66-Yard TD, Sets Up Another Score with Pick
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Wilmington Snooze-Terminal, October 5, 2008

Rip Snorter

An Old Pro Shows Fellow Cherries the Way

A few weeks ago I wrote how young speedster Lee Evans is blossoming into a star for the Cherries. Well, wouldn’t you know that no sooner did those words get into print that Evans virtually disappeared. He continues to start at wide receiver but his productivity has decreased more than a little.

Fortunately for the Cherries, the player Evans shares time with, 14-year veteran Isaac Bruce, has picked up the slack.

Last night as Delaware knocked off the Hershey Bars, 31‑24, in Chocolatetown, Philip Rivers twice laid deep balls out for Bruce. Both times the crafty wideout reeled in the passes for 37-yard gains.

After the game Bruce wouldn’t refute my contention that making big contributions to wins over his old team is particularly satisfying.

Two years ago Bruce’s long, productive term of service for Atlantic City seemed to have been forgotten. He spent almost all that season on the bench and had only 1 reception.

In the 2006-07 off-season Jon Brams thought Bruce might have more left in the tank, so he engineered a trade to get him from the Seagulls straight-up for the inconsistent, seemingly allergic-to-the-end-zone Travis Taylor.

After Bruce showed some flashes of his old form in 2007, making 37 catches for 425 yards and 4 touchdowns in a starting role, Brams decided Bruce may be better suited to spell Evans on the other side. The experiment is a success thus far. When Bruce hasn’t been able to put distance between himself and opposing cornerbacks, Evans has — and vice-versa. The tandem now has 56 receptions for 747 yards and 7 scores.

Bruce noted that the Cherries have been the winning side in all 4 of the Delaware-Atlantic City/Hershey games since the trade. “That’s been gratifying. There is a team concept here I really like. We had that in A.C. for many years but … ,” he trailed off. “I'm just happy to be here.” In those 4 games, Bruce has 201 yards on 12 catches, with 3 going for touchdowns. Taylor, for his part, had only 13 catches last year as a Seagull, good for less than 100 yards, and then announced his retirement.

Three other veterans played major roles for the Cherries in their team record eighth straight win:

Relying heavily on veterans can be a double-edged sword. We’re reaching the point of the season when older players may tire more easily and become more susceptible to injury than younger players. The Cherries are an older team. Brams may need to juggle his personnel more adroitly down the stretch.