Sunday, February 18, 2001

Rage 18, HITMEN 12

Road Rage hits Hitmen

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The XFL team from Florida heated up in the cold of Giants Stadium to remain unbeaten.

The Orlando Rage rallied to beat the New York-New Jersey Hitmen 18-12 Sunday night, leaving the Rage at 3-0 and the Hitmen winless in as many games in the new league.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jeff Brohm, looking like Steve Young, scrambled 33 yards down the middle, juking three defenders on his way to the winning touchdown with 2:33 remaining.

"There were a lot of guys slipping out there," Brohm said. "Maybe that's why I got in.

"I played under Steve and learned from one of the best."

When the sputtering offenses found some rhythm in the second half, the announced crowd of 25,626 -- perhaps 20,000 fans actually were on hand in 30-degree temperatures with a wind-chill of 8 -- came alive.

"You could tell we were the warm weather team early on," Brohm said. "The field and the conditions affected us, but we sucked it up and showed we are the best team."

Maybe the spectators were more inspired by the gyrating cheerleaders, fireworks and miked players with their primal screams, all staples of the XFL. But they weren't exiting because of dull football and the frigid conditions, as they did the previous week at Giants Stadium.

The Hitmen began moving the ball in the second half behind backup quarterback Wally Richardson. Heeding the advice from several signs in the stands saying "Pull Puleri," Hitmen coach Rusty Tillman benched struggling quarterback Charlie Puleri after another poor half.

Richardson guided New York-New Jersey 74 yards on 12 plays and a fourth-quarter touchdown. He hit tight end Marcus Hinton over the middle from the 20 and Hinton bulled into the end zone for a 12-3 edge.

"He did a pretty good job for the first time in there," Tillman said. "We were just trying to get a spark out of somebody."

The Hitmen took the lead 6-3 when Leo Araguz, who had a 42-yard field goal in the first half, made one from 39 in the third quarter. It was set up by Damen Wheeler's interception and 12-yard return to the Rage's 29.

But Wheeler was victimized for a 42-yard reception by Dialleo Burks that led to Jay Taylor's second field goal, a 45-yard yarder that made it 12-6. Burks later beat him again for a 22-yarder to the Hitmen 1 and Derrick Clark scored to tie it.

"The field was like a block of ice," Burks said. "It was like playing in the street. But that is no excuse for us to play the way we did early in the game."

When Richardson's seam pass to Hinton went off the receiver's shoulder and was intercepted by Stephen Fisher, it set up Brohm's decisive dash.

"I'm going to tell the coach to put him at running back," Burks said of Brohm, who vehemently shook his head no at that suggestion.

The Hitmen got to the Orlando 34 in the final minute, but a 20-yard sack and Fisher's second interception ended the threat.

One miked Orlando player than pointed to the fans and said, "You all can go home now."

Summary

XFL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
ORLANDO 3 0 0 15 18
NYNJ 0 3 3 6 12 FINAL

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST QUARTER: ORL - FG, JAY TAYLOR 29 YD, 13:37. Drive: 6 plays, 46
yards in 3:21. Key plays: Bailey 11-yard run
plus 15-yard late hit on Hitmen's Trout to New
York 32; Black 8-yard run to New York 24; Brohm
9-yard pass to Burks to New York 15. ORLANDO 3-0
2ND QUARTER: NYN - FG, LEO ARAGUZ 42 YD, 3:45. Drive: 9 plays, 31
yards in 5:08. Key plays: Dar Dar 37-yard
kickoff return to New York 45; Archie 7-yard
run on 3rd-and-2 to Orlando 40; Puleri 10-yard
pass to Blair to Orlando 27. ORLANDO 3, NYNJ 3
3RD QUARTER: NYN - FG, LEO ARAGUZ 39 YD, 6:19. Drive: 3 plays, 9 yards
in 1:57. Key plays: Wheeler 12-yard
interception return to Orlando 29; Richardson
6-yard run to Orlando 20. NYNJ 6-3
4TH QUARTER: NYN - TD, MARCUS HINTON 20 YD PASS FROM WALLY RICHARDSON
(PAT FAILED), 1:32. Drive: 12 plays, 74 yards
in 7:50. Key plays: Richardson 11-yad pass to
DiCosmo on 3rd-and-11 to New York 41;
Richardson 20-yard pass to Davis to Orlando 43;
Richardson 17-yard pass to Davis to Orlando 15.
NYNJ 12-3
ORL - FG, JAY TAYLOR 45 YD, 5:25. Drive: 6 plays, 45
yards in 3:27. Key plays: Brohm 42-yard pass to
Burks to New York 45. NYNJ 12-6
ORL - TD, DERRICK CLARK 1 YD RUN (PAT FAILED), 9:19.
Drive: 3 plays, 43 yards in 1:53. Key plays:
Brohm 20-yard run to New York 23; Brohm 22-yard
pass to Burks to New York 1. ORLANDO 12, NYNJ 12
ORL - TD, JEFF BROHM 33 YD RUN (PAT FAILED), 12:27.
Drive: 3 plays, 44 yards in 1:38. Key plays:
Fisher 7-yard interception return to New York
44. ORLANDO 18-12

TEAM STATISTICS

ORL NYN
-------- --------
FIRST DOWNS 15 10
Rushing 6 1
Passing 5 8
Penalty 4 1
3RD-DOWN EFFICIENCY 2-10 5-16
4TH-DOWN EFFICIENCY 0-0 0-0
TOTAL NET YARDS 257 203
Total plays 50 56
Average gain 5.1 3.6
NET YARDS RUSHING 149 77
Rushes 27 24
Average per rush 5.5 3.2
NET YARDS PASSING 108 126
Completed-attempted 10-21 15-29
Yards per pass 4.7 3.9
Sacked-yards lost 2-16 3-35
Had intercepted 1 2
PUNTS-AVERAGE 5-35.4 6-34.0
RETURN YARDAGE 75 158
Punts-returns 4-minus 12 4-24
Kickoffs-returns 4-80 5-122
Interceptions-returns 2-7 1-12
PENALTIES-YARDS 4-30 14-110
FUMBLES-LOST 0-0 0-0
TIME OF POSSESSION 27:32 32:28


PLAYER STATISTICS

Missed field goals: Nynj (Leo Araguz 43).

Orlando rushing: Jeff Brohm 6-64, Derrick Clark 11-37, Mike Black
9-37, Mario Bailey 1-11.

Nynj rushing: Wally Richardson 4-30, Michael Blair 7-21, Mike Archie
4-14, Keith Elias 8-12, Fred Brock 1-0.

Orlando passing: Jeff Brohm 10-21 for 124 yards, 1 INT, 0 TD.

Nynj passing: Wally Richardson 10-19 for 126 yards, 2 INT, 1 TD,
Charles Puleri 5-10 for 35 yards, 0 INT, 0 TD.

Orlando receiving: Dialleo Burks 5-88, Mario Bailey 2-18, Kevin
Swayne 1-15, Terrance Huston 1-3, Derrick Clark 1-0.

Nynj receiving: Anthony Dicosmo 4-39, Zola Davis 3-57, Fred Brock
3-24, Marcus Hinton 2-27, Michael Blair 2-16, Keith Elias 1-minus 2.

Orlando tackles-assists-sacks (unofficial): Jonathan Brown 5-6-0,
James Burgess 7-2-1, Patrise Alexander 4-4-1, Shawn Banks 2-3-0, Cory
Gilliard 2-3-1, James Roberson 1-4-0, Kelly Malveaux 2-2-0, Stephen
Fisher 1-3-0, Andre Purvis 2-0-0, Rich Young 1-1-0, Reginald Doster
1-1-0, Sedric Clark 0-2-0, Brian Shay 1-0-0, Derrick Clark 1-0-0,
Louis Riddick 1-0-0, Bill Duff 0-1-0, Ben Huff 0-1-0, Jay Taylor
0-1-0, Jimmy Clemments 0-1-0, Joe Cummings 0-1-0.

Nynj tackles-assists-sacks (unofficial): Ron Merkerson 7-3-1, Israel
Raybon 3-1-0, Brad Trout 3-1-0, Haven Fields 2-2-0, Dwayne Sabb
3-0-1, Damen Wheeler 2-1-0, Butler Bynote 2-0-0, Tim Beauchamp 2-0-0,
Michael Blair 2-0-0, Joey Eloms 2-0-0, Anthony Dicosmo 1-1-0, Tyree
Talton 1-1-0, Lamont Bryant 1-0-0, Mark Tate 1-0-0, Kirby Dar Dar
1-0-0, Tyrell Peters 1-0-0, Tawambi Settles 1-0-0, Ben Cavil 1-0-0,
Mike Barber 0-1-0.

Interceptions: Orlando (Stephen Fisher 2 for 7 yards); Nynj (Damen
Wheeler 1 for 12 yards).

Fumbles lost: None.

Opponent's fumbles recovered: None.

A: 25,626.