31 March 2001
Enforcers 23, Hitmen 18

Enforcers Win the Marathon

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Kevin McDougal returned from a neck injury and threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Willy Tate with 1:41 to play to give the Chicago Enforcers a 23-18 victory over the New York-New Jersey Hitmen on Saturday night in the XFL.

McDougal also threw touchdown passes of 9 and 16 yards to Luke Leverson and linebacker Jamie Beasley preserved the Enforcers' fourth win in five games by intercepting a pass at the goal line with two seconds to play.

Chicago (4-5) can claim the second playoff berth in the Eastern Division by beating Orlando (8-1) at home next Sunday.

The Hitmen (3-6) will make the playoffs if they win at Birmingham (2-7) and Orlando beats the Enforcers.

Chicago did its best to give the game away, turning the ball over three times in the second half, highlighted by Joey Eloms 76-yard interception return that gave New York-New Jersey an 18-16 lead early in the third quarter.

That lead looked like it would stand until halfback Joe Aska fumbled at the New York-New Jersey 43 with 2:34 to play and Quincy Colemen recovered.

A pass interference against Eloms on the next play moved the ball to the 22. McDougal, who sprained his neck being hit after throwing a third-quarter interception deep in Hitmen territory and missed two series, then found Tate all alone on the right sideline for a touchdown.

Corte McGuffey, who made his first start for the injured Wally Richardson, drove the Hitmen to the Chicago 5 on the last possession. He hit Kirby Dar on a 15-yard pass and Anthony DiCosmo for 30. However, a holding penalty and an illegal forward pass set up a fourth-and-goal from the 20, and Beasley picked off the pass.

New York-New Jersey jumped to an 8-0 first-quarter lead when McDougal was called for a safety for grounding in the end zone and Aska scored on a 15-yard run.

McDougal, who was 13 of 24 for 193, cut the lead to 8-6 with a 9-yard TD pass to Leverson. Chicago took a 9-8 lead on an 18-yard field goal by Andy Crosland.

Leo Araguz gave New Jersey an 11-9 lead with a 28-yard field goal with 58 seconds left in the first half, but McDougal drove the Enforcers 75 yards in seven plays, with McDougal and Leverson combining on a 16-yard TD with six seconds left in the half.

Chicago had a fourth-and-four at the New Jersey 30 when Eloms picked off McDougal on the right sideline and went all the way for a touchdown.

Johnson finished with 103 yards rushing on 16 carries, but he also had a fumble at the Hitmen 2 in the fourth quarter.

SUMMARY

XFL     FINAL             1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH     TOTAL
                          ---  ---  ---  ---     -----
        CHICAGO             0   16    0    7      23
        NYNJ                8    3    7    0      18     FINAL

    SCORING SUMMARY

    1ST QUARTER: NYN - SAFETY, 3:01. NYNJ 2-0
                 NYN - TD, JOE ASKA 15 YD RUN (PAT FAILED), 11:15. Drive:
                           3 plays, 31 yards in 1:42. Key plays: McGuffey
                           12-yard pass to Arching to Chicago 15. NYNJ 8-0
    2ND QUARTER: CHI - TD, LUKE LEVERSON 9 YD PASS FROM KEVIN MCDOUGAL
                           (PAT FAILED), 6:25. Drive: 9 plays, 85 yards in
                           5:41. Key plays: McDougal 23-yard pass to Lord
                           on 3rd-and-6 to Chicago 43. NYNJ 8-6
                 CHI - FG, ANDY CROSLAND 18 YD, 10:53. Drive: 5 plays, 27
                           yards in 3:22. Key plays: Finkes recovery of
                           Dicosmo fumble at New York 29; McDougal 11-yard
                           pass to Bailey to New York 5. CHICAGO 9-8
                 NYN - FG, LEO ARAGUZ 28 YD, 14:02. Drive: 8 plays, 37
                           yards in 3:09. Key plays: McGuffey 14-yard pass
                           to Dar Dar to Chicago 33. NYNJ 11-9
                 CHI - TD, LUKE LEVERSON 16 YD PASS FROM KEVIN MCDOUGAL
                           (KEVIN MCDOUGAL PASS TO CHARLES WILEY FOR
                           CONVERISON), 14:54. Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards in
                           0:52. Key plays: McDougal 42-yard pass to Lord
                           to New York 43;. CHICAGO 16-11
    3RD QUARTER: NYN - TD, JOEY ELOMS 76 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (CORTE
                           MCGUFFEY PASS TO RYAN COLLINS FOR CONVERISON),
                           5:59. NYNJ 18-16
    4TH QUARTER: CHI - TD, WILLIE TATE 19 YD PASS FROM KEVIN MCDOUGAL
                           (LESHON JOHNSON RUN FOR CONVERISON), 13:19.
                           Drive: 2 plays, 43 yards in 0:47. Key plays:
                           22-yard pass interfence penalty on Tate to New
                           York 21. CHICAGO 23-18



TEAM STATISTICS

                              CHI            NYN
                         --------       --------
FIRST DOWNS                    18             13
Rushing                         5              4
Passing                        11              8
Penalty                         2              1
3RD-DOWN EFFICIENCY           0-0            0-0
4TH-DOWN EFFICIENCY           0-0            0-0
TOTAL NET YARDS               353            233
Total plays                    58             48
Average gain                  6.1            4.9
NET YARDS RUSHING             130            108
Rushes                         29             23
Average per rush              4.5            4.7
NET YARDS PASSING             223            125
Completed-attempted         17-29          13-22
Yards per pass                7.7            5.0
Sacked-yards lost             0-0           3-19
Had intercepted                 2              2
PUNTS-AVERAGE              3-43.3         5-50.8
RETURN YARDAGE                134            209
Punts-returns                4-36           3-21
Kickoffs-returns             4-98          5-112
Interceptions-returns         2-0           2-76
PENALTIES-YARDS              7-53           5-57
FUMBLES-LOST                  3-1            3-2
TIME OF POSSESSION          33:20          26:40


PLAYER STATISTICS

Missed field goals:  None.

Chicago rushing: Leshon Johnson 16-103, John Avery 7-26, Craig
Whelihan 1-2, Luke Leverson 1-0, Kevin Mcdougal 2-0, Charles Wiley
2-minus 1.

Nynj rushing: Joe Aska 18-101, Corte Mcguffey 3-6, Dino Philyaw 2-1.

Chicago passing: Kevin Mcdougal 13-24 for 193 yards, 2 INT, 3 TD,
Craig Whelihan 4-5 for 30 yards, 0 INT, 0 TD.

Nynj passing: Corte Mcguffey 13-22 for 144 yards, 2 INT, 0 TD.

Chicago receiving: Aaron Bailey 6-81, Junior Lord 4-71, Luke Leverson
2-25, Leshon Johnson 2-9, Willie Tate 1-19, Fred Coleman 1-9, Tyji
Armstong 1-9.

Nynj receiving: Anthony Dicosmo 4-47, Kirby Dar Dar 4-45, Dino
Philyaw 2-13, Zola Davis 1-16, Mike Archie 1-12, Ryan Collins 1-11.

Chicago tackles-assists-sacks (unofficial): Jamie Baisley 4-4-0, Ray
Austin 3-4-0, Dorian Brew 4-1-0, Kerry Cooks 3-2-0, Aaron Humphrey
4-0-0, Corey Ivy 4-0-1, John Fisher 0-3-0, Quincy Coleman 2-0-0,
Leshon Johnson 1-1-0, Larry Fitzpatrick 1-1-1, Jason Chorak 1-1-0,
Jason Bray 1-0-1, Andy Crosland 1-0-0, Junior Lord 1-0-0, Aaron
Bailey 1-0-0, Carlos Timmons 1-0-0, Charles Wiley 1-0-0, Hubert
Thompson 0-1-0, Chike Egbuniwe 0-1-0, Halakilangi Muagututia 0-1-0.

Nynj tackles-assists-sacks (unofficial): Ron Merkerson 8-3-0, Tyree
Talton 4-3-0, Damen Wheeler 4-1-0, Christian Maumalanga 3-2-0, Donnie
Caldwell 1-3-0, Joey Eloms 3-0-0, Brad Trout 2-1-0, Dwayne Sabb
2-0-0, Tawambi Settles 2-0-0, Vernon Crawford 2-0-0, Mark Tate 1-1-0,
Leo Araguz 1-0-0, Dino Philyaw 1-0-0, Anthony Dicosmo 1-0-0, Bernard
Russ 1-0-0, Henry Slay 1-0-0, Israel Raybon 0-1-0, Tim Beauchamp
0-1-0, Ryan Collins 0-1-0, Haven Fields 0-1-0.

Interceptions: Chicago (Quincy Coleman 1 for 0 yards, Jason Bray 1
for 0 yards); Nynj (Damen Wheeler 1 for 0 yards, Joey Eloms 1 for 76
yards).

Fumbles lost: Chicago (Leshon Johnson); Nynj (Anthony Dicosmo, Joe
Aska).

Opponent's fumbles recovered: Chicago (Quincy Coleman, Matt Finkes);
Nynj (Tyree Talton).

Officials: Referee-Steve Pamon, Umpire-Richard Brown, Head
linesman-Derick Bowers, Line judge-Tod Reese, Back judge-Scott
Helverson, Side judge-Michael Sheahan, Field judge-Michael Banks.

A : 29,713 
T: 2:53.