ALLENTOWN, PA (July 8, 2012) – Looking to stay unbeaten at home this season, the Lehigh Valley Storm of the Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) lost to the D.C. Explosion, 32-13, to halt their winning streak at three games.
On a day when the weather interfered with pre-game ceremonies and delayed the start of the contest, it appeared early that luck would not be on the side of the Storm. In a mirror image to their first meeting, the Explosion received the opening kickoff and used a lengthy drive to score the game’s first touchdown. The ensuing possession for the Storm also led to points, but in the way of a 49-yard fumble recovery for an Explosion defensive touchdown. Midway through the second quarter, the Explosion would capitalize again on a Storm turnover, this time on a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown. The only aspect of the game to this point in the Storm’s favor was that the Explosion did not have an active kicker and failed to convert on their first three 2-point conversion attempts, keeping the score at 18-0. The Storm, however, would rally before halftime to make a game of it (18- 10); first on a 33-yard pass from Jamie Sellers to Devon Blake, and then on a 35-yard field goal by Dennis Hardick. In the second half, the Storm would get within five points with another Hardick field goal (18-13), but costly mistakes on the offensive side of the ball led to a couple more defensive touchdowns by the Explosion, thus sealing their fate en route to a 32-13 loss.
Despite the score, the defense was once again solid. After allowing a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, they pretty much shut down the Explosion’s offense for the remainder of the game. The team recorded three sacks (two by Chris Medina), as well as two interceptions and a fumble recovery. They also stopped four out of five 2-point conversion attempts. The offense, on the other hand, was inept for most of the game and really could never find their stride. The receivers of the Storm were blanketed by an aggressive Explosion defense and the running game was basically non-existent. Five touchdowns were scored as a result of the offense, but unfortunately four were for the opposition.
Don Huskey, acting as Storm head coach for the second time this season with Joe Ruffino unable to attend the game, stated “they came prepared and we weren’t. We knew it was going to be a tough game today because they played us hard last month and nearly beat the Cardinals (2011 GDFL Champion Chambersburg Cardinals) last week. I thought we had a good week of practice, but we didn’t have our ‘A-game’ today. It happens, but we know what we have to work on to get better.” He added, “I can’t fault the defense. We put pressure on their quarterback and didn’t allow him to get comfortable. After the first drive, their offense didn’t score.” Huskey continued, “On offense, we just have to settle Jamie (quarterback Jamie Sellers) down and get back to basics.”
The Storm will host the Red City Outlaws next Saturday, July 14th, at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown, PA. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.