ROSEMONT, IL (April 14, 2013) – Looking for their first win of the season Sunday, the Pittsburgh Power traveled to Chicago to take on the Rush in the first-ever meeting between the two franchises. Offensive inefficiency spelled trouble for the Power, who lost 45-14 at Allstate Arena in front of 4,187.
With Chicago starting quarterback Carson Coffman unable to go with an injury sustained in the Rush's game last week against San Antonio, newly signed Danny Southwick got the nod this afternoon. The change resulted in a rough start for Chicago, but Southwick adjusted and converted two big fourth downs before connecting with Reggie Gray for a 13-yard score to put Chicago up 7-0, which was the score after one quarter of play.
Jordan Jefferson led the Power out onto the field looking to tie the game. Jefferson hit Power receiver Mike Washington five times on the drive, moving Pittsburgh down to the three yard-line. Facing a fourth and goal, Pittsburgh dialed up a reverse to receiver P.J. Berry, which came up just short – sending the ball back to the Rush.
Southwick took the field for Chicago's second possession going four-for-four to start the drive. After a Power roughing the passer penalty, Southwick found Jared Jenkins for a 12-yard touchdown, putting the Rush up 14-0 with 10:21 left in the half.
Much like their first drive, Pittsburgh was able to move the ball down the field easily with their second possession. Jefferson moved his team inside the ten yard-line but on first and goal, lost the ball and it was recovered by Chicago's Derek Walker.
Fortunately for Pittsburgh, no further damage was done as Rush kicker Jose Martinez was unable to knock through a 26-yard field goal. Jefferson and the Power took over; connecting with Mike Washington for a first down, but then threw four-straight incompletions, sending the ball back to Chicago on downs.
Chicago was able to work the ball down to the Power goal line at the end of the first half, but Pittsburgh came up strong with a goal line stand as time expired, sending them to the locker room down 14-0.
The Power didn't need long to score once the second half started. On their first play, Jefferson scrambled for 32 yards down to the Chicago three yard-line. From there, Kirby Griffin plunged in to put the Power on the board down 14-7, the closest they would get all afternoon.
Although he didn't start, Coffman entered the game in the third for Southwick, who experienced concussion-like symptoms at halftime. On his first drive, Coffman was a perfect four-for-four, spreading the ball around to his receivers. Rush fullback J.J. Payne finished the drive with a four-yard rushing touchdown to put Chicago back up by two scores.
After a Power four-and-out, Martinez would add a 27-yard field goal to the board to make it 24-7. Jefferson and Washington would connect for Pittsburgh's last score of the game. From there, it was all Chicago as they added to their lead and the final result was a 45-14 Chicago win.
The Power will be on the road against the New Orleans VooDoo this Friday, April 19. Kickoff at the New Orleans Arena will be 8:30 p.m. EDT.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Reggie Gray — Chicago
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Joe Phinisee — Chicago
J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME
Carson Coffman — Chicago
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE GAME
Reggie Gray 4th Quarter Touchdown
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
Reggie Gray 4th Quarter Touchdown