The Revolution made the trip from New Jersey for their American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) debut, but the Baltimore Mariners proved to be inhospitable to their guests as they pounded the Revos 68-23 behind a record-tying five interceptions by defensive back Armar Watson and five touchdown passes from quarterback E.J. Nemeth.
Just 1:25 into the game the Mariners jumped to a 7-0 lead with a 35-yard touchdown strike from Nemeth to wide receiver Scorpio Brown. Baltimore then grew their 1st quarter lead to 21-0 following a 45-yard interception for a score by Watson and a 12-yard touchdown run by running back Isaiah Grier. New Jersey kicker Craig Pinto nailed a 21-yard field goal to close the quarter with Baltimore leading 21-3.
The Mariners continued to pound the Revolution with a 30-point outburst in the second period. Nemeth tossed three more scoring passes hitting Brown, Jamaal Stokes, and Aaron Yarbough for touchdown receptions of 33, 42, and 7 yards respectively. Grier also added his second touchdown dash of the day, a 2-yarder, and kicker J.R. Cipra booted two unos (by splitting the uprights on kickoffs) to give the Mariners a franchise record 51 points in the first half. New Jersey could only muster a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jay Hawes to Zikoma Richards in the quarter and Baltimore held a resounding 51-10 lead at the half.
With another 32-yard scoring strike from Hawes, this time to Elliot White, and a 29-yard field goal from Pinto, New Jersey reduced the lead to 51-20, but Nemeth’s fifth scoring lob of the game, a 6-yarder to Grier ended any hopes of a monumental comeback from the Revolution as Baltimore closed the third period leading 58-20.
With a commanding lead, Head Coach Chris Simpson had the luxury of allowing some reserve players to garner playing time in the fourth quarter, but Baltimore still outscored the Morristown, New Jersey based team 10-3 in the final period of play. Pinto and Cipra exchanged field goals, but former Towson University All-American Brian Bradford returned a fumble for 22 yards and the score to seal Baltimore’s second straight win to start the 2010 campaign 2-0.
“In the first half our offense and defense definitely clicked. We made some necessary adjustments to our defense during the week, which gave us an advantage for this game. I liked what I saw tonight and it was a solid effort overall and a good game for us to build on as we approach the rest of the season,” commented Simpson.
On the night Nemeth was 12 for 20 for 165 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. Grier led all rushers with 28 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Stokes topped the Mariners receiving corps with seven receptions for 76 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, Bradford led Baltimore with 4.5 tackles, the fumble recovery for a score, and broke up three passes. Watson tied the AIFA record with five interceptions in a game and also added 3.5 tackles, while Fearon Wright racked up two sacks, two tackles for a loss, and one forced fumble.
Next Sunday, March 21st at 4:00 PM at 1st Mariner Arena the Mariners will look to run their season record to 3-0. They will face the Fayetteville Guard who will be making their 2010 season debut after earning a playoff spot in 2009 with an 8-6 record.