CHICAGO (Green Bay Blizzard) - What a difference a week makes. Last weekend the Green Bay Blizzard faced the Chicago Slaughter in front of the home crowd at the Resch Center and pulled away early for a 63-36 win. Just eight days later on Saturday night at the Sears Centre in Chicago the resilient Slaughter (2-6) came up with big play after big play late in the game and squeezed past the Blizzard (5-2) by a score of 45-42. Providing a silver lining in the loss was another dominating performance by Blizzard running back LaRon Council. Council, the IFL's leading rusher, continued to write his name in the Green Bay Blizzard record books by scoring four touchdowns on the ground, matching the single game record for a Blizzard player. Last week Council broke the record for most rushing yards in a game.
Both offenses got off to sluggish starts early in the game as turnovers and good defense resulted in the score remaining knotted at zero for the first 13 minutes of play. Finally, with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter Chicago drew first blood on a 30-yard field goal courtesy of kicker Chris Nendick. The highlight of the period for Green Bay was B.J. Hill's seventh interception of the season on an errant pass from Perry Patterson.
Aaron Moore then snared the first of his two interceptions on the night leading immediately to a Donovan Porterie to Desmond Tardy 14-yard scoring strike to give the Blizzard a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter. At this point Juice Williams, the former Illinois standout, took over for Perry Patterson under center for Chicago. Using his legs, Williams drove the Slaughter inside the Blizzard ten and then handed off to receiver Eyad Salem for a 4-yard score to put the Slaughter back on top 14-10. For the rest of the half the teams traded blows, each scoring a pair of touchdowns. Green Bay's scores came on Council's first TD run and the first touchdown reception of his Blizzard career by wide receiver John Halman. The Slaughter scored their touchdowns courtesy of a Williams to Shatone Powers 12-yard pass and a Williams 15-yard scoring run of his own. The Williams run pushed Chicago ahead 24-21 heading into the break.
Head coach Robert Fuller made sure that Council got a heavy dose of carries early in the second half and that decision paid dividends for the Blizzard. Council carried for touchdowns on the first two Green Bay possessions of the half giving the Blizzard the largest lead of the night at 35-24 late in the third. Juice Williams and the Slaughter wouldn't go away, however, as Williams again found Powers in the end zone from 26 yards out to trim the deficit heading into the dramatic final period.
Chicago reclaimed the lead early in the fourth quarter after a short scoring burst by halfback Daniel DuFrene. After back-to-back drives ended in interceptions thrown by Porterie and Williams respectively, Council plowed into the end zone from 3 yards away to give the Blizzard their final lead of the night. With under a minute to play and the Slaughter facing 4th down and 14 from their own 22 yard line, Williams evaded the Blizzard rush and threw a bullet to Powers for 14 yards and a first down. Two plays later, Williams hit Powers in the flat out of the backfield and he scampered across the goal line untouched to put the Slaughter ahead 45-42. The Blizzard had time remaining and a timeout in their pocket after Chicago's kickoff sailed out of the end zone with 21 seconds left in the game. Needing only a field goal to tie, Porterie dropped back to pass and lofted a pass down the middle of the field that was intercepted by leaping Chicago defensive back Christopher Rodgers to seal the Blizzard's fate.
Green Bay lost despite outgaining the Slaughter both in the air and on the ground. The Blizzard are now 0-2 in games in which they trail at halftime (Week 1 in Sioux Falls).
Next up for the Blizzard is a crucial game against the Bloomington Edge (7-1) at the Resch Center on Saturday, April 28th. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m.