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Destroyers Fall to Empire in Season Opener, 35-19

Courtesy: Columbus Destroyers Media Relations

Russell totals two TD’s in relief of Southwick, Stoshak hauls in two touchdowns in road loss to open 2019 season

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Team1234T
Columbus Destroyers607619
Albany Empire71414035

ALBANY, NY – The Columbus Destroyers, presented by GermainCars.com, dropped their season opener to the Albany Empire 35-19 on Saturday night in front of 11,682 fans at the Times Union Center. With the loss, the Destroyers drop to 0-1 on the season. Quarterback Grant Russell totaled two touchdowns in relief of Danny Southwick, completing six of eight passes for 88 yards and a score, and adding a rushing touchdown. Anthony Amos led the team in receiving with seven catches for 98 yards, while rookie wide receiver Jenson Stoshak hauled in two touchdowns. Defensive back Varmah Sonie led the way on defense, tallying five and a half tackles and one interception on the night.

The Empire struck first when fullback Mykel Benson rumbled into the endzone from six yards out to give the home team an early 7-0 lead. Columbus answered on the next drive when Southwick found Stoshak for a 17-yard scoring strike. A blocked extra point trimmed Albany’s lead to 7-6 with 2:47 remaining in the first.

In the second quarter, the Destroyers forced a turnover on downs before Empire jack linebacker Terence Moore picked off a Southwick pass. Albany quarterback Tommy Grady found wide receiver Quentin Sims for a six-yard score on the next play to push their lead to 14-6 with 6:06 left in the first half. The Empire closed the first half with 24-yard throw-and-catch from Grady to wide receiver Malachi Jones, giving Albany a 21-6 lead at the break.

Albany extended their lead on their opening drive of the second half when Grady found Sims for a seven-yard strike to increase the Empire’s lead to 28-6. After Southwick was intercepted by Albany defensive back Arkeith Brown, wide receiver Christian Briggs hauled in a 16-yard touchdown pass from Grady to give the Empire a 35-6 advantage with 4:45 left in the third quarter. Russell relieved Southwick on Columbus’ next series and found Stoshak for his second touchdown of the game, this one a 29-yarder to cut into Albany’s lead, 35-13.

In the fourth quarter, Sonie picked off Grady, giving Columbus the ball back briefly. After both teams both turned the ball over on downs, Russell scored from six yards out to close out the scoring for the evening, cementing a 35-19 home victory for the Empire.

Next up for the Destroyers is a road match-up versus the Atlantic City Blackjacks on Saturday, May 4th at 3:30pm from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. The game can be seen live on the CW, heard on CD102.5, and streamed on the Monumental Sports Network.

 

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