Courtesy: Columbus Destroyers Media Relations
Russell throws three touchdowns, Guerra catches two more TD’s in tough home loss
COLUMBUS – The Columbus Destroyers, presented by GermainCars.com, fell to the Washington Valor in front of 6,122 fans at Nationwide Arena, 29-27 on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the team drops to 0-5 on the season. Quarterback Grant Russell connected on 20 of his 27 passes for 173 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception, while wide receiver Fabian Guerra collected two more receiving touchdowns, totaling five receptions for 47 yards.
Destroyers defensive back Varmah Sonie intercepted Valor quarterback Arvell Nelson on the first drive of the game, leading to a 16-yard scoring strike from Russell to Guerra to give Columbus an early 7-0 lead. After a sack by nose guard Terrance Taylor forced as turnover on downs, Russell found Guerra for his second score of the game, this time a six-yard play to extend the Destroyers lead to 14-0.
In the second quarter, the Valor got on the board when Nelson called his own number and ran it in from seven yards out to make the score 14-7, Columbus. The Destroyers answered on their next possession when Russell connected with wide receiver Tony Stevens an 11-yard score to again extend the Columbus lead to 21-7.
On the first drive of the second half, jack linebacker Alvin Ray Jackson picked off a Russell pass and returned it seven yards for a touchdown to trim the Columbus lead to 21-14. The Destroyers responded on the next drive when kicker Craig Peterson hit a 24-yard field goal to extend the Destroyers lead to 24-14. Washington scored on their next drive, with Nelson finding wide receiver Doug McNeil III for a seven-yard scoring strike to trim the Columbus lead to 24-21.
In the fourth quarter, Peterson tacked on another field goal from 37 yards out to give the Destroyers a 27-21 edge. After a big defensive stop led to a turnover on downs for the Destroyers, their fourth stop of the night, the Valor forced Russell into an intentional grounding in the endzone, resulting in a safety and trimming the Columbus lead to 27-23. On the final play of the game, Nelson found McNeil III for his second score of the night, this time the game-winner from seven yards out to seal a 29-27 win for Washington.
Next up for the Destroyers is a road matchup with the Philadelphia Soul on Saturday, June 1st at 7:00pm from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. The game can be seen live on The CW, heard on CD102.5, and streamed on ESPN3.