Rocky First Half Crushes Rampage

DenisePopiolek

A shaky start on both sides of the ball led to a 35-0 Grand Rapids Rampage deficit and an eventual 73-48 loss to the defending ArenaBowl champion Colorado Crush on Centennial Wireless Field at Van Andel Arena Saturdat night. Former Michigan State quarterback Ryan Van Dyke made his first Rampage start in place of Chad Salisbury, who was a game-time decision with an oblique injury.

The Crush scored touchdowns on each of its first six drives, while the Rampage went scoreless in its first four. Grand Rapids finally reached the endzone with 57 seconds left in the first half when Van Dyke hit Timon Marshall on an 11-yard pass. The duo connected 45-seconds later on a 21-yard strike to make the score 42-14 at the half.

Van Dyke completed 19-of-34 for 191 yards with four TDs and three interceptions. Marshall compiled 209 all-purpose yards on seven receptions for 79 yards with two TDs and seven kickoff returns for 130 yards. Chris Ryan (21 yards) and Anthony Hines (28 yards) also caught touchdowns from Van Dyke.

Colorado defensive specialist Rashad Floyd had all three of Van Dyke's interceptions, all of which were in the end zone preventing Rampage touchdowns. Floyd also forced a fumble that Ironman of the Game Ahmad Hawkins scooped up and returned for a score.

Grand Rapids outscored Colorado 34-31 in the second half, but could not pull any closer than 21 points down. Rampage WR/DB Josh Bush intercepted Crush QB John Dutton early in the third quarter and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown. Four and half minutes later, he returned a kickoff 52 yards for
another score.

Bush's interception was the Rampage's 17th on the season, which is a new franchise single-season record with five games remaining. The previous mark was 16 from the 2003 team.

For the Crush, quarterback John Dutton was the Offensive Player of the Game after completing 21-of-29 for 244 yards with five touchdowns and an interception. Crush OS Damian Harrell snagged three of Dutton's scores, while Andy McCullough hauled in the other two.

The Rampage head to Dallas next Saturday, April 15 to take on the Eastern Division-leading Desperados. Kickoff is slated for 9:00 p.m. and can be heard live on WBFX 101.3 FM. The game will be tape-delayed on Fox Sports Detroit starting at 11:00 p.m.

Grand Rapids returns to Centennial Wireless Field at Van Andel Arena on Sunday, April 23 when it takes on the Arizona Rattlers. Kickoff is at 2:00 p.m. The Rampage plays three of its five remaining games at home this season.

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