Burn lays torch to Venom

By Allen LaMountain

   With a running game working with all the subtlety of a freight train rolling downhill, the Baltimore Burn dominated the Tennessee Venom 57-0 on Saturday night on Warrior Hill.
   Burn fullback Julie Ciccarelli rushed for 247 yards on 15 carries and scored three touchdowns as Baltimore as a team rolled for 485 yards on the ground and totaled 647 yards of total offense in rolling to it's fourth win of the season.
   "My offensive line was awesome tonight," said Ciccarelli. "They made it easy for me, the holes were just huge. We are a power running team, hard core and hard-hitting. That's just the way we play."
   Tennessee (0-5) couldn't get anything going offensively as Baltimore seemed a step too quick for the Venom on this night.
   "Execution was terrible," said Venom owner and offensive coordinator Susan Greenway. "As far as will to win, I don't think there is a team anywhere that wants it as badly as we do. We missed some blocks and we missed some reads. The play calls should work, but we failed to execute and see the open field."
   Baltimore held Tennessee to just seven yards rushing on 22 tries, and the Venom were held to just 35 yards of total offense as it was the Burn's night all the way.
   Nicole White got the Burn on the scoreboard first, capping a five-play 52 yard drive with a three yard touchdown. Ciccarelli's PAT attempt missed, but that was the only thing Baltimore failed to do well on this night.
   Ciccarelli scored - after the Venom went three and out - on a 37 yard jaunt and booted the point after to give the Burn a quick 13-0 advantage.
   That lead soon ballooned to 32-0 by the break as Ciccarelli scored on an eight yard run, Raynette Savoy tossed a 39 yard scoring strike to Sabrina Thomas and just before the half Burn quarterback Tara Watanathai threw a 40 yard scoring pass to Thomas.
   The horn sounded as Thomas was running across the field and several Venom players simply gave up on the play, thinking the half was over, and that play seemed to sum up the frustration of the Venom.
   "It is frustrating," said Greenway. "We have some good athlete's, and were working hard to find a solution to why we can't properly execute the plays. We had a big turnover (in personnel) this year so I consider this a rebuilding season for us."
   The Burn kept the pedal to the metal in the second half, scoring four more touchdowns to win this one going away.
   "We are a throwback football team," said Burn head coach Adrian Mobley. "Our game is strong running and strong defense. Ciccarelli, believe it or not, is a first year player, and with her and Nicole White we are strong in the running game."
   Thomas also had a fine game on the defensive side of the ball, registering nine tackles and forced Venom quarterback Vanessa Burke to the sideline early on with a big hit for a sack.
   "Our philosophy on defense is that we are number one," said Thomas. "Once you achieve that, everyone wants to bring you down. Tonight we showed what we are capable of as a defense. We gave up hardly anything o the ground and just two first downs. That's pretty good."
   For Tennessee Cheleste Meade had a good outing, registering a quarterback sack and recovering one of two Burn fumbles on the night, and Bridget Graves caught two passes for 28 yards and had 42 return yards to help supply the Venom with what little offense they could muster. Tameasha Marks rushed for 27 yards on 12 carries for Tennessee.
   For Baltimore the offensive parade of stars would take until next week to list, but in 14 offensive drives the Burn were forced to punt just twice, and turned the ball over on downs twice as well.