Los Angeles Xtreme to host XFL's "The Million Dollar Game" this Saturday at the Coliseum
April 16, 2001(Los Angeles)--Led by its defense and the electric play of Pasadena native Saladin McCullough the Los Angeles Xtreme rolled over the Chicago Enforcers 33-16 on Easter Sunday in front of 13, 081 at the Coliseum.
With the victory the Xtreme not only advanced to the XFL Championship, "The Million Dollar Game" but will host the game as well Saturday, April 21 at the Coliseum against the San Francisco Demons.
"The Million Dollar Game" will be televised on NBC. Kickoff is 5pm.
Sunday in the XFL Semifinals, the Xtreme were led by former Southern California prep school star Saladin McCullough who rushed for a team record 164 yards on 21 carries including a team best 44-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
McCullough, who spent four of the first five games of the regular season on the Xtreme practice squad out-rushed the Enforcers star running back John Avery by 100 yards. Avery, who rushed for 64 yards on 14 carries Sunday night, was the XFL's leading rusher at the end of the regular season.
The Xtreme also received another strong performance from quarterback Tommy Maddox. The league's leader in passing yards and touchdowns during the regular season completed 18 of 24 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
Maddox completed the Xtreme's first scoring drive of the game on the team's first possession hitting Jeremaine Copeland with a 26-yard touchdown passs to cap a six play 60-yard drive and put the Xtreme up 6-0.
At the end of the second quarter Maddox hit Damon Gibson for a 7-yard score to give the Xtreme a 17-10 lead. The Xtreme would lead for the rest of the game.
The XFL is expected to announce its Player of the Year Award later this week. Maddox is considered to be one of the front runners along with the Enforcers' John Avery.
Also turning up the screws Sunday, the Xtreme defense. Ranked sixth overall during the regular season, the Xtreme D has not allowed a touchdown in its last two games. The Enforcers only touchdown of the game came on a blocked punt returned for a touchdown by Chike Egbuniwe in the second quarter put Chicago up 10-9.
The Xtreme defense also shutout the San Francisco Demons in the final game of the regular season. The Xtreme defense has not yielded a touchdown since the 10:29 mark in the fourth quarter against the Demons in Week 8 in Memphis.
The Xtreme defense went into Sunday's game a bit fired up thanks to John Avery's prediction that he would have at least two runs for 60-yards against the Xtreme. Avery was held to 64 yards on the day. Avery's longest run of the day was 17 yards.
"All I have to say about John Avery is, his mouth is on a check his butt can't cash," said Juan Long, Xtreme linebacker. "We won. We are headed to The Million Dollar Game. We are on our way."
Xtreme cornerback Clifton Abraham topped off the strong defensive performance with a 88-yard interception return late in the fourth quarter off of Enforcer quarterback Kevin McDougal. The touchdown was the first by the Xtreme defense all season.
The Xtreme and the Demons have split their two previous meetings this season. The Demons beat the Xtreme in Week One 15-13 on a last second field goal. Most recently, the Xtreme shutout the Demons in the final week of the regular season, 24-0, to clinch the Western Division Title. This Saturday the teams will meet again for the XFL Championship and the right to split one million dollars.
"I told the guys the whole season comes down now to a best of three with the Demons," said Al Lugibill, Xtreme Head Coach. "But this time all the money is on the line."
The Xtreme have earned the right to host the "Million Dollar Game" Saturday night in Orlando by posting a better record than the Demons during the regular seaon. The Xtreme won the Western Division Title with a 7-3 record. The Demons finished second at 5-5 to earn the second playoff spot coming out of the West.
The Demons advanced to "The Million Dollar Game" Saturday night in Orlando by beating the Rage 26-25. The Rage had posted the league's best regular season record at 8-2.
If the Xtreme were to win "The Million Dollar Game", next Saturday each player on the 38-man active roster would split the bonus pool of one million dollars. The bonus breaks down to just over $26,000 per player or around half of the player's salary for the entire ten game regular season.
Each player on the Xtreme earned $7,500 for Sunday's victory over Chicago. Each player on the Enforcers earned $5,000.