Ridley, Collins shine for Patriots as they down ColtsPublished 12:04am Sunday, January 12, 2014
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — A pair of Miss-Lou natives helped the Patriots advance to their third straight AFC championship game Saturday.
Trinity Episcopal Day School alumnus Stevan Ridley had 14 carries for 52 yards and two touchdowns for the Patriots, while Franklin County High School alumnus Jamie Collins had six solo tackles, three tackle assists, two tackles for loss, one sack, one pass deflection, three quarterback hits and an interception.
It was running back LeGarrette Blount, however, who was the star of the show. The 250-pound back had four touchdown runs and New England kept Andrew Luck from a second straight comeback win to beat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 Sunday night.
Blount scored on three 2-yard runs in the first half, then burst through the right side of the line and rambled 73 yards into the end zone, where he placed the ball gently on the ground made soggy by a game-long rain. He finished with 166 yards on 24 carries.
On the next series, Luck threw his third interception and the Patriots capitalized with Ridley’s second touchdown run, a 1-yarder that finished the scoring with 11:12 left.
The Patriots (13-4) will face the winner of the game today between the Broncos and Chargers. It will be in Denver if the Broncos win, and New England will host it if the Chargers win. The Colts (12-6) never led.
Blount joined Ricky Watters, who had five touchdowns for San Francisco on Jan. 15, 1994, as the only players with four or more in a playoff game. And the six rushing touchdowns by the Patriots tied the 49ers’ total in that game for second most in playoff history. Blount’s big rushing performance came two weeks after he ran for 189 yards and returned two kickoffs for 145 yards in a 34-20 victory over Buffalo in the regular-season finale.
Billed as a matchup between quarterbacks — long-time great Tom Brady and second-year star Luck — the Patriots’ leader was content to hand off while Luck threw an interception on his second pass and never found consistency. He threw two touchdown passes to LaVon Brazill but also threw four interceptions.
Luck threw three interceptions a week earlier but led the Colts from a 38-10 deficit early in the third quarter to a 45-44 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in a wild-card game.
The Colts trailed 21-12 at halftime against the Patriots and cut it to 29-22 on a 35-yard pass to Brazill with 5:01 left in the third. The Patriots dominated the rest of the way.
Blount’s first touchdown came on New England’s first offensive play after Alfonzo Dennard intercepted Luck’s pass and returned it 27 yards to the 2.
Blount scored again on the Patriots’ second series in which Brady completed all four of his passes.