ERIE - After falling to 1-3 three weeks ago, the Erie Storm vowed to turn around its season.
Two consecutive wins are proof of it happening after the Storm beat the defending AIFA champ Reading Express 41-34 Sunday at Tullio Arena.
"We're starting to put it together," Storm head coach Shawn Liotta said.
Quarterback Rod Rutherford threw four touchdown passes and ran for another to lead Erie (3-3) past the Express (3-4) and win the season series 2-1.
While Rutherford was impressive, the Erie defense also did its part by posting six sacks and forcing three turnovers.
Cornerback Sam Reynolds' 28-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:40 left in the first half put Erie up 14-13.
The Storm intercepted quarterback Rob Flowers twice.
"I just kind of read the quarterback's eyes," Reynolds said. "I know he likes to throw the corner route, so when I saw it, I just broke on it right away."
Reynolds' game-changing play came after Erie had two consecutive scoreless offensive possessions.
The Storm never trailed from that point as they built a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter.
"Our whole defensive philosophy is to just to try to intimidate," Erie linebacker Glenroy Watkins said. "We got in their heads. They started playing soft. Catching the ball and going down."
Flowers, a Muhlenberg and Kutztown University grad, was 21-for-39 with five touchdown passes.
Dan Kelly and Reading High grad Carmelo Ocasio each caught two TD passes. Jeff Willis caught the other.
In the battle for one of the three Eastern Division playoff spots, Reading dropped a half-game behind Erie.