In the featured battle between Arena Football's big names, the Detroit Drive's Art Schlichter was brilliant while the Washington Commados' Charlie Brown was all but invisible.

Brown, the ex-Washington Redskins all-pro pass receiver, was held catchless and didn't play at all in the second half as quarterback Schlichter and the Drive pounded the overmatched Commandos, 52-28, before 3,492 quiet fans at George Mason University's Patriot Center last night.

Schlichter, the former Ohio State all-American eventually suspended from the NFL, tossed five touchdown passes, two to James Flowers, in guiding the Drive to its second win in as many games this season.

Two of those five touchdown passes, one to Steve Griffin and one to William McClay, came in the second half, in which Detroit outscored the Commandos, 30-14. Schlichter, scrambling all over the field, punished the Commandos repeatedly with big play after big play.

"If you can scramble, you can play in any league," said Schlichter, who totaled 278 yards on 13-of-25 passing. "NFL, CFL, Arenaball, you name it. We've got some really good receivers on this team. They don't drop many. And those big plays are the key to winning in this league."

The Commandos' offensive woes continued. Washington (0-2) has scored only 48 points in its two losses in a league where combined scores regularly run in the 90s. Detroit outgained the Commandos, 309 yards to 169.

"We didn't do the things we wanted to," said Washington's starting quarterback Tony Burris, who was pulled in favor of Mike Rhodes in the second half. "Too many missed opportunities. I thought we had turned the corner in the first quarter. We had them on the ropes. I could tell they were worried."

But it wasn't long before the Commandos were the worried ones. And it was the Drive's big plays that did it.

"I don't feel like they outplayed us," said Commandos Coach Mike Hohensee. "They just big-played us to death. But we can't be giving those plays up. Right now we have nowhere to go but up."

Brown, who was playing with a deep thigh bruise suffered in last week's loss at Albany, didn't play in the second half and was thrown to only twice in the first half.

"I have to respect Mike's calls. He's the coach," said Brown, whose six-year NFL career ended in 1987. "I didn't get loose before the game. And then my thigh tightened up. You could say that things didn't go too well for me."

Rhodes entered the game in the third quarter, and after only two snaps -- his first of the season -- had put the faltering Commandos back in contention. But it was only temporary, as Schlichter soon put the game out of reach.

Hohensee was impressed with Rhodes, a towering (6-foot-7) Georgia Tech product.

"We had this long lull in our offense," the coach said, "and I decided that was the time to get Rhodes in there. I don't think Tony {Burris} did a bad job, though. We just needed some fresh blood in there.

"We don't have great receivers at this point. Charlie Brown is hurt, and I think that affected him tonight. Russell Hairston {a former Theodore Roosevelt High star and the 1987 Arena league MVP} has been hurt also, and he wasn't at full speed."

Burris gained 102 yards on nine-for-19 passing, but threw two interceptions. Rhodes was six of 12 for 76 yards and no interceptions. Both quarterbacks were plagued by Detroit's pass rush, which registered six sacks for 22 yards in losses.