Thursday, April 4, 2013

Daily League News & Notes

Arena Football League
Predators Announce Child Abuse Prevention Night
Across the Nation, child abuse is the current leading cause of death in children under the age of 4.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, the community is encouraged to play a role in making Central Florida a better and safer place for our children to live. By ensuring that parents have the skills, knowledge and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by strengthening families and communities.
On April 20, 2013 the Orlando Predators will proudly support National Child Abuse Prevention Month by dedicating numerous pregame and in-game activities to bringing awareness to this important cause. Child Abuse Prevention Night will be brought to Predators fans with the help of Kids House Wayne Densch Children's Advocacy Center. In keeping with the theme of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Predators are asking fans to show support for child abuse prevention by wearing jeans and the color blue to the game.
Kids House is our local Children's Advocacy Center. This kid friendly facility is a model agency for the country. Kids House allows all agencies involved in child abuse cases to come together under one roof. Kids House has also invited all of Central Florida to join the "Get Out Your Blues" campaign, founded by Kids House, this April. "Get Out Your Blues" seeks to turn Central Florida blue on April 26th and encourages everyone to get involved.
Storm Add Depth to Offensive Line
The Tampa Bay Storm is pleased to announce the acquisition of offensive lineman Nick Torresso.
"We felt we needed to add to our offensive line," said vice president of football operations Jeff Gooch. "Nick brings the necessary depth and has the ability to play both sides of the ball."
Torresso (6-foot-2, 310 lbs., Bowling Green) joins the Storm after spending the past two seasons with the Milwaukee Mustangs. He played in 15 games during the 2012 season, and rushed nine times for 16 yards, and caught two passes for 25 yards and two touchdowns. Torresso also recorded 3.5 tackles on special teams.
Prior to turning pro, Torresso attended Bowling Green and started in 10-of-44 games for the Falcons. He played at the defensive tackle position for his first three seasons and recorded 38 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Torresso was moved to the offensive line his senior year.
The Storm have reassigned defensive lineman Max Holloway.
Philadelphia Looks to Win against Former Coach
The Philadelphia Soul are flying to Florida for their Week 3 matchup against the winless Orlando Predators. The Soul are looking to earn their first win of the 2013 season against their former head coach, Doug Plank.
Dolezel (11-8 regular season, 11-9 overall) is in his second season as head coach and enters his second game as head coach of the Soul. In this matchup, he will face off against the coach he was the assistant to last season, Doug Plank. Plank (58-26 regular season, 64-31 overall) in his sixth season as head coach and first season with the Predators. Philadelphia leads the series between the two teams 5-2 in the regular season (6-3 overall), although Plank has a 3-1 record against Philadelphia.
"We have to win the turnover battle," explains Soul head coach Clint Dolezel. "We didn't do that against Arizona and the result shows this. We also need to put pressure on their quarterback and protect ours. Those are some of the ingredients to winning. It'll be good to go into this matchup against Doug (Plank). We're both familiar with one another and it'll be interesting to see who blinks first."
The Soul enter the game after a bye week and Orlando is coming off a Week 2 loss to San Jose. Although the Soul led the league in passing offensive after Week 1 (323.0) and currently leads the league in total offense (347.0), Orlando has taken the reigns as the best passing offense in the league (337.5) and are right behind Philadelphia in total offense (340.0). The ground game between the two teams has the No. 4 rushing offense (24.0) of Philadelphia against the No. 4 rushing defense (5.5) of Orlando.
The Soul's advantage lies within their ability to provide time for QB Dan Raudabaugh. Last season, the Soul allowed five sacks the entire season; and have allowed no sacks in 2013. If the line can keep the pressure off Raudabaugh, he will be able to make the plays necessary to connect with the league-leading yards per game receiver, Tiger Jones (169.0), and the other receivers in the Philadelphia receiving core. Entering Week 3, Raudabaugh is averaging 323 yards per game.
However, Orlando's QB Kyle Rowley leads the league in passing yards a game (346.0). Facing the No. 12 pass defense (302.0) of Philadelphia, Orlando might have an advantage against Philadelphia. Orlando has the opportunity to use a strong pass game against a pass defense that struggled in Week 1. If Philadelphia can adjust and improve their pass defense, they should be able to imitate the same secondary that led the league in pass defense efficiency (94.8) in 2012.
This match-up comes down to which offense will be more effective. Orlando has the stronger defense, with the No. 4 total defense (257.0) as opposed to Philadelphia's No. 11 (303.0), but it depends on which offense can execute the plays necessary to win the game. Both head coaches Dolezel and Plank are looking to earn their first wins of the 2013 season with their new teams. The question is which team wants it more?

Champions Professional Indoor Football League
Wild to Seek Fifth Win in Kansas City
The Wichita Wild (4-0) will travel to Kansas City Saturday, April 6 to take on the Kansas City Renegades (1-2) in Kemper Arena; kick-off scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Wichita, currently riding a four game win streak, comes into the game after most recently capturing a resounding 52-22 victory over the Bloomington Edge on Saturday night in Hartman Arena. After opening the season with two losses, Kansas City clinched their first win of the season last Saturday night, defeating the Oklahoma Defenders in Kemper Arena 54-47.
Wichita started their game against Bloomington quick with wide receiver Tim Simmons returning the opening kickoff to the Bloomington 17 yard line. Three plays later, the Wild were on the board with a six yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rocky Hinds to Simmons giving them an early 7-0 lead. After the Edge struck back with a touchdown of their own, the Wild responded with three unanswered touchdowns via a two yard strike from Hinds to Chris Hemphill and two quarterback sneaks by Hinds to give Wichita a 26-6 lead. Bloomington hit back one more time, with LaVaughn Macon breaking down Wichita's defense at the end of the first half with a touchdown to bring the score, 26-14. Wichita's defense closed the door on Bloomington in the second half, with several of Bloomington's drives ending in turnover on downs. The strong defensive performance led to the Wild scoring 26 unanswered points, with running back Tywon Hubbard registering a 14 yard touchdown run, Hinds throwing two touchdowns, one to wide receiver Joe Kassanavoid and another to wide receiver Brian Murph, a field goal by Alex Fambrough, and the defense recording a safety. The Edge finally broke their scoring drought late in the fourth quarter with a touchdown followed by a successful two-point conversion, but the score would do no good as the Wild took their fourth win of the season in the final, 52-22. Wichita was led defensively by defensive linemen Matt Moss and James McCartney who had three and two sacks respectively, while Hinds controlled the offense with six touchdowns, four passing and two rushing.
Kansas City entered their game against Oklahoma having lost their first two games by an average of 11.5 points. At the start of the second quarter, the Renegades trailed the Defenders 14-7, but Kansas City quarterback Dennis Gile threw two touchdowns and ran for another to account for 19 unanswered points, giving the Renegades a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game. With both teams trading touchdowns in the third quarter, Oklahoma was able to tie the game at 33 after a minute gone in the final quarter, but Kansas City pulled away with consecutive scores late in the game to build a 54-39 lead. As the game wound down, the Defenders were able to manage one more touchdown off a fumble recovery, giving Kansas City a 54-47 victory over Oklahoma. The Renegades received a strong performance by Gile, who accounted for all of their touchdowns, seven through the air and one on the ground, while wide receiver Clinton Solomon caught nine passes for 110 yards and four touchdowns. Solomon, a previous member of the Wild and also named the CPIFL's Offensive Player of the Week, will need to continue his outstanding play to have any chance against his former team's impossible defense.
Player to Watch: Defensive Lineman Matt Moss
Matt Moss has been a force for opposing teams' offensive lines this season. Moss currently leads the CPIFL in tackles for loss and forced fumbles with 10.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles, while placing second in the league in sacks with 7.5 sacks, earning him a spot as the CPIFL's Defensive Player of the Week. The CPIFL leader in sacks, Wild defensive lineman James McCartney who has registered 9.5 sacks, has benefited from playing on the opposite side of the line as Moss. With Moss occupying the primary focus of the opposing teams this season, often obtaining double teams, McCartney has been free to wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines. Watch for Moss to find the Renegades' quarterback in Kansas City and make big plays to create scoring opportunities for the Wild offense.
The Wild will be on the road for the next two weeks, first taking on the Kansas City Renegades this week in Kemper Arena followed by the Bloomington Edge in U.S. Cellular Coliseum on April 12th; kickoff for both games is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (CST).

Indoor Football League
Storm Face Blizzard at Home
The Sioux Falls Storm (2-2) is facing the Green Bay Blizzard (1-4) this Sunday, April 7th at 3:05pm at the Sioux Falls Arena. The Blizzard will be looking for revenge, after being beaten (64-41), by the Storm in their season opener game at Green Bay. Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital is the proud sponsor of this April 7th showdown.
Just coming off of a bye-week, the Storm is looking to stir things up. While the Blizzard, looks to use the momentum of their first win, against the Titans, to pull them out of their losing slump.
Offensively, the Storm has an exciting addition to the roster. Coming out of retirement to join the Storm once again, Terrance Bryant will be depended on to lead the team. Bryant holds several records for passing, in both the Storm and the IFL record books.
Defensively, the Blizzard's line up will be looking to stop the Storm at all costs. With 23 solo tackles and 17 assisted, Elijah Fields will be a key player for the Blizzard's defense.
The Storm will be traveling next week, to play against the Tri-Cities Fever on 4/12. The team will return home the following week, to defend their territory against the Colorado Ice on 4/20.
Danger Set to Face Hot Revolution on Saturday
Two weeks ago, the Danger picked up a 62-35 win against the Wyoming Cavalry as they improved to 3-1 on the season. The Revolution won their second contest in a row as they defeated the Tri-Cities Fever 54-43 to improve their record to 2-2.
"This is a big game for us," Danger Head Coach Mike Davis said. "Texas is playing really well. Coming off our bye week, we need to get some momentum started for the month of April. This will be a big month for us."
A tough April schedule for the Danger features both home and away games with Texas and Intense Conference leader Colorado. The 4-1 Ice are off this week before hosting the Danger in Ft. Collins on April 13.
The Danger offense has had an efficient start through four games as they rank second in the IFL in scoring at 49 points per contest. Quarterback Jameel Sewell leads the league in quarterback efficiency and is second in the league at 178 yards per game. Sewell's favorite target is Kayne Farquharson, who leads the IFL with 341 receiving yards, and is also second in the league with 24 receptions.
"Our offense has been playing well," Davis said. "But we'll get a good test from the Texas defense. We have a lot of respect for their team and the way they have been playing recently. We expect a big challenge Saturday."
The Revolution will bring two reigning IFL Players of the Week to the Heartland Events Center. Quarterback Marcus Jackson accounted for six touchdowns (four passing, two rushing) in last week's victory over Tri-Cities, while throwing for 215 yards with no interceptions. Defensive back Frankie Solomon Jr. earned Defensive Player of the Week honors while recording 10 tackles, two interceptions, and a forced fumble. He leads the IFL with four interceptions on the season.
Kickoff is set for 7 pm on Saturday night at the Heartland Events Center. Doors open at 6:00 with pre-game activities beginning at 6:30.

Professional Indoor Football League
After Two-Week Hiatus, Lions Make Return
Seems like forever since they hit the turf, but after two consecutive bye weeks the Lions make their return to the field this Saturday to face off against an upstart Hammers squad. When they both last left the field, the Hammers and Lions left in defeat having both lost to the undefeated reigning champion Albany Panthers (3-0).
Three weeks ago, Albany needed a last-second game-winning field goal to down the Lions while the following week the Panthers used four turnovers to dispose of the Hammers.
In that time-span, the Lions roster has gone through a bit of a transition. Gone is opening game starting QB Garrett Sutphen along with three members of the defense including 2012 All-PIFL 2nd Teamer DB Cortez Stubbs who was been traded to Knoxville.
In return, Columbus welcomes back DL Lawon Scott (6'3 310, Ole Miss) as well as Central High grad LB Ryan Babb (6'1 220, Troy). Scott returns after signing with the AFL's Philadelphia Soul while Babb will be donning a Columbus uniform once again after spending last season with the Albany Panthers. Before leaving for Albany, Babb spent 2009-2011 with the Lions where he nabbed 15 career interceptions returning six of them for touchdowns.
Their returns could have not come a better time considering Columbus faces off against the high potent passing attack of the Hammers on Saturday. QB Russell Hill (6'0 200, Idaho St.) is one of the PIFL's top rated passers having thrown twice as many passing touchdowns (14) than the Lions quarterback's combined. While with Knoxville last season, in his lone start against Columbus Hill tossed for 371 yards and nine touchdowns.
Compared to their first two outings, the Columbus offense will need to show some improvement especially since the Hammers defense leads the PIFL in sacks (14) while allowing opponents an average of 225 yards/game. LB Jake Trantin (6'2 240, William & Mary) and DL Benji McDowell (6'2 285, Lenoir-Rhyne) are 1-2 respectively in the PIFL in sacks while DB Travis Blanchard (5'11 185, Ole Miss) is tied for the league-lead in interceptions.
Saturday will also mark the first meeting since the two clubs met back in late March of last season with the Hammers grabbing the franchise's first road win in a 63-60 thriller over the Lions. After Saturday, the two clubs will not meet again till May 18th with the meeting taking place in Columbus.

Ultimate Indoor Football League
Raiders Dismantle Tarpons at Home
After a rough loss to the Florida Tarpons 36-41 the previous game, the Raiders were out for a win Saturday night against the running league champs.
"Last week was a little bit of a travesty...It should be an even game [tonight]. We made adjustments without defensive backs; we also made some adjustments without protection. We have to protect our quarterback, we did a bad job protecting him last week; were going to go everything out protecting him," head coach, Michael Mink said before the Raiders took the field. They defeated the Tarpons for the first time, 52-40.
The first quarter started out with the Tarpons passing the ball on a third and 10 attempt for a gain of 30 yards, putting them in the end zone and on the board with 10:41 left in the quarter with a score of 0-6.
The Raiders responded on their first offensive play of the game, passing the ball from its 20-yard line after quarterback BJ Hall connected with wide receiver Josh Smith with 9:30 left in the quarter. Adrian Smith completed the two-point conversion to put the Raiders in the lead, 8-6.
Later in the half, Julius McClellan intercepted the ball on the Raiders 3-yard line for a turnover on downs, giving the Raiders control. Offense responded on a second and 15 attempt when Hall connected with Roderick Jefferson to score with 2:40 left in the first quarter. After a failed extra point attempt, the Raiders held the lead 14-6 where it would remain until the next quarter.
The Tarpons moved up on the Raiders on the first play of the second quarter when its quarterback connected with a receiver with 14:01 remaining in the half after they completed their field goal attempt, pulling the score to 14-13. The Tarpons struggled and attempted a fourth down field goal which ended up being received by Sam Smith who ran it to the Tarpon 20, then threw a lateral pass to Koreen Burch, who completed the run for a defensive touchdown, furthering the Raiders lead to 20-13 after a failed extra point attempt.
Defense held strong on the following Tarpon possession, ending the drive with a sack made by a host of Raiders resulting in a Tarpon turnover. The following play, Josh Smith connected with Hall from the Raiders 21-yard line to score, putting up six more points for the Raiders and ending all scoring for the half at 26-13.
The Tarpons were the first to score in the second quarter on a third and three attempt with 9:40 left in the third.
The Raiders responded scoring on a fourth and three passing attempt to Jefferson with 3:32 remaining on the board to bring the score to 32-20.
"Basically we brought in a couple of guys to fill in some spots," Jefferson said to account for the teams' performance this week in comparison to last week.
The Tarpons moved into the fourth quarter with momentum, posting another touchdown on a fourth and six pass with 12:48 remaining in the game, getting closer to the Raiders, 32-26.
The Raiders responded when on the first play of their offensive possession, McClellan connected with Hall for a touchdown with 9:51 on the clock, moving the score to 38-26.
The Tarpons fought back, scoring on a second and 10 attempt from the Raiders 12-yard line to get within four points of the Raiders, 38-34. Adrian Smith helped the Raiders move further ahead on a third and three attempt with 1:55 left on the clock to bring the score to 44-34.
The Tarpons made one final offensive effort for a touchdown with :44.5 seconds remaining in the game, which resulted in a score of 44-40.
The Raiders, posted the last touchdown of the night on a fourth a three attempt which was completed by Adrian Smith. The following two-point conversion was completed by McClellan to bring the final score to 52-40.
"Last week, we played timid. It helped to play at home. We really wanted this tonight; it's been on our backs the last few years. There was a certain sense of urgency for the win," Conor Reilly said.
The Raiders, now 3-1, will go on to face the Corpus Cristi Fury on April 12. "This puts us back in place for the number one seat, then it's Texas," Mink said.
The Raiders are taking steps towards the ultimate goal - a league championship.

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