Arena Football League
Jacksonville, San Antonio Ready for CBS Sports Network
Coming off their first loss of the 2013 season, the Jacksonville Sharks (6-1) will look to get back on track with a trip to the Lone Star State to take on the San Antonio Talons (2-4). The contest, to be televised on CBS Sports Network at 9:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 11, will mark the first national television appearance for either team on "NET10 Wireless Arena Football Saturday" in 2013.
For the Sharks, Saturday is their chance to finally exhibit their talents under a national spotlight. For Jacksonville quarterback Bernard Morris, it's a chance to show how much he has grown. Last season, Morris established himself as a lethal running threat, averaging 4.3 yards per carry and finding the end zone 11 times on the ground. He did not finish in the League's top ten in pass efficiency rating, however, as he was haunted by a respectable, but not stellar, 4.2:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. This season, Morris has established himself as one of the League's best dual-threat quarterbacks, coupling fine running with even better passing. He has thrown 19.5 touchdowns for every interception, and his completion percentage has soared from 62.2 percent to 69.3 percent. As a result, he now finds himself ranked fifth in the League in pass efficiency rating.
Jacksonville is no one-trick pony, however. Rendrick Taylor has also contributed to the League's best rushing attack, averaging 3.9 yards per carry, though he has just one rushing touchdown in the Sharks' last three games, after reaching the end zone four times against New Orleans alone. Meanwhile, Jeff Hughley, back from a brief stint in the National Football League, might be the best-known Jacksonville receiver, but he's far from the only one. Markee White has recorded a touchdown catch in every game this season and has already surpassed last season's total of 425 receiving yards with Arizona. Jeron Harvey, meanwhile, is coming off of a 16-reception, 143-yard, three-touchdown performance against one of the League's top defenses last week.
For the Talons, Saturday night represents a chance to reinsert themselves into the playoff race. Despite their 2-4 record, the Talons are just a game and a half off of the Central Division lead. Saturday is also a chance for the Talons to restore their prior Alamodome luster. In their inaugural season in San Antonio, they posted an 8-1 record at home. This season, they've won two out of three on the road, including an upset of Tampa Bay, but have lost all three of their home games. They will seek their first home win since July 13, 2012 on Saturday night.
A great deal of their difficulties have stemmed from the passing game. The team has started four different quarterbacks under center already this season, but none have been able to post a triple-digit passer rating in any game as of yet. The Talons' combined pass efficiency rating of 72.5 is the second-worst in the League, a few points ahead of the New Orleans VooDoo. When last year's signal-caller, Aaron Garcia, left for San Jose in the offseason, the Talons picked up GJ Kinne and Danny Southwick. When Kinne got the call from the Philadelphia Eagles a few weeks before camp, San Antonio brought in veterans Rohan Davey and John Dutton. However, both would end up suffering injuries early in the year, forcing the Talons to assess the free agent market once again, adding veteran Nick Hill and rookie Zach Frazer to the squad. Though both Hill and Frazer have suffered their share of injuries already as well, Hill is expected to start on Saturday.
The Talons' strength lies in their defense. Taking after head coach Lee Johnson, who brings a defensive background to the sideline, San Antonio has allowed a League-low 299 points per game this season. They've held opposing quarterbacks to a 57.3 completion percentage, the second-lowest total in the League, and have surrendered just 6.4 yards per pass play, the third-best total in the League. A lot of their success comes from up front, where they've accumulated 16 sacks, four behind Jacksonville for the League's best total. The Talons have seen six different players record sacks this season, and have had three games in which three different players have recorded sacks. Against Pittsburgh, four different San Antonio players came up with a sack.
For the Sharks, Jerry Turner and Rashaad Duncan have each exploded for three sacks in a game already this season, while Aaron Robbins recorded a sack in five straight earlier this season. Turner and Robbins are currently tied for second in the League in sacks while Duncan is tied for fourth.
"NET10 Wireless Arena Football Saturday" is set to kickoff on CBS Sports Network at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Jaws and the Philadelphia Soul Return to Evesham
The Philadelphia Soul (3-3), presented by Parx Casino, will be holding a "Town Takeover" of Evesham Township this evening from 6:30-8 p.m. The Town Takeover, presented by Walgreens, will take place in the Willow Ridge Plaza (Genuardi's parking lot) on Route 73 and will feature a "run-through" practice by the Philadelphia Soul. Philadelphia will host the Pittsburgh Power (1-5) tomorrow, May 11, at the Wells Fargo Center with kickoff starting at 7:05 p.m. The game can be watched on the Comcast Network.
WHAT: Philadelphia Soul Town Takeover of Evesham Township
WHERE: Willow Ridge Plaza (Genuardi's parking lot) 710 Rt. 73-S, Marlton, NJ 08053
WHEN: Today, Friday May 10, from 6:30-8 p.m.
WHO: Soul Co-Owner and former Philadelphia Eagle Ron Jaworski, Evesham Mayor and Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens kicking consultant Randy Brown, Philadelphia Soul VP/COO John Adams, Philadelphia Soul head coach Clint Dolezel and the coaching staff, Philadelphia Soul players, Soulmates, and Soulman.
Blaze Add Three to Active Roster
The Utah Blaze have acquired defensive end Julian Miller and defensive back Josh Ferguson from the Spokane Shock in exchange wide receiver Brandon Thompkins, the franchise announced today. In addition to finalizing the trade, Utah also agreed to terms with free agent wide receiver Anthony Jackson.
After participating in training camp with the Blaze, Josh Ferguson (5-8, 180, UTEP) spent the first seven weeks of the season on injured reserve before being released last week. Ferguson now returns to the Blaze after being claimed off of waivers by Spokane this past Monday.
Ferguson started 19 games over the past two seasons for the Shock, posting 104 tackles (89 solo) with two tackles for loss, two interceptions, 18 pass breakups and one fumble recovery. He entered the AFL with the Chicago Rush in 2010 and earned second-team All-Arena accolades after delivering nine interceptions during his rookie campaign.
Julian Miller (6-4, 265, West Virginia) played in a school record of 52 games at West Virginia University, where he ranks second in school history with 27.5 career sacks and 42.5 tackles for loss. Miller signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and now enters his rookie season in the Arena Football League.
Anthony "A.J." Jackson (6-5, 230, California PA) played in five games as a rookie with the Pittsburgh Power last season, seeing action at wide receiver and Jack linebacker. He totaled 17 receptions for 227 yards and three touchdowns while adding 10 tackles and one pass breakup.
Brandon Thompkins (5-10, 190, Arkansas State) heads back to Spokane, where he played the previous two seasons. Thompkins recorded 27 receptions for 345 yards and four touchdowns in four games with the Blaze, but was inactive during the past two contests.
Coming off of a 52-48 victory over the Shock, Utah will travel to Phoenix in Week 8 to take on the division-leading Arizona Rattlers on Saturday, May 11. The game can be viewed live in high definition on KJZZ-TV or heard on The Zone 97.5 FM. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MT.
Pittsburgh Power Energize Roster with New Quarterback, Kicker & Wide Receiver
The Pittsburgh Power have announced the reinstatement of quarterback Steven Sheffield to their active roster from the AFL's Refuse to Report list. Sheffield originally signed a three-year contract with the Power last November. Prior to the opening of training camp in March, Sheffield decided to remain in Lubbock, TX, to attend to family matters.
The two-year AFL veteran spent his 2011 rookie season with Spokane Shock before joining the San Antonio Talons last year. With the Talons, Sheffield (6'4"/210) backed up AFL star Aaron Garcia. He played collegiately at Texas Tech, throwing for 1,578 yards and 17 touchdowns for his Red Raider career. In 2009, Sheffield made his first career start against Kansas State and set a school record with 370 yards passing in a half. He finished the game with career highs of 490 yards passing (33-of-41) and seven touchdowns.
Kicker Julian Rauch also joins Pittsburgh's roster for Week 8 game action. The 5'11" 210 Gastonia, NC, native played at Appalachian State University, winning 3 Division I FCS National Championships with the Mountaineers. Rauch holds school records for career extra points (247) and scoring for kickers (373). The highlight of Rauch's college career arguably may have been the 24-yard field goal he made with 26 seconds remaining to upset the University of Michigan, 34-32, in 2007 at "The Big House".
James Robinson (6'3"/215), who was designated for reassignment from the Power's injured reserve list on Tuesday, has been added to the active roster. The veteran has been a member of the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins practice squads and has appeared with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders in his nine-year professional career.
To make room for Sheffield, Rauch, and Robinson on the roster, the Power have placed kicker Josh Czajkowski, on league reassignment and wide receiver Perry Baker and defensive back Darrell Wolford on injured reserve.
The Power travel cross-state this Saturday night, May 11, facing the East Division-leading Philadelphia Soul. Kickoff at the Wells Fargo Center is 7:05 p.m. EDT. The game will be telecast on thisTV Pittsburgh and broadcast on TribLIVE Radio SportsTalk. The game will also be available via the AFL Live video player on arenafootball.com.
SaberCats Host Tampa Bay on Friday in Cross-Conference Battle
The San Jose SaberCats (4-2) play host to the visiting Tampa Bay Storm (5-2) on Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. PT. The Storm got the better of San Jose in the last matchup between these two franchises, winning 57-44 in Week 20 of the 2011 season. Tampa Bay is off to a terrific start to their 2013 campaign (3-0 on the road), led by dual threat quarterback Adrian McPherson. The former Florida State Seminole comes to San Jose sporting a tidy 32-1 touchdown to interception ratio, while also leading the league in every rushing category. SaberCats quarterback Russ Michna looks to continue his efficient play and deliver a third straight victory against a physical Storm defense. New addition, wide receiver Amarri Jackson is slated to make his San Jose debut after recently being acquired from the Orlando Predators, hoping to add some big play ability to an already deep and talented wide receiving corps.
EVENT: San Jose SaberCats vs. Tampa Bay Storm
DATE: Friday May 10, 2013
TIME: 7:30 p.m. PT
WHERE: HP Pavilion - 525 W. Santa Clara, San Jose, CA 95113
BROADCAST: Broadcast live on KSFO 560 @ 7:30 p.m. PT
First-Place Rush Look To Keep Road Record Perfect
The Chicago Rush (4-3) travel to Ohio this weekend to take on the Cleveland Gladiators (1-5) Saturday at 6:00.
The Rush are looking to bounce back into the win column following a 72-41 defeat at the hands of the Eastern Division-leading Philadelphia Soul this past weekend. An early kickoff recovery by Andrae Thurman set the tone for the game, enabling Philadelphia to establish a two-score lead just five minutes into the first quarter. After that, the Rush were simply unable to stop the Soul offense. Of Philadelphia's twelve offensive possessions, the only one that did not result in a score was the final eleven-second drive to end the game.
The 41 point output by the Rush offense was the lowest showing since their season-opening loss to the Iowa Barnstormers. One positive was receiver Jared Jenkins. In just his fifth game with the Rush, Jenkins continued his rise into the ranks of the league elite, hauling in eight receptions for 121 yards and four touchdowns.
Week 7 was not kind to Cleveland either. The Gladiators fell to the San Jose SaberCats 56-36 in a game which was lost mostly on special teams (two kickoff return touchdowns allowed) and offense (only 4.3 yards per gain). Offensive miscues have increasingly become an issue for the Gladiators this season. After defeating the Soul in Week 5 to earn their only victory, they have averaged only 38 points per game in the past two weeks. Cleveland's difficult early season schedule has undoubtedly made every single play they've run far more crucial. Every one of their first six opponents claim a spot within the top seven of the most recent AFL Coaches' Poll (Chicago comes in at eight).
One of the bright spots for Cleveland this season is Dominick Goodman, who leads the team in receiving with 40 receptions for 367 yards and six touchdowns. Goodman has established an impressive resume in his short time in Cleveland. The 6'1 receiver out of Cincinnati has been responsible for 3,449 receiving yards and 56 total touchdowns in 38 games played.
His name should be familiar to Rush fans, as it was Goodman who hauled in a 30-yard Hail Mary off the rebound net to defeat Chicago in last year's Week 19 matchup, sending Chicago into the offseason on a sour note.
The game still resonates with Head Coach Bob McMillen. "Obviously it was a tough way to go into the offseason," said McMillen. "Our guys have remembered that feeling for the past ten months and are ready to get back in there. On the flip side, we need to keep in mind that this is one game out of many and we still have a long season ahead of us."
The Rush face a tough schedule of their own in the near future. Week 9 welcomes the Arizona Rattlers into town, and then the Rush will hit the road, traveling a combined 4,000 miles to face New Orleans and Orlando in consecutive weeks. Despite last week's loss, the Rush still hold the top spot in the National Conference's Central Division.
Champions Professional Indoor Football League
Bombers Ink WR Attrail Snipes
The Salina Bombers are proud to announce the signing of former Kansas State wide receiver Attrail Snipes.
Attrail Snipes attended high school in Seattle, Washington at Ranier Beach High School. There, Snipes excelled at football and also used his 4.4 second/40 time to capture state titles in sprinting events. After high school, Attrail would attend Bakersfield Community College in California. In his sophomore season of 2007, Snipes would grab 55 receptions for 800 yards and 13 touchdowns. Snipes would initially commit to the University of Hawaii, but soon would change his mind.
Following one trip to Manhattan, Attrail Snipes committed to play for the Wildcats. After just one catch in his first season in purple, Snipes had a solid senior year. In 2009, Snipes was second on KSU's team in receiving, catching 28 passes for 424 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Attrail Snipes played in 5 games this season with the Kansas Koyotes of the CPIFL, and was placed on waivers on April 29th.
The Bombers (5-2) are currently tied for third in the CPIFL and will travel to Wichita to take on the Wild (8-1) this Saturday at 7:05 pm at Hartman Arena.
Wichita Hosts Salina in Effort to Secure Playoff Spot
The Wichita Wild (8-1) are prepared to host the Salina Bombers (5-2) on May 11th in Hartman Arena; kick-off scheduled for 7:05 p.m. This game will be the second leg of a home and home series in the I-135 rivalry between the two teams. Wichita and Salina's first ever matchup saw the Wild take a huge 63-34 win over the Bombers in front of a crowd of over 5,000 fans. The Wild enters this week's game seemingly prepared after a crushing 155-16 combined scoring advantage over their last two opponents in weeks 8 and 9. Since their season opening loss to the Wild, the Bombers have won five of their last six games with their only defeat coming from the third placed Sioux City Bandits who converted on a one yard touchdown pass to steal a 46-43 victory.
The last time Wichita and Salina battled was the Bombers inaugural debut in the CPIFL on March 16th in the Bicentennial Center. The Wild's opening drive stalled on the five yard line, giving Salina quarterback Dane Simoneau the opportunity to connect on a 45 yard touchdown pass to Ricky Roberts on the Bombers first play from scrimmage. Wild running back Tywon Hubbard rushed for two touchdowns in the opening quarter but Salina still led 14-13 heading into the second quarter. Wichita turned up the heat in the second quarter, outscoring the Bombers 30-6 to give the Wild a commanding 43-20 halftime lead. The Wild continued their momentum, opening the second half with a 21 yard touchdown pass from Rocky Hinds to wide out Joe Kassanavoid and from there Wichita would cruise to a 60-34 win.
The Wild are primed to play at home again this week after a commanding 73-7 victory last weekend over the Oklahoma Defenders in Hartman Arena. Wichita's offense proved flawless against the Defenders, scoring a touchdown on every possession of the game including three touchdowns in every quarter except the third which saw the Wild defense return an interception for a touchdown. In that play, defensive back Kendrick Harper showed off his smooth return skills as he intercepted a Defender pass and coasted 45 yards to the end zone for a Wild score. The Wild's game against the Defenders was the second in a row that they were able to score a touchdown on every possession. Salina's scoring defense currently ranks third in the league, allowing 34.1 points per game, whereas the Wild's current scoring average is 54.4 points a game. The Bombers defense will need to be firing on all cylinders to ensure any chance of slowing down a Wild attack that has blown their opponents away early in the last two games.
Players to Watch: Wild Secondary
Salina presently leads the CPIFL in passing yards per game with a solid 163.4. On the other hand, Wichita tops the CPIFL in passing defense only allowing 92.8 yards per game. If history of the season so far and even the previous matchup between these two teams is any indication, the Bombers may struggle against a tough Wild defense. Kendrick Harper and Chris Hemphill lead a Wild secondary that has picked off 19 passes in 9 games and averages over 17 yards per return. These types of plays will kill an opposing team's momentum and set the Wild offense up with good field position. Look for the Wild secondary to ground the Bombers passing attack on Saturday.
The Wild will have their first bye week following Saturday's game against Salina, but will return to action May 25th in Sioux City against the Bandits; kickoff scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (CST). The game can be heard on 1410 AM KGSO in the Wichita area or streamed live on kgso.com. Wichita will then return home June 8th to host the Mid-Missouri Outlaws at 7:05 p.m. for their final regular season home game. Single game tickets start at just $5 for general admission in the Sport Clips GA zone and can be purchased by calling (316) 927-3999 or visiting www.stage1tickets.com. For more news and information visit www.wichitawildfootball.com and follow the team on Facebook and Twitter (@wichita_wild).
Professional Indoor Football League
Panthers Announce Health Awareness Night Sponsored by Phoebe on Saturday, May 11th
The back-to-back and defending Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) champion Albany Panthers (3-3) are proud to announce Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital will sponsor "Phoebe Night" at the Albany Civic Center when the Albany Panthers take on the Louisiana Swashbucklers (3-3) this Saturday, May 11th at 7:30 pm. At the Albany Civic Center on Phoebe Field.
"We are excited to have Phoebe onboard as one of our platinum sponsors again this season and look forward to continuing our relationship with them for many years to come," said Will Carter, General Manager of the Albany Panthers.
Phoebe Night festivities will include the National Anthem by Phoebe Employee, Latonya Bowen, Invocation by Phoebe Employee, William Caldwell, Coin Toss by Phoebe Chief Executive Officer and President, Joel Wernick and Game Ball presentation by SR VP, Bob LaGesse.
"We are delighted to be cheering the Panthers on as they take on the Swashbucklers. We salute their outstanding record of performance and positive impact that spotlights our great community, "said Joel Wernick, Phoebe Chief Executive Officer and President. "The entire Phoebe Family wishes our hometown Panthers continued success."
Make sure you don't miss out on the action and secure your tickets for May 11th. The Panthers and Louisiana will battle it out in their second meeting of the season presented by the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Pre-game festivities begin at 7 p.m.
Ultimate Indoor Football League
Monsters Claude Wroten Signed by AFL's Orlando Predators
The Missouri Monsters are proud to announce the defensive lineman Claude Wroten has signed with the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League.
Wroten had 6.5 sacks for the Monsters this season thru 5 games. To follow Wroten on his journey to return to the NFL visit www.orlandopredators.com.
"It has been, and will continue to be our goal to help our players, and personnel move up to the highest level possible. We wish Claude well, with his new team, and hope to see him playing on Sundays again soon." said Owner Andrew Haines.
He started his college career at Mississippi Delta before transferring to LSU. While at LSU Wroten was First-team All-SEC by College Football News, and Second-Team All-SEC by the Associated Press and the SEC Coaches. He played 12 games with nine starts. He recorded 44 tackles, 12 tackles for losses, and 6 sacks.
As a senior in 2005 he was named First-Team All-American by College Football News and Second-Team All -American by the Sporting News and named First-Team All-SEC by both the league's coaches and the AP. He played in 13 games with 12 starts, had 49 tackles, 10.5 tackles for losses, 6 sacks, and 26 quarterback hurries.
Wroten was drafted in the 3rd round (68th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. We played with the Rams during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. During his rookie season he played 15 games. He registered 24 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. In 2009 Wroten played for the Florida Tuskers of the UFL, where he finished with 13 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.
In 2011 he signed in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts, and in 2012 with the Edmonton Eskimos.
Monsters Take on the Gateway Hawks May 24th in Charity Game
The Missouri Monsters will be playing the Gateway Hawks in their final home game of the 2013 season on Friday May 24th.
The Hawks are members of the Great Midwest Football League and play home games in Wentzville. Both teams are coming together to assist a team member and their family. Steve Runge, PA Announcer for both teams, lost his wife Daphne in a tragic auto accident last week. In an effort to help the Runge family the Monsters will donate a portion of ticket sales, and also accept donations for the family at the game. You can also make a donation through the fund for the kids at the Bank of Old Monroe under the name "Runge Family Fund".
Hawks President Mary Rocha said "We are looking forward to this exciting evening of football at the Family Arena on May 24th vs the Missouri Monsters, this should be a very exciting game. Although the style of football is different (indoor vs outdoor) this definitely promises to be an exciting and entertaining game"
The Gateway Hawks are a Semi Professional Football Team located out of Wentzville, MO. The Hawks are proud members of the Great Midwest Football League which is a regional semi professional 11 man football league. The Gateway Hawks play their league games starting off on the road on June 1st vs the Tennessee Rampage, Don't miss the live outdoor action at home on June 8th vs Illinois Justice at 1835 Grothe Road, Wentzville MO "The Hawks Nest"