Arena Football League
Rush Acquire Defensive End from Cleveland
The Rush have acquired defensive end Brian Brikowski from the Cleveland Gladiators in exchange for defensive back Joe Phinisee and defensive lineman Jacob Hardwick, the team announced today. In addition, the team placed offensive lineman Ryan O'Neill on reassignment and wide receiver Nate Forse on recallable reassignment.
Brikowski began his Arena Football League career last season, as he was assigned to the Cleveland Gladiators in early June. In the five games he played in 2012, he collected 3.5 sacks and finished eighth on the team in total tackles with 26. He has added 17.5 on to that total through six games so far this season. The Rush also received future considerations from the Gladiators.
Brikowski saw action just this past Saturday against the Rush, collecting two tackles and one pass defended. The 6'4, 255 defensive end is a product of Monmouth University in New Jersey.
Utah Returns to SLC Looking to For Second-Straight Home Victory
The Utah Blaze return to Salt Lake City in Week 9 for an out-of-division matchup with the Iowa Barnstormers on Saturday, May 18. The game will feature a host of entertaining fan events, including a Breast Cancer Awareness Night theme, presented by Sports Med Utah and Salt Lake Regional Medical Center. In addition, All-Pro NFL safety Eric Weddle will hold an autograph session on the concourse beginning at 6:30 p.m. Kickoff from Tim Dahle Nissan Field at EnergySolutions Arena is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MT.
The Utah Blaze (3-4) versus Iowa Barnstormers (4-4) can be seen live and locally in high-definition on KJZZ, featuring Steve Brown and Aaron Boone in the booth with Alema Harrington reporting from the sidelines. The matchup can also be heard on The Zone 97.5 FM with Scott Garrard and Riley Jensen calling all of the action.
Despite an outstanding fourth quarter effort, Utah traveled to Phoenix in Week 8 and suffered a tough loss to the rival Arizona Rattlers in a 65-49 decision. Iowa evened its record last Saturday after defeating the New Orleans VooDoo in a lopsided 62-16 affair, marking the franchise's second-straight win.
Throughout the 2013 season, Iowa's success has been predicated on playing efficient football. In fact, the Barnstormers have won the turnover battle in all four of their wins and currently rank second in the Arena Football League with a positive turnover margin of 12. Barnstormers quarterback J.J. Raterink has thrown 40 touchdowns with just four interceptions on the season.
In two victories over Iowa in 2012, Utah's defense was able to apply significant pressure to the quarterback, posting 13 sacks while forcing three interceptions. The Blaze defensive line will once again need to disrupt the offense and give its opportunistic secondary a chance to cause turnovers. Utah's defense held Arizona out of the end zone on five possessions last week and has posted 17 takeaways over the past three games.
Utah's offense got off to a hot start last week against the Rattlers, jumping out to a 14-0 lead early in the contest before turnovers hampered production down the stretch. The Blaze own the Arena Football League's top-ranked offense, averaging over 320 total yards per game. If the offense can gain more consistency, the team will have the opportunity to light up the scoreboard at its usual pace.
Reigning MVP quarterback Tommy Grady ranks second in the AFL in total offensive yards (2,016) and third in passing touchdowns (42). Rookie wide receiver Mario Urrutia continues to build on a record-setting campaign, adding 173 yards and three touchdowns to his resume last week. All-Arena wideout Aaron LesuÃ© has maintained his status as a go-to receiving threat and currently ranks second on the team with 44 receptions for 560 yards and 12 scores.
Iowa's defense features a familiar face in defensive end Mike Lewis, who earned All-Arena accolades as a member of the Blaze in 2012 and currently leads the team with four sacks on the season. However, the Barnstormers defense has made a living off of interceptions and places second in the AFL with 15 on the season. Defensive back Ter'Ran Benton paces the group with five picks on the year.
Iowa has been especially effective in the red zone, where the defense has allowed scores on 75 percent of possessions to place second in the AFL. That success has reflected on the scoreboard, as the Barnstormers employ the League's second-ranked scoring defense, allowing 43.9 points per game. However, the Blaze offense has been difficult to stop when it smells the end zone, scoring on over 85 percent of red zone possessions.
The Blaze will seek to earn their second-straight win in front of its home crowd this week as the franchise reaches the midway point in the 2013 campaign. While the playoff picture in the National Conference is far from being decided, logging another home victory will go a long in getting Utah off on the right foot as the team begins to make its postseason push over the second half of the season.
Shock look to get back on track with second consecutive home game
The Spokane Shock (5-3) take on the New Orleans VooDoo (1-6) for their second straight home game at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. Kickoff is scheduled for Friday, May 17th at 7:00PM.
Last week, the Shock came home for their third home game of the season to take on the Orlando Predators. Entering the contest, Orlando owned a 1-5 overall record. With the recent acquisition of former San Jose quarterback Aaron Garcia, the Predators were able to capture their first win of the season the previous week with the veteran quarterback at the helm. Spokane came into the game trying to rebound after two straight losses (Tampa Bay, Utah) and two slow offensive starts where they failed to score on the opening drive of the game in each contest. The Shock took care of the slow offensive starts and went on to score on the opening drive against the Predators while being able to hold on to a three touchdown lead on three separate occasions. Despite posting 62 first half points, a late fumble and onside kick recovery by the Predators in the final minutes of the game would provide Orlando the opportunity to score the go ahead touchdown with 5.7 seconds remaining and steal the win from the Shock by a final score of 83-82
Although the Shock have lost their last three games, QB Erik Meyer still leads the league in passing average (289.8), total offense (2398) and is third in pass efficiency (129.2). Against Orlando last Saturday, Meyer went 22-31 for 263 yards and 7 touchdowns. Jeffery Solomon and Adron Tennell led Spokane's receiving core with a combined 177 yards and 6 touchdowns.
New Orleans lost their sixth consecutive game last week, falling to the Iowa Barnstormers (4-4) 16-62. QB Zack Eskridge went 13-21 for 116, 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. With a total of 4 turnovers in the game, the VooDoo were unable to gain any momentum against the Iowa defense.
Last season Spokane and New Orleans met just one time on May 11, 2012 in Spokane with the Shock taking the victory in overtime 68-62. During that game Shock QB Kyle Rowley went 27-45 for 271 yards, 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. VooDoo QB Kurt Rocco27-43 for 402 yards, 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions; half of Rocco's touchdown passes were hauled in by WR Josh Bush who also had 146 yards in the game. Terrance Sanders had a highlight game with 5 kickoff returns for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns and also had 2 key interceptions in the contest, one of which coming in overtime to seal the Shock victory in a game that went score for score with 7 ties throughout the game and 5 lead changes.
Spokane and New Orleans have played four of the same opponents so far this season (Orlando, Iowa, San Jose, Tampa Bay) with VooDoo's only win coming in Week 1 against the Orlando Predators 51-45, prior to the Predators acquisition of quarterback Aaron Garcia. This week's game will be a turning point for the Shock if they want to make a run for the playoffs as they face off as heavy favorites against a struggling New Orleans squad.
So far this season, the VooDoo's quarterbacks have been under duress as they have given up the 3rd most sacks in the league with 20 in their first 7 games.
The VooDoo offense is ranked 13th in first downs (122), 3rd down conversions (29.1%), and 14th in pass efficiency (63.8). Scoring only 34.9 points per game and posting only 213.3 yards of total offense a game, the Voodoo will have to turn things around to keep up with Spokane's 67.0 points per game and 285.6 yards of passing yards they've averaged over 8 games. While the Shock offense has performed at a high level this season, the defense will be under the microscope this week after squandering a 21-point lead last week to the Predators. They've given up a league worst 353.4 total yards per game this season, despite having a turnover margin of +10 through 8 games. Spokane will have to find a way to create pressure on the VooDoo quarterbacks who have thrown 14 interceptions so far this season, while the Shock defense is averaging just over 1 sack per game. There is no doubt that the New Orleans wide receivers are talented after acquiring former Soul receiver Donovan Morgan in the offseason and returning 8th year AFL veteran Derek Lee to the lineup. However, this season has not faired well for any home team so far as throughout the league the home squad is a dismal 19-33 while playing on their home turf through Week 8 (compared to 83-65 overall during the entire 2012 season).
Kickoff is scheduled for Friday, May 17th at 7:00 PM PST at Spokane Arena will be broadcast on SWX TV, streaming at shock.arenafootball.com/allaccess, and available for your listening pleasure on 700AM ESPN radio.
Game Preview: Philadelphia Set to Face off against Orlando
The Philadelphia Soul (3-4) is looking to win their first home game of the season as they take on their conference rival, the Orlando Predators (2-5). Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. The game will be aired on CBS Sports Network.
For "COPD Awareness Night," the first 5,000 fans will receive t-shirts and rally towels. In addition, there will be two screening booths for the fans to get checked for COPD. The Soul players, coaches and Soulmates will wear the color orange, in support of COPD awareness (More information on the events listed below.)
The Soul lost their third game by seven points or less, losing to the Pittsburgh Power 53-48 last Saturday. The Orlando Predators started 0-5, but have won their last two games, including last week's dramatic comeback against the Spokane Shock 83-82. Orlando scored 14 points in the final 28 seconds to complete a victory that saw them fall behind by 21 points several times.
"We have to treat it like the Chicago game," said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel about the upcoming matchup. "It's a must-win game for us. We can't afford to be two games under .500. This week, we just need refocus and everyone just needs to lock in on their responsibilities. We need to play more sound football. Orlando is 2-0 with Garcia; we're going to need to shut him down. They're playing with a lot of confidence, so it's important we get in the right mindset and come prepared."
Orlando's head coach, Doug Plank, returns to Philadelphia after leading the Soul to the ArenaBowl last season. He ranks No. 8 in league history in winning percentage (.660) and postseason wins (6) while also ranking No. 10 all-time in wins. Heading into the week, Philadelphia has won the last three matchups against Orlando, going back to last season, including a 61-33 win on April 6.
The Soul lost all three of their home game this season. Despite last week's loss to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia put up 313 offensive yards against the No. 1 defense in the league. However, Philadelphia turned the ball over twice, an issue that has plagued them throughout the season. The Soul's offense has no problems moving the ball, ranking No. 3 in total yards (317.7), No. 3 in rushing yards (32.7) and No.4 in passing yards per game (285.0).
Although, Philadelphia's defense struggled last week, allowing 274 yards of offense and 53 points, their defense has been dependable all season. Overall, Clint Dolezel's squad ranks No. 4 in total defense (259.3), led by a strong run defense that has allowed league lows in rushing yards per game (13.9) and rushing touchdowns (5).
Orlando had a season high 442 yards passing in their ferocious comeback win against the Spokane Shock, jumping their passing offense to No. 1 (304.9). Part of the reason for the jump is because of the recent acquisition of quarterback Aaron Garcia. He ranks No. 1 in league history in passing yards, touchdown passes and completions. Since coming to Orlando in a trade with San Jose, Garcia has thrown for 17 touchdowns and just one interception in two games.
While the Predators' defense ranks in the middle of the pack in yards given up (264.3), they have given up a league-high 61.7 points per game. Two of the factors for their defense giving up that many points is because of a red-zone defense that ranks No. 12 in (85.7 percent) and their 19 turnovers on offense (No. 4).
With a new quarterback and riding a two-game win streak, the Predators will look to stay in contention for the final playoff spot in the American Conference. This game features two of the best wide receivers in the league with T.T Toliver and Tiger Jones, who are No. 1 and No. 2 in receiving yards and receptions per game.
With both of these teams ranking in the top four in passing, an offensive shootout is possible. Both teams rank in the bottom half of the league in turnover margin, so whichever defense can create the most turnovers will likely come out victorious.
Parx Casino will be giving away "white out" t-shirts to the first 5,000 fans of ages 21 and older. For those interested, enter the promotional code "PARX" on wellsfargocenterphilly.com to receive $3 off each Soul ticket. The first 5,000 fans will also receive orange rally towels. There will be two screen booths at the concourse of the arena, messages from Ron Jaworski, and on-field and in-stand promotions.
The Soul's player uniforms will feature an orange ribbon and will include orange socks and wristbands. The Soulmates uniform will include orange pom-poms and an orange visor.
VooDoo Welcome LJ Castile Back to the Graveyard
The Arena Football League has assigned defensive back Dwight McLean to the New Orleans VooDoo. In a separate transaction, New Orleans also acquired wide receiver LJ Castile and offensive lineman Bryce Tennison in a trade with the Utah Blaze for future considerations, announced the VooDoo front office on Thursday, May 16.
Castile (6-3, 225, Delta State) spent his first two years of his AFL career with the New Orleans VooDoo. He started 14 games for the VooDoo in 2012 and hauled in 104 passes for 1,196 yards and 27 touchdowns. He originally entered the AFL in 2011, posting four receptions for 27 yards in four games with New Orleans. Following the 2011 AFL season, Castile joined the NFL's Cleveland Browns during training camp. He played in all four preseason games and caught four passes for 27 yards. While with Utah, during the beginning of the 2013 season, Castile posted 23 receptions for 264 yards and four touchdowns.
Mclean (6-1, 210, Purdue) enters the AFL after appearing in all 12 games, including six starts at Purdue as a senior. He shared the team lead with two interceptions and one fumble recovery. Mclean recorded 36 tackles (22 solo, 14 assists) and three pass breakups.
Tennison (6-3, 305, Southern Methodist) recorded 1.5 tackles while with the Utah Blaze so far this season. During his collegiate career, Tennison was a four- year letterman at Southern Methodist. As a junior, Tennison played in all 14 games with 13 starts at left guard. He blocked for an offense that totaled a school-record 3,861 passing yards and added 1,943 yards on the ground.
SaberCats Add Fullback Sifa Etu
The SaberCats today announced that they have been assigned fullback Sifa Etu on a one-year contract. In a coinciding roster move, San Jose placed wide receiver Jamarko Simmons on inactive reserve.
"Sifa is someone who can come in and add depth to our fullback position," said Owner/Head Coach Darren Arbet. "He is a physical player that we are happy to bring into the fold."
Etu (6-1, 295, Arkansas State) opened the season in training camp with the Arizona Rattlers and also has spent time as a member of the National Football League's Jacksonville Jaguars (2011). The Hayward, Calif. native attended Arkansas State University, where he appeared in 21 games along the offensive line for the Red Wolves over two seasons, following his transfer from Chabot (Calif.) College. He earned Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference as a senior at Arkansas State and also brought home All-Golden Gate Conference and All-Region II honors while at Chabot during his sophomore season.
Champions Professional Indoor Football League
Edge Host Beef in Friday's Home Finale
The Bloomington Edge take on a long-time rival on Friday in the final home game of the regular Champions Professional Indoor Football League season.
The Edge hold a 4-5 record in sixth place in the CPIFL as they face the second-place Omaha Beef (7-1) for a 7:05 p.m. Friday kickoff at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Fan Appreciation Night activities include a rally towel giveaway to fans and a post-game concert with popular local band Brushfire, both courtesy of Country Financial.
The Edge rallied last Friday but came up short in a 47-44 loss to the Kansas City Renegades in Bloomington. The Beef nipped the Lincoln Haymakers 27-23 on Saturday in Omaha.
Bloomington has outscored its opponents 404-346 and has outgained the opposition by more than 300 yards in total offense (1,909-1,601). Edge quarterback Andre Brown, a Bloomington native, has completed 61 percent of his passes for 319 yards and six touchdowns. Marcus Lewis leads Edge receivers with 39 catches for 499 yards and 15 touchdowns, while Andre Raymond continues to lead Edge rushers with 253 yards and 12 touchdowns. Ross Cochran leads the Edge defense with 62 tackles.
The Beef have outscored their opponents by an average of just over 14 points per game and have a total offense advantage of 1,707 to 1,371. The Beef have an 81 percent conversion rate in the red zone. Veteran quarterback James McNear has completed more than 69 percent of his passes for 1,095 yards and 27 touchdowns. Beau Kildow has caught 10 of those scoring passes, with seven touchdown strikes to Judd Harrold and five to Jusmon Rivers. R.J. Rollins has rushed for 286 yards and 11 touchdowns. Peter Buck leads the Beef defense with 70 stops including 11 tackles for loss.
Friday's game can be heard on WJBC.com beginning at 6:45 p.m. The Edge then conclude the regular season on the road on the next two Saturdays with trips to play the Mid-Missouri Outlaws and the Sioux City Bandits.
Haymakers Promote Pair of Coaches
The Lincoln Haymakers would like to announce several coaching changes after the last weekend's events at the Omaha Beef Game. Following the CPIFL suspension of Coach Dave Brumagen for the season, the Haymakers have promoted two coaches from within the organization. For the remainder of the season Cory Ross will be the On-field Interim Head Coach with former Husker Josh Bullocks being promoted from Defensive Secondary Coach to Defensive Coordinator.
Director of Football Operations Justin Hayes commented on the promotions: "We are excited to have Cory and Josh step into these roles, as we are confident they will be high quality coaches that will continue to improve our organization for the future. Given the adversity and circumstances we have faced as an organization we are thrilled to have such classy individuals to lead our team."
These former Huskers bring nearly a decade of NFL experience to the Haymakers Coaching Staff as Ross played with the Baltimore Ravens and Bullocks with the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears. Coach Ross and Bullocks' NFL experience and connections, the organization will continue to allow players to develop and perfect their skills.
Bullocks established himself as one of the greatest All-American safeties for Nebraska while playing 2002 to 2004 ending his career 2nd all-time in interceptions at Nebraska (17 INT's). Earning the starting job halfway through his freshman year, Bullocks would start 28 games and most notably in the 2003 season he had 10 interceptions (School Record) and 49 tackles, making him a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.
Bullocks is a huge addition to the organization as he brings an abundance of knowledge to the Haymakers secondary after his NFL Career. While in the NFL, Bullocks was a solid defensive force for the Saints. Playing four years with the New Orleans Saints, Bullocks started 49 games, played in 62 while recording 256 tackles and six interceptions. He also played one season with the Chicago Bears.
Lincoln looks to finish the season strong with 4 games left. The club currently sits 3-5 in their first year as an organization. The Haymakers will play in Lincoln one last time this season on June 1st against their rival the Omaha Beef for the third time this season.
Indoor Football League
Green Bay Blizzard vs Cedar Rapids Titans Game Preview
The Green Bay Blizzard (4-5) will put their three game winning streak on the line and look to stay in the United Conference playoff race on Saturday, May 18 at the Resch Center against the Cedar Rapids Titans (6-4). Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 P.M.
Saturday's game is Star Wars Night as several members of the 501st Regiment will be on hand dressed a large variety of Star Wars costumes. In addition it is also Fan Appreciation Night where every fan will receive a free giveaway item til they last.
This is the fourth game all-time between the two teams with the Blizzard defeating the Titans, most recently, 41-38 in double overtime on March 30, 2013.
The Blizzard are coming off one of the biggest and most dramatic games in franchise history. DB Kenny Viser and LB Derek Earls blocked Nebraska's potentially game-winning field goal and returned it for a touchdown with no time remaining to defeat the Danger 43-37. For their spectacular game-changing play Viser and Earls were awarded IFL Co-Special Teams Player of the Week Awards.
The Blizzard offense continues to run solidly under QB Spencer Ohm and Offensive Coordinator John Pate. The team has scored 50 or more points in every game they have worked together in. QB Spencer Ohm is undefeated in his three starts and is second in the IFL in passer Rating with 109.7. RB Lucien Walker has played a bigger role in the offense as of late and has four touchdowns in the past two games. In addition, always dangerous B.J Hill leads the IFL in all-purpose yards with 1047.
Defensively, the Blizzard slowed the one of the best offenses in the league against Nebraska and will look to do it again against the Titans. In addition to recovering the blocked field goal for a touchdown LB Derek Earls recovered two more fumbles and also recorded a sack vs the Danger. DL James McClinton now also has sacks in back-to-games. The defense has allowed 50 or more points just once in the last seven games
The Cedar Rapids Titans are coming off a huge win of their own, after knocking off the defending IFL Champions Sioux Falls Storm 52-18. The Titans had never previously defeated the Storm and will look to match that against the Blizzard, another team they have never beaten.
Former Blizzard RB LaRon Council, WR Bryan Pray, WR Desmond Tardy and LB Trevor Glomski were all instrumental in the Blizzard's 2012 campaign and will be making a return trip to the Resch center for the first time; this time on the other side. Council, Pray and Tardy all help anchor the Titans offense that ranks first in the IFL in points per game at 55.
The Titans have several playmakers on defense. DL Xzavie Jackson leads the league in sacks with 12. DB T.J Simmons has four interceptions on the season as well. The Titans allow the fewest yards per game in the IFL at 194.8.
Professional Indoor Football League
Hawks Host Defending Champions
The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (4-4) are back at .500 on the season, and looking to improve on that record this weekend when they take on the Albany Panthers (4-3) Saturday, May 18th. The game is dedicated to Non-Profit Awareness, specifically the Race for Adam Foundation.
Lehigh Valley faces a tough test this week when they take on the defending league champions, and the current league leading defense. DL Tito Hannah (3 sacks, 11.5 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss) was named Week 10 Defensive Player of the Week. But that defense will be up against the red hot offense of the Steelhawks. QB Adam Bednarik (1,626 yds, 28 tds, 71 % completion rate) commands a lethal offense with three dangerous targets in receivers Tyrone Collins (11 tds, 576 yds on 52 catches), Tom Gilson (10 tds, 571 yds on 65 catches), and Torieal Gibson (9 tds, 567 yds on 42 catches), all three of which rank in the top 8 of all league receivers.
Albany won a close game last week against Louisiana. Prior to that win in their home arena, the Panthers had lost three straight on the road. Albany holds a 1-3 away record on the year. Their offense is led by QB Cecil Lester (29 tds, 1,601 yds) whose favorite target has been WR Antwont Cutts (10 tds, 553 yds on 47 catches). With only 4 interceptions on the year, the Panthers are good at protecting the ball (+2 turnover margin), but the Steelhawks defense have come up big in creating turnovers, forcing 3 fumbles in the past two weeks (+10 turnover margin on the season).
The Steelhawks final home game is next weekend, May 25th, Fan Appreciation Night. The Hawks will finish the regular season on the road in Georgia, first in Columbus and then in Albany for a rematch with the Panthers.
Raiders Return to Action Saturday
Two weeks ago, the Raiders found themselves down by 23 points to the Panthers with less than a minute to go in the third quarter. Special teams magic sparked a 28-0 run as Joseph Jean- Pierre returned a kickoff 52 yards for a touchdown, Raibonne Charles forced and recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff return, and Jean-Pierre recovered an onside kick leading to the go-ahead touchdown. T.C. Stevens made a 25 yard field goal with eight seconds left after the Panthers reclaimed the lead, and the Raiders defended a Hail Mary pass into the end zone as time expired, escaping with a 51-49 victory.
Jean-Pierre was named the league's Special Teams Player of the Week. Quarterback Warren Smith completed 10 of his first 11 passes in the second half, after throwing two interceptions in the first half, and finished with 253 yards and six touchdowns. Herb Jones had over 100 receiving yards for the second time this year, netting 132 yards and three scores on 11 catches.
The Swashbucklers lost their first three games this year, then got back to .500 with a three game winning streak. That streak was halted last week in Albany, as the Panthers bounced back with a 45-42 win. Albany capitalized on two second half stumbles by Louisiana quarterback Chris Mitchell. A fumble as Mitchell was being chased in the pocket led to a game- tying touchdown early in the third quarter. In the fourth, after the Panthers took a two point lead, Mitchell was harassed and fell in his own end zone where he was downed for a safety that provided the ultimate winning margin.
The Raiders will embark on their longest road trip of the year as the Swashbucklers return home for the first time in four games. Though their early season three game losing streak occurred entirely in Lake Charles, the 'Bucs have historically dominated visitors. They are 48-9 all-time in the Lake Charles Civic Center through eight-plus seasons. The only previous time the teams met in Louisiana, the Raiders committed two costly fourth quarter turnovers in a 47-45 loss last April.
The Raiders exacted revenge when they hosted Louisiana in the playoffs. The Raiders built a 19 point lead in the fourth quarter, but when the Swashbucklers took possession with 16 seconds left, they trailed by only six. Maurice Thorne intercepted a pass at the goal line as time expired, but the Raiders were flagged for illegal defense. On the ensuing untimed down, 'Bucs QB Alvin Bartie had his pass knocked away by RoShawn Marshall, and the Raiders advanced to the league championship game with a 56-50 win.
The matchup will feature two of the league's top three rushing offenses. The Raiders have the most rushing touchdowns and the highest average per carry, while the Swashbucklers have more carries than any other team and rank second in yardage. The PIFL's only 200-yard rushers, Mike Jones (Raiders) and Kendrick Perry (Swashbucklers), have been instrumental to their teams' success on the ground.
Saturday's matchup will be broadcast live on the Raiders' website, www.richmondraidersprofootball.com. Coverage starts with the pregame show at 7:30; kickoff is slated for 8:00.
Panthers Take on Steelhawks Saturday, May 18th in Lehigh Valley, PA
The Albany Panthers (4-3) take on the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (4-4) on Saturday, May 18 at Stabler Arena. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET. This will be the first meeting between these two teams.
The Steelhawks enter the game fresh off a victory over the Knoxville Nighthawks. The team was led by new quarterback Hunter Wanket (6'4 220, Central Connecticut St.) who picked up the Week 10 Offensive Player of the Week completing 23 of 29 passes for 253 yards scoring four total touchdowns (3 passing, 1 rushing). Wanket stepped in for Adam Bednarik, who had a record of 2-4 and was completing 71.1 percent of his passes.
The Panthers enter the game looking to continue their winning ways after a 3-point victory over the Louisiana Swashbucklers. Last week, quarterback Cecil Lester threw an uncharacteristic two interceptions to bring his season total to six. Lester will look to add to his league-leading total offence numbers (266.8 ypg).
If you can't make the trip to Pennsylvania, catch all the live action on 97.3 WGEX Hit Music Now, or on the internet at http://www.iheart.com/live/729/?autoplay=true.