Arena Football League
Pittsburgh Power Fall to Tampa Bay Storm, 62-34
Tampa Bay's Adrian McPherson's seven touchdowns led the Storm to a 62-34 win over the Pittsburgh Power tonight at CONSOL Energy Center in front of 4,625. McPherson, the Russell Athletic Offensive Player Of The Game, was 20-22 for 240 passing and six touchdowns and added 29 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground. McPherson's 24th rushing touchdown of the season set a new Tampa Bay franchise season record and added to his AFL single season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.
Pittsburgh fell to 2-6 on the season and 0-5 at home. Tampa Bay improved to 6-3 and 4-1 on the road.
The Storm set the tone of the game early, scoring on their first play from scrimmage, as McPherson found Michael Lindsey for a 25-yard touchdown pass. The Power answered back on their first possession, an acrobatic 28-yard catch by Mike Washington that set up a Steven Sheffield 6-yard touchdown run, to tie the score at 7-7. Tampa Bay would take a 13-7 lead on Greg Ellington's 13-yard catch. On the final play of the 1st quarter, the Storm's De'Audra Dix picked off a Sheffield attempt in the end zone.
McPherson and Lindsey connected for a second score on the third play of the 2nd quarter to give Tampa Bay a 21-7 lead. The Power answered with a Kirby Griffin 20-yard touchdown run that made the score 21-14. Joe Hills was on the receiving end of McPherson's fourth touchdown throw - a 32-yard pass - which put Tampa Bay up 28-14. Sheffield recorded his first touchdown pass of the game on a 39-yard toss to Washington, making the score 28-21. Ellington's 6-yard touchdown reception, at 2:13 of the quarter from McPherson, gave Tampa Bay a 35-21 lead. The Storm scored on their first five possessions of the game.
The Power opened the second half with two consecutive turnovers, resulting in 13 Storm points. On the second play of the 3rd quarter, Tampa Bay's James Harrell, the Riddell Defensive Player Of The Game, intercepted Sheffield and returned the ball 38 yards for a touchdown. The play was also the AFL Highlight Of The Game, putting Tampa Bay up by 20 points at 41-21. Chris Smith's interception set up McPherson's sixth touchdown pass, a 19-yard throw to Ellington which made the score 48-21. The Power failed to score in the quarter.
The 4th quarter scoring was opened by Alvin Ray Jackson's over the wall, 3-yard touchdown catch on 4th and goal, which made the score 48-28. McPherson's first rushing touchdown of the game came at the 8:54 mark, which increased the Storm lead to 55-28. Storm backup quarterback Randy Hippeard replaced McPherson and promptly found Jason Chery for a touchdown, increasing Tampa Bay's lead to 62-28. Jackson scored a late touchdown from Sheffield, which closed out the game at 62-34. Sheffield finished with 23-of-44 passing, 4 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and a game-high 276 yards.
Despite the Power loss this evening, Pittsburgh remains tied for the final AFL American Conference playoff berth, with losses this evening by both the Orlando Predators (2-6) and Cleveland Gladiators (2-6).
Pittsburgh's next home game is next Saturday, May 25, as they take on Cleveland at CONSOL Energy Center. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. EDT. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a free Power freezer mug, compliments of Esmark. and as always, $1 Smith's Hot Dogs and $1 7UP Fountain Drinks will be available for all fans. The game will also feature the second annual Pitt Ohio Power Food Drive. Fans are asked to bring a non-perishable donation to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The first 50 fans to donate will go down on the field before the game to welcome the Power with a special "high five tunnel".
Soul Win First Home Game; Knock off Predators, 61-51
The Philadelphia Soul won their first home game of the season by defeating the Orlando Predators, 61-51, in front of 9,094 fans at the Wells Fargo Center. The Soul got back to .500 on the season after defeating Doug Plank and the Orlando Predators for the second time this season.
"We did a great job tonight," explained Soul head coach Clint Dolezel about the win. "There are still some things we need to work on as a team, but I'll take the win. I'm happy that we were able to hang on for this win, our team really came together and everyone did what they needed to do. I think there a few things we can tighten up on defense. But for right now, I'm happy with my team and happy we were able to pull things through together and finally get this win at home."
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game Tiger Jones led Philadelphia receivers with five receptions for 114 yards and three touchdowns. Andrae Thurman had eight catches for 67 yards and one touchdown, while Ryan McDaniel recorded six receptions for 56 yards. Larry Brackins hauled in one catch for three yards and a touchdown.
Soul QB Dan Raudabaugh connected on 21-of-27 passes for 251 yards and six touchdowns.
On the ground, FB Derrick Ross finished the game with 23 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Riddell Defensive Player of the Game DB Rayshaun Kizer recorded five tackles, a forced fumble, fumble recovery, and an interception. LB Joe Goosby had 5.5 tackles on the night, while DB James Romain had 4.5 tackles and a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Orlando's QB Aaron Garcia connected on 23-of-43 passes for 292 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game WR Maurice Williams led the Predators' receivers with three touchdowns on six catches for 122 yards. WR T.T. Toliver hauled in 10 catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. DB Levy Brown led the defense with 6.5 tackles and a forced fumble.
Both teams scored two offensive touchdowns in the first quarter. Orlando scored on a 1-yard run by LB Marlon Moye-Moore and a 12-yard catch by WR Maurice Williams, with both extra points being missed. Orlando also had a 12-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by DB Dominic Jones. Philadelphia scored on a 3-yard catch by WR Larry Brackins and a 23-yard catch by WR Andrae Thurman to close out the quarter with Orlando leading 19-14.
Philadelphia's defense was able to stop the Orlando offense twice during the second quarter. Once by forcing a turnover with a forced fumble and recovery by DB Rayshaun Kizer, and the other was a stop on fourth down. Both stops led to Philadelphia touchdowns, with FB Derrick Ross scoring on a 1-yard run and an 11-yard catch. Philadelphia's 21 unanswered points put Philadelphia in the lead, 28-19, at the end of the first half.
Orlando cut the Philadelphia lead to three at the end of the third quarter after scoring three touchdowns to Philadelphia's two. Williams recorded two touchdowns for Orlando on a 5-yard and 48-yard catch and WR T.T. Toliver scored on a 12-yard catch. Philadelphia's WR Tiger Jones kept the Soul ahead in the game, scoring on a 40-yard and 16 yard catch. The quarter ended with the Soul leading, 42-39.
The Soul opened up the fourth quarter with the Cutters Catch of the Game when QB Dan Raudabaugh hit Jones on another deep play, scoring on a 38-yard pass, but failed to convert on the extra point. DB James Romain made the AFL Highlight of the Game when he intercepted the ball for a touchdown on a 50-yard return. Orlando tried to fight back, scoring on two 3-yard touchdown catches by WR Jason Geathers, but fell short after Philadelphia sealed their win on a 2-yard run by Ross. The final score was 61-51.
The Philadelphia Soul will be on the road next week against the Tampa Bay Storm on Saturday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will be aired on CBS Sports Network.
Gladiators Can't Make It Two in a Row at Home
Despite closing to within four points of tying the game in the third quarter, the Cleveland Gladiators (2-6) could not catch up in the fourth, falling to the San Antonio Talons (4-4) by a 57-33 score Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena. The loss comes on the heels of the Gladiators recording their first home win of the season the previous week against Chicago.
Thyron Lewis caught three touchdown passes for the Gladiators and also tied for the team lead in receptions with Dominick Goodman with eight. Gladiators starting quarterback Chris Dieker left the game with a shoulder injury in the second quarter and was replaced by Brian Zbydniewski.
The two teams alternated touchdowns in the first quarter and into the second before San Antonio eventually took a 35-21 lead into halftime. Dieker began the scoring with a 38 yard touchdown run with 9:06 remaining in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7. Two of Lewis' three touchdown catches came in the first half, with one coming from 46 yards and one from 13 yards.
In an unusual third quarter, San Antonio scored the only two points of the quarter with a safety 35 seconds into the frame to take a 37-21 lead.
San Antonio, leading 44-33 in the third quarter, took control by scoring back-to-back defensive touchdowns- both courtesy of Jamar Ransom interceptions- to extend the lead to 57-33.
The Gladiators are back in action next Saturday in Pittsburgh against the Power, with the game starting at 7:00 PM.
Blaze Defense Batters Barnstormers in 43-34 Victory
The Utah Blaze (4-4) defense provided a lockdown effort in a 43-34 victory over the Iowa Barnstormers (4-5) on Saturday night. The unit forced four turnovers on the night, holding the Barnstormers to just 150 yards in total offense.
Defensive Back Maurice Leggett posted two interceptions on the night, gaining 19 yards on returns. Defensive end Caesar Rayford notched two sacks while adding one pass breakup and a forced fumble. Safety David Hyland led all defenders with six total tackles on the evening, adding six pass breakups.
On the third play of Iowa's opening drive, Leggett intercepted quarterback J.J. Raterink and raced 19 yards to the end zone, weaving through defenders before crossing the goal line. Iowa responded with a seven-yard scoring toss from Raterink to wide receiver Jesse Schmidt to tie the game early.
The Barnstormers managed to take the lead in the second frame, as Raterink found wide receiver Marcus Harris in the end zone from 16 yards out. Utah quickly answered just two plays later, as Grady launched a 34-yard touchdown to wide receiver Mario Urrutia.
The two teams traded scores to close out the first half, as Raterink connected with Darius Reynolds on a nine-yard score before Blaze wide receiver Chase Deadder rushed into the end zone from a yard out with only a second remaining on the clock. A missed point after attempt gave the Barnstormers a 21-20 advantage at the midway point.
Utah's defense caught fire in the second half, putting Raterink under constant duress while pummeling the Barnstormers' protection. On the opening drive of the third quarter, Raterink was sacked twice before pressure forced him to fumble the ball on fourth-down. Fullback Ben Stallings pounded it into the end zone from a yard out on the next play from scrimmage, giving the Blaze a 27-21 advantage with 10:01 remaining in the third.
The Blaze added to the lead on the following possession, as the defense again harassed Raterink. Following three straight incompletions, Raterink was sacked in the back of the end zone by defensive end Caesar Rayford, resulting in a safety and a 29-21 Utah lead.
Iowa found the end zone for the first time in the second half on the ensuing possession, as linebacker John Mohring returned an interception 38 yards to the end zone. Utah quickly countered, as Grady hit Mario Urrutia for a deep 32-yard touchdown completion to put the Blaze on top, 36-28.
The Barnstormers opened the scoring in the game's final frame, as Raterink completed a 24-yard touchdown throw to Harris to inch within two points of tying the game. The Blaze executed a methodical 13-play, 49-yard drive on the ensuing possession, running 7:35 off the clock. Urrutia capped off the drive, as he secured the catch before vaulting over the dasher board wall for a seven-yard scoring reception.
Maurice Leggett silenced the Barnstormers for good on the ensuing drive, as he intercepted Raterink with 39 seconds remaining on the clock to seal the victory.
Utah travels in Week 10 to take on the San Jose SaberCats on Saturday, May 25 at the HP Pavilion Arena in the first of a three-game road trip.
Turnovers Prove Costly in Sharks' 57-36 Loss to SaberCats
Down one score at the start of the third quarter on Saturday night, the Jacksonville Sharks (6-3) committed back-to-back turnovers and could not recover, falling to the San Jose SaberCats (6-2) by a 57-36 count in front of 8,641 on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Sharks came out of the locker room after halftime facing just a seven-point deficit, 29-22. But Jacksonville turned the ball over on each of its first two possessions of the second half, and the resulting scores but the Sharks in a hole from which the team could not recover. On the opening drive of the third, Jacksonville moved into San Jose territory before quarterback R.J. Archer was intercepted by SaberCat Jack linebacker Huey Whittaker. After a San Jose touchdown, the Sharks moved into the red zone on their next drive, but San Jose defensive lineman Jason Stewart popped the ball loose from the grasp of Jerry Turner. The SaberCats pounced on the loose ball and converted the turnover into another touchdown, taking a commanding 36-22 lead.
The Sharks did get on the board with a pair of touchdowns in the fourth, as Archer hit Markee White from three yards out and fired a 20-yard strike to Jeff Hughley. But each time, San Jose was able to answer with a score of its own, and the Sharks could not come within fewer than two scores at any point in the final quarter.
Earlier, San Jose scored the game's first points on their opening drive. After Fred Williams' kick return set the SaberCats up at the 21-yard line, quarterback Russ Michna found Huey Whittaker for a score to put San Jose ahead, 6-0. The Shark offense responded by marching down the field, as Archer hit Hughley over the middle for a 13-yard touchdown on fourth down.
With the game tied at six, San Jose took the game's first advantage with a score followed by a defensive stop. After Michna took it in himself from three yards out to give his team a 13-6 lead, the Sharks went four-and-out as Archer's pass for Hughley fell incomplete.
But the Shark defense stepped up on the game's next possession to keep the score close. After San Jose marched into the red zone, the Jacksonville defensive line stood strong on back-to-back running plays. Two consecutive holding penalties then moved San Jose back to the Shark 21, and the defense forced the SaberCats into a field goal attempt. Nich Pertuit's kick was true from 37 yards out, and San Jose took a 16-6 lead.
Archer and his offense bounced back on the next possession, as the Shark quarterback found Jeron Harvey from seven yards out for Harvey's team-leading 18th touchdown of the season. Marco Capozzoli's extra point cut the Jacksonville deficit to just three, 16-13. San Jose answered with another score as Whittaker took it in with a three-yard rushing touchdown. As Pertuit stepped into his extra point, Jerry Turner blocked the kick straight backwards and fellow defensive lineman Ayanga Okpokowuruk tracked down the loose ball, picked it up at a dead run and sprinted to the opposite end zone for two points. The play kept it a one-score game at 22-15.
The teams traded touchdowns on the final two possessions of the first half to set up the situation at the start of the third quarter. Harvey fought off contact from multiple defenders and pulled in an outstanding one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone, completing a 23-yard touchdown that was his second score of the game. That touchdown tied the score at 22, but San Jose answered with a two-yard pass from Michna to Whittaker as the clock expired.
Making his first start of the season, Archer completed 29 of his 46 passes for 264 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Harvey and White led the Sharks with matching 11-catch performances, as Harvey totaled 108 yards and two scores while White added 78 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Hughley found the end zone twice as well, averaging a team-high 12.5 yards per catch on his six grabs for 75 yards.
On defense, Terrance Smith led the Sharks with five total tackles (four solo), two tackles for loss and two pass breakups. Aaron Robbins dropped Michna twice for his sixth and seventh sacks of the season, forcing a fumble as well. Turner and Jamaal Fudge each added a tackle for loss.
On the other side, Michna was efficient throughout, finishing 16-of-23 for 258 yards and five touchdowns. Williams led San Jose with eight catches for a game-high 155 yards and two scores. Whittaker found the end zone twice as well, and former Shark Jason Willis chipped in with two catches for 46 yards and a score. Michna carried the ball four times for 15 yards and two rushing touchdowns, while Whittaker scored on the ground himself. J.C. Neal led all players with 8.5 tackles (seven solo), while Francis Maka and Jabari Fletcher each recorded two tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
With the loss, the Sharks fell into a first-place tie with the Tampa Bay Storm atop the South Division. Jacksonville returns to the field on Saturday, May 25, when the team will face the in-state rival Orlando Predators at Amway Center in Orlando. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.
Indoor Football League
Colorado Ice Stay at #1 in IFL with Win over Tri-Cities
The Ice win a hard fought game against the Tri-Cities Fever, keeping them at #1 in the Intense Conference and the IFL.
The Ice came close to giving the game away in the 3rd quarter being down by 13 points, the Ice Defense and Special Teams helped to get the team back in control late in the 4th and held the Tri-Cities Fever in the last 3 seconds when Dante Warren (5) threw an incomplete pass that was deflected by Ice Defensive Back Eric Brown (15).
Ice Wide Receiver Matthew Roark (4) had a break out night getting a 3 yard rushing touchdown and 2 passing touchdowns in the 4th quarter. The first touchdown from Willie Copeland (13) was for 42 yards and brought the Ice with-in reach of the Tri-Cities Fever. At the 18 second mark in the 4th quarter Roark caught a 23 yard touchdown on his finger tips to put the Ice in the lead.
On the Ice Defense Gabe Knapton (33) had 2.5 sacks with 3 tackles and 9 assists, while Jovan Jackson (24) had 7 tackles and 4 assists. Corey Sample (20) had a fumble recovery in the second half that helped get the Ice back in the game.
Jovan Jackson (24) is the Runza Player of the Game and will be at Runza of Loveland on Tuesday, May 21 from 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM. We look forward to see all the Ice Nation at Runza of Loveland.
The will be on the road for the next two weeks. First going to play Tri-Cities at their house on Saturday, May 26 and then going to play the Texas Revolution in Allen, Texas on Saturday, June 1. You can watch and listen to the road games on 1310 KFKA and the America One network.
Storm defeat Chicago
The Sioux Falls Storm (7-4) defeated the Chicago Slaughter (7-5) 53-38 on Saturday night at the Storm shelter. This game gives the Storm their 29th straight win at home. The record is 36 straight home wins set from 2005-2009. Saturday night was also Military appreciation night at the arena, which the Sioux Falls Storm proudly supports.
Chicago couldn't muster together any offense on their first drive but a 51-yard field goal by Chris Nendick put the Slaughter up first 3-0. The Storm evened the contest back up when kicker Parker Douglass connected on a field goal from 24-yards out.
With 6:48 remaining in the first quarter, Nendick put in a 34-yard field goal for the Slaughter to give Chicago a 6-3 lead. The Storm captured their first lead of the game when backup quarterback Martevious Young ran in a 3-yard touchdown to make it 10-6.
Late in the quarter the Slaughter scored on a 34-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cody Kirby to wideout Eyad Salem. At the end of the first quarter Chicago led the Storm 13-10.
Sioux Falls quarterback Terrance Bryant threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to wideout Mike Tatum to start the second quarter. The extra point was missed but the Storm still grabbed back the lead 16-13.
Chicago answered right back tying the game at 16 on their next possession. Nendick made his third field goal of the night, this one being from 42-yards out. The Storm re-captured the momentum when Bryant hit wideout Clinton Solomon for a 41-yard touchdown pass making it 23-16 Sioux Falls.
With 0:56 left in the second quarter back up Young connected with wideout James Terry for a 2-yard touchdown pass to make it a 30-16 Storm lead. Chicago made it a 30-23 game on their next play from scrimmage. Kirby connected with Salem on a 25-yard touchdown. At the half the Storm led the Slaughter 30-23.
The first points of the third quarter came with 5:04 remaining. The Storm scored an extended its lead 37-23 on a 5-yard touchdown run by Young. Sioux Falls defense took over on the next Chicago possession when defensive end Jeremiah Price sacked Kirby for a safety making it a 39-23 Storm lead.
On the kickoff following the safety, Roy Polite returned it 37-yards to the house increasing the Storms lead to 46-23. At the end of the third quarter, Sioux Falls had the lead 46-23.
On a forth and long, Chicago found their lady luck. Kirby connected with wide out J.J. Hayes for a 22-yard touchdown. The Sioux Falls Storm still led 46-30. Bryant threw an interception on the Storms next drive, which was returned for a touchdown. The Slaughter was successful on the two-point conversion making it a 46-38 Storm lead.
With 8:47 remaining in the game, Sioux Falls extended the score 53-38 on a 3-yard touchdown run by Young. The Slaughter couldn't put together any more success on offense as they ran out of gas. Sioux Falls was victorious with a final score of 53-38 to improve to 7-4 on the season.
Terrance Bryant finished the game throwing for 234 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Martevious Young finished the game with three rushing touchdown on only 12-yards rushing.
Cody Kirby threw for 167 yards and three touchdowns for Chicago. Salem had 59 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Hayes had one touchdown for 65-yards receiving.
The Sioux Falls Storm returns home next weekend when they host the Cedar Rapids Titans. Kick-off for the game is scheduled for 7:05.
Blizzard Fall to Cedar Rapids 54-37
Green Bay fell to the Cedar Rapids Titans on Saturday night in front of 2,988 fans at the Resch Center, 54-37, ending its three game winning streak and putting the team in a tough spot approaching the postseason.
Both teams returned blocked field goals for touchdowns on their opening possessions, including Blizzard defensive lineman Tim Hume recovering a blocked Radamez Rubio attempt, to give Green Bay an early 10-7 lead.
Cedar Rapids would respond quickly, however, with the league's leading offense finding success through the air.
Titans quarterback Charles McCullum, the IFL's reining Offensive Player of the Week, completed 11 of 17 passes for 105 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, while the Green Bay offense managed just 32 yards of total offense in the first two quarters.
Cedar Rapids gained some momentum going into the half, after McCullum found receiver Carl Sims open for a two-yard touchdown on the last play of the half, giving the Titans a 27-16 advantage.
The league's leading rusher, and former Blizzard player LaRon Council, scored back to back touchdowns to open the second half and give the Titans a comfortable 41-16 lead. Council would finish with three touchdowns and 82 total yards against his former team.
He wasn't the only former Green Bay player, however, who made an impact on the field Saturday night.
Titan's defensive lineman Richard Posey, who played for the Blizzard back in 2009, recovered a blocked Jered Fohrman field goal in the end zone on Green Bay's opening possession, to give Cedar Rapids the first points of the gae.
Receiver Bryan Pray also accounted for two scores of his own, including a 39-yard catch from backup quarterback Colton Hansen, who replaced the injured McCullum halfway through the third quarter. Pray would finish the night with 6 catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
Green Bay receiver B.J. Hill returned a third quarter kickoff 56 yards for his 13th career kick-return touchdown, bringing the Blizzard to within 18, trailing 41-23. Hill brought his league-leading all-purpose yardage to 1,241, after recording 194 yards on Saturday.
Despite two fourth quarter rushing touchdowns from quarterback Spencer Ohm, Green Bay couldn't quite make up enough ground against the Titans. Ohm, arguably the hottest quarterback in the league coming into Saturday's game, had a rather quiet night, completing 14 of 31 passes for just 85 yards and one touchdown.
Green Bay will hit the road for the first time in nearly two months for its next game, as the Blizzard travel to Texas to take on the Revolution (4-6) on May 25. Green Bay will return to the Resch Center on June 15 for its final regular season game against the Chicago Slaughter.
Lone Star Football League
Stars fall to the Rattlesnakes in low scoring game
Arena league football games are typically high scoring and full of offensive action all game long. But that wouldn't be the case in this one as the teams combined for just 63 points, and the Rattlesnakes took home the win by a score of 34-29.
It was a defensive battle that went down to the wire, with the Stars getting both a fumble and an interception that was called back by penalties late in the 4th quarter. Emotions ran high as the Stars were fighting for franchise records for wins, and the Rattlesnakes were fighting to stay in 1st place in the LSFL. In the end the Stars would give up 30 yards in penalties while the Rattlesnakes didn't have a single penalty in the game, something this writer has never seen in a professional football game.
The star of the game (pun intended) was without a doubt DB Marcus Allen, who just three days earlier welcomed his son Caiden into the world. "It was a special game for me because I wanted to play, but I also wanted to be there with my son. My Girlfriend and I decided that I should play, so I tried to play in a way that would make my son proud of me" Allen said after the game. He would finish with a game high 7.5 tackles, including the would-be INT that was negated by a penalty flag.
On offense, QB Kasey Peters threw for 199 yards and 2 TDs, while Seth Smith rushed 9 times for 19 yards and 2 TDs of his own. Joshua Floyd finished the game with 6 catches for 88 yards and a TD, while Roland Bruno got into the scoring action with a TD on one of his 7 catches and 51 yards receiving.
After the game I spoke with Stars GM Abe Hernandez who had this to say, "We are getting better as a team. We just need to win our home games and take one on the road, and we will be in the hunt for the #2 seed in the playoffs."
Right now the Stars are 3-4 on the season and in 3rd place this season; they head to San Angelo to take on the Bandits for one of the two Monday night games in the LSFL. The Bandits currently hold a 1-6 record and have lost both previous meetings with the Stars. Following the Bandits road game, the Stars play 3 of the next 4 games at home, with the lone road game in Amarillo against the 2nd place Venom.
Professional Indoor Football League
Steelhawks Pull off Last Second Win
In another exciting back and forth battle between the Panthers of Albany (4-4) and the Steelhawks of the Lehigh Valley (5-4), it was the Steelhawks that held on to claim victory, 49-47.
In a game that was a constant back and forth in scoring, and came down to the wire, it was K Evan Selman (13 total points) that was the hero at the end of the game. With 5 seconds remaining, the Steelhawks trailed by`1 when Selman was called upon to attempt the 31 yard field goal. He drilled the kick through the uprights, putting Lehigh Valley up by 2 with 0.1 seconds left!
The Steelhawks offense continued to be strong this week, QBs Adam Bednarik put up 238 yards on 24-37 passes and 4 touchdowns and Hunter Wanket converting his only pass attempt for a touchdown. All three receivers shared the load of receptions again - Tyrone Collins had 2 touchdowns (75 yds on 10 catches), Tom Gilson had 2 touchdowns (90 yds on 8 catches), and Torieal Gibson had a touchdown (63 yds on 6 catches).
Defensively, the Steelhawks never let Albany run away with the game, holding them to less than 50 points. DB Stefaun Whitehead led the Steelhawks with 7 tackles but it was DB Clarence Curry that would be named Buca de Beppo and Countess Communications Player of the game after recording 6 tackles, 1 for a loss, and 2 interceptions.
The Steelhawks finish their regular season home games next week when they take on the Knoxville Nighthawks in the third and final round of the battle of the Hawks. Next week's game is on the 25th, and is Fan Appreciation Night, sponsored by Subway Restaurants, and will feature tons of giveaways for the fans!
Raiders Fall to Louisiana in Double OT
The Raiders used a late two point conversion to force overtime, but couldn't come through with a two pointer in the second overtime period and fell to the Louisiana Swashbucklers, 68-66, in Lake Charles, LA.
The Raiders led by as many as 13 points in the second half, but came away empty on two straight possessions thanks to a fumble and a turnover on downs. Louisiana capitalized and took the lead with two minutes to play on quarterback Chris Mitchell's one yard keeper. Raider signal caller Warren Smith responded with a one yard run of his own with 25 seconds left, then threw to Brandon Grier for a game-tying two point conversion. Ernesto Lacayo missed a 43 yard field goal as time expired and the game moved to overtime.
In the first overtime period, the Swashbucklers got a 25 yard catch-and-run from Jordan Rideaux to go up by 7, matched by Herb Jones' 10 yard reception. Jones scored again to start the second overtime, but Antwun Williams' wide receiver pass for the mandatory two point conversion was intercepted. Louisiana defensive lineman turned fullback Tenise Uelese bowled into the end zone from eight yards to tie the game, and Mitchell rolled right, turned upfield, and stuck the ball across the goal line for two to give the "ÂBucs the win.
The six-foot, 320 pound Uelese lined up at fullback on most of his teams' red zone plays and finished with two touchdowns and 23 yards on seven carries. But it was Mitchell who rallied his team in the fourth quarter, throwing a 29 yard bomb to Sammy Knight on the first play after Herb Jones fumbled to give the Swashbucklers a one point lead. After holding the Raiders on downs, the "ÂBucs engineered a seven play, five minute drive that was sparked by Mitchell's 16 yard scramble to the one yard line and his sneak to extend the lead to eight.
The Raiders scored first after halftime. Jones hauled in an 18 yard pass to put the Raiders up by 13, which remained the margin after the teams traded field goals. Mitchell then completed a 19 yard pass to Ronald Davis to begin a 21-0 run.
After holding Louisiana to a field goal attempt on the game's first possession, the Raiders began a stretch of six straight possessions with a touchdown. The Swashbucklers responded with a touchdown each time, never trailing by more than seven points in the first half, and trailed by six at halftime when Lacayo missed a 50 yard field goal at the horn. Hakeem Moore made several big plays in the first half, tallying 110 yards on just five receptions. His 38 yard touchdown opened the scoring, followed by Rodney Sledge's first touchdown as a Raider and Joseph Jean- Pierre's first receiving touchdown. Jones scored the final two TDs of the second quarter and finished with a career high five touchdowns and his third 100 yard game of the season. Smith set team records with 32 completions and 365 yards.The Raiders will return home May 25 to face the Columbus Lions, kickoff is at 7:00 pm.