Arena Football League
Tampa Bay Adds Offensive Lineman
The Tampa Bay Storm is pleased to announce the acquisition of offensive lineman Jeremiah Warren.
"Jeremiah brings much needed depth to the offensive line," said vice president of football operations Jeff Gooch. "He is a big body, and will be able to help protect our quarterback."
Warren (6-foot-3, 325, South Florida), played with the Bulls from 2008-2011, and started in 38-of-45 games on the offensive line. He was an All-Big East selection his senior season, and helped anchor an offense that was ranked in the top five of several categories in the Big East including, total offense, rushing yards and passing yards.
The Panama City, FL native began his football career with the New England Patriots (NFL) in 2012 as an undrafted free agent. He also spent time with the Arizona Cardinals.
Shock prepare for first of back-to-back home games
The Spokane Shock (5-2) take on the Orlando Predators (1-5) in a Week 5 Net10 Wireless Arena Football League match-up on Saturday, May 11th with a 7:00 PM PST kickoff at Spokane Arena. This week's game will be broadcast live on SWX, available for your listening pleasure on 700AM ESPN Radio and online at shock.arenafootball.com/allaccess.
Last week, the Shock traveled to Salt Lake City to take on their third West Divisional rival in four weeks in the Utah Blaze (3-3). With four of their five wins coming on the road the Shock were looking to bounce back from their first loss in the previous week and continue their road dominance but the Blaze had other plans, defeating Spokane 52-48. The Shock offense struggled for the second straight week, starting the game with a turnover and then would be stopped on five other possessions by the Blaze defense. Coming down to a final 4th down play with 15 seconds remaining the Shock had the opportunity to steal the late win from the Blaze, but the ball would be knocked out of the air just shy of the hands of Shock WR Adron Tennell by Blaze DB David Hyland to seal the Utah win.
QB Erik Meyer completed 26 of 39 attempts for 276 yards and 3 touchdowns; this is the first time this season where Meyer failed to throw for at least 7 touchdowns. Kamar Jorden led the team in receiving with 10 receptions for 112 yards but had no TDs. Kamar will be absent from the Shock lineup this week after heading to the NFL's Indianapolis Colt's Training Camp. Adron Tennell who currently leads the league with 22 touchdown receptions on the year, hauled in 7 catches for 76 yards and two TDs against the Blaze.
Orlando started the 2013 season with former Shock QB Kyle Rowley at the helm. With a rough start to the season, which included the introduction of QB Chris Dixon for three games until he was placed on the injured reserve list, the Predators failed to record a win in their first five games. At the end of April, Orlando made a trade for QB Aaron Garcia who the Shock faced in week 5 when he played for the San Jose Sabercats. In that game, Spokane's Paul Stephens set a new AFL Single-Game Record with 5 interceptions. The Shock have had success against Garcia in the past beating him last season when he played for San Antonio (63-60) and forcing him to throw 3 interceptions.
Last week Orlando won their first game of the season after Garcia took over the offense from former Shock QB Kyle Rowley defeating Pittsburgh 52-38. Prior to Garcia's arrival, the Predators had thrown 12 interceptions in the first 5 games (Rowly-11, Dixon-1) while in Garcia's first four games with San Jose produced 13 INTs by the AFL veteran (2nd in the league). It will be key for Orlando to protect the football this week as they are currently tied for 13th in turnover margin (-10) while the Shock are ranked 3rd (+10).
Despite the Predators overall record they are a talented team. With the addition of Garcia at QB and a standout receiver in Prechae Rodriguez through off-season free agency, the Shock defense will have to stay on their toes as they are currently ranked 14th in the league in pass defense allowing 314 yards/game. Rodriguez played last season with the Tampa Bay Storm where he led the receiving core in all categories having 125 receptions for 1653 yards and 32 touchdowns on the season. In 2013, he already has 44 catches for 610 yards and 13 TDs and is the seventh overall in the AFL.
For the Predators, Dominic Jones is second in the AFL in kickoff returns, trailing only the Shock's Terrance Sanders with 652 return yards. Spokane will need to keep him bottled up and force Orlando to make plays.
Three of Orlando's five losses this season have come to San Jose (4-2), Tampa Bay (5-2) and Arizona (6-1). On the other side, the Shock have also played these three opponents with an overall record of 2-1 losing to Tampa Bay in Week 6 for their first loss of the season.
Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, May 11th 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. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by contacting TicketsWest at 800-325-SEAT, visiting TicketsWest.com online, or by visiting the Box Office located at Spokane Arena.
Talons Look to Win First Home Game
The defending National Central Division Champion San Antonio Talons (2-4) fell to the Iowa Barnstormers (3-4) at the Alamodome last Friday with a score of 48-36. In search of their first home win of the season, the Talons take on the Jacksonville Sharks who are in first place in the South Division and are tied for first in the AFL with only one loss on the season.
This will be the second meeting between the two teams since 2010 and the Talons first home matchup. Their previous encounter resulted in a last second touchdown pass from former Shark and Talon quarterback Aaron Garcia, giving Jacksonville a 62-60 victory over the Talons in Florida.
The Talons have yet to settle in at home due to a slew of unforeseen injuries dominating the quarterback position. Now 2-4, the Talons are in last place, but are determined to score their first home win on Saturday. The number two ranked defense in the league had a surprisingly quiet game against Iowa, finishing without any sacks. This marked the first time this season that the Talon defense was unable to take down the opposing team. Tim McGill and Joe Sykes are looking to maintain their dominance against Jacksonville's offensive line which has only allowed 7 quarterback sacks this season.
Sharks quarterback Bernard Morris ranks ninth in total offense with 1,703 yards on the season. Jacksonville ranks third in the league in red zone offense, scoring 89.2% of the time they enter the red zone. San Antonio's offense has been plagued with injuries on the season. In the last five games, four quarterbacks have hit the field for the Talons due to unforeseen injuries. Quarterback Nick Hill, who is recovering from an injury sustained in Pittsburgh looks to be the starter for the Talons on Saturday. This will be his first home game in San Antonio. Hill has completed 60 of 104 passes leading to 13 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.
Talons Wide Receiver, Burl Toler tied for first in the League last week with 7 receptions. He finished with 44 yards and a touchdown against Iowa. Toler, in his third year with the league and second year with the Talons will be an offensive leader and force to be reckoned with against Jacksonville in Week 8. San Antonio looks to take their first home victory of the season and move up in the Central Division rankings with a win this weekend.
Philadelphia Looks to Win First Home Game
The Philadelphia Soul look to get back over the .500 mark on the season in this week's matchup against the Pittsburgh Power. The Soul (3-3) defeated the Power (1-5) in both matchups last season, and hope to win their first home game on the season by extending the win streak to three.
The Soul ended a two-game losing streak last week in Chicago, defeating the Rush 72-41. Pittsburgh is currently on a two-game losing streak after losing to the Orlando Predators 52-38 last Saturday. It's been a struggle for the Power this season as four of their five losses have been by at least 14 points.
"This week is the same game plan as last week," explains Soul head coach Clint Dolezel. "Last week we were able to come up with a lot of turnovers on defense. We were able to take care of the ball on offense and doing so led to us winning to the game. This week we need to do the same thing. We need to do the little things and get everyone on the same page. If we do that, I think we'll come out on top."
The Soul's offense put together a strong performance against Chicago last week, scoring a season-high 72 points. This season, the offense has no problem moving the ball, ranking No. 2 in total yards per game (318.5), No. 3 in pass offense (284.5) and No. 4 in rushing offense (34.0). The issue for Dolezel's team has been turnovers. Philadelphia has turned the ball over 14 times so far this season, having a -4 turnover margin (Tied No. 9).
After allowing more than 50 points in Weeks 5 and 6, Philadelphia's defense clamped down, giving up only 41 points and 226 total yards against Chicago. The Soul's strength on defense is stopping the run, ranking No. 1 in fewest rushing yards allowed (14.8) and fewest rushing touchdowns allowed (3). Philadelphia's defense gives up 242.0 yards through the air and is tied for No. 3 in total defense (256.8) in the league.
The Power's defense ranks No. 1 in fewest yards allowed (228.7) with the next closest team allowing almost 20 yards more per game (San Antonio Talons). Derek Stingley's defense is led by a strong secondary that has allowed the fewest passing yards in the league (201.8), despite not having a single member ranked in the league's top ten in passes defended.
The Power's offense has struggled this season, ranking last in scoring (33.8). Jordan Jefferson poses as a dual threat, averaging 226.8 total yards per game and ranks No. 2 among quarterbacks in rushing yards (172). Perhaps Pittsburgh's best offensive weapon is P.J Berry, who ranks No. 6 in all-purpose yards (158.2). Berry is also No. 3 in the league in kick return yards (580) to go along with his 329 yards receiving.
A few factors will be the outliers for this matchup. With the Power's strong running game (No. 3), they will look to keep Philadelphia and their No. 2 ranked offense off the field. For the Soul, they will look to get pressure on the quarterback against an offensive line that has allowed a league-high 25 sacks.
If Philadelphia doesn't turn the ball over against the stout Pittsburgh defense, it could lead to the Soul winning this battle for Pennsylvania.
Jacksonville aims to get back on winning track in Saturday matchup
The 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks (6-1) look to bounce back from the team's first loss of the 2013 season on Saturday, as the Sharks head to Texas for a meeting with the San Antonio Talons (2-4) on Saturday, May 11 at the Alamodome. The game is set to kick off at 9:30 p.m. Eastern and will air live in front of a national audience on CBS Sports Network as part of the League's "Net10 Wireless Arena Football Saturday" series.
The Sharks return to the playing field seven days after falling to the Arizona Rattlers, 58-48, on Sea Best Field last Saturday night. The defeat ended the team's season-opening six-game winning streak, and the Sharks now stand just one game ahead of a hot Tampa Bay Storm team in the South Division.
Heading into this week's game, one key for the Sharks will be improved pass protection. Last Saturday, the Arizona pass rush recorded two sacks and brought consistent pressure that impacted Shark quarterback Bernard Morris' timing on several other occasions. The Jacksonville offensive line will need to execute from the start on Saturday, as a talented pass-rushing unit is perhaps San Antonio's biggest strength.
Entering this week, the Talons have racked up a total of 16 sacks - good for the second-highest total in the League behind the Sharks' own 20. Worth noting is that San Antonio has recorded those sacks in six games compared to the Sharks' seven. The Talon pass rush is led by Joe Sykes, the reigning Riddell Defensive Player of the Year. As a member of the San Jose SaberCats in 2012, Sykes dominated the opposition to the tune of a league-record total of 16 sacks. After moving to San Antonio this past offseason, Sykes is at it again, entering this week at the top of the AFL leaderboard with 5.5 sacks in 2013.
A defining characteristic of the Sharks' pass rush is that any member of the front four is capable of getting to the quarterback at any time. The same holds true for San Antonio, as beyond Sykes, Tim McGill has totaled four sacks this season, while Mark Weivoda has 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. To help counter the Talons' strength and bolster their own pass protection, the Sharks added mammoth offensive lineman Trevis Turner this week. Standing at 6'8", 340, Turner should prove to be a valuable asset as the season progresses.
Heading into this week, the Sharks rank fourth in the league in scoring offense with an average of 58.6 points per game. But after crossing the 60-point mark in each of the first four games, the Sharks have not topped 55 points in any of the team's last three contests. What should help the Shark offense this week is the return of playmaking receiver/returner Jeff Hughley, who has rejoined the team after participating in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rookie mini-camp this past weekend. The team leader with 516 receiving yards, Hughley ranks second in the League with an average of 192.5 all-purpose yards per game and will impact the game both on offense and on special teams.
Despite the Sharks' overall reduced offensive output, receiver Jeron Harvey heads into Saturday's game having scored three or more touchdowns in each of the Sharks' last three contests. He pulled in a career-high five touchdown grabs in Week 6 at Philadelphia and leads the team with 16 receiving scores overall. Thanks to the work of Harvey, Hughley and fellow receivers Markee White and Jarvis Williams, Morris remains among the league leaders in pass efficiency with a total of 39 touchdown passes against just two interceptions.
While the steady hand of Morris has guided the Sharks to a strong start to the season, the Talons have experienced an incredible amount of turnover at the quarterback position in 2013. To begin the year, longtime AFL veteran John Dutton took the helm of the Talons' offense before suffering a season-ending injury in the team's second game of the season.
Soon after, the Talons turned to a former Orlando Predator in southpaw Nick Hill, but he in turn was not available for the team's last game against Iowa. In all, four quarterbacks have thrown 20 or more passes for San Antonio this season, and there is no doubt that Talon head coach Lee Johnson is looking for stability at the position to help get his team back into the playoff picture.
Despite the turnover under center, a familiar face to Shark fans is on the way to a great season with San Antonio. Jomo Wilson was one of the key figures in the Sharks' prolific offense during the team's ArenaBowl Championship season in 2011 before heading to San Antonio prior to 2012. After leading the Talons in receiving yards and touchdowns last year, Wilson is at it again in 2013 with team-high totals of 35 catches, 482 receiving yards and 11 scores. Wilson leads a veteran Talon receiving corps that also features third-year players Dwayne Eley and Burl Toler.
Defending Wilson at the rest of the Talon receivers is a veteran Shark secondary that is looking for a game-changing turnover this week. Though Tracy Belton did force two fumbles in the Sharks' Week 6 win in Philadelphia, the Sharks have totaled just one interception in the team's last three games. While the Jacksonville offense tries to solve a stingy Talon defense (49.8 points per game), the Shark defensive backs hope to take advantage of a turnover-prone San Antonio attack (12 interceptions, five fumbles lost). In what could end up a low-scoring affair, the swing provided by a defensive touchdown could go a long way toward wrapping up the Sharks' seventh victory of 2013.
Saturday's game kicks off at 9:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Those unsure of where to find the channel may go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com/channelfinder to find its placement in the channel lineup based on zip code and TV provider. The game will also air live on AM 600 WBOB throughout the Jacksonville area, with Steve Berrey on play-by-play.
Champions Professional Indoor Football League
Edge Return Home Friday to Begin Playoff Push
The Edge host the Kansas City Renegades on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Both teams carry 4-4 records into the contest for a fifth-place tie in the CPIFL standings. The final regular season Edge home game is the following Friday, May 17, against longtime rival Omaha Beef.
As the Edge build excitement for a playoff run with hopes of filling U.S. Cellular Coliseum, fans can see the final two home games this Friday and next Friday and enjoy unlimited hot dogs and sodas for only $30 for both games. Season ticket holders can add the unlimited hot dogs and soda deal for only $15 for both of the final two home games. For more information, call the Edge office at 309-TC SPORT (827-7678).
The Edge are back at U.S. Cellular Coliseum after three straight road games. The Edge went 2-1 on the road swing, losing last Friday's contest at Lincoln 48-39 despite a late comeback. The Renegades dropped a 51-42 decision at home to Sioux City on Saturday in their last action.
Marcus Lewis continues to lead the Edge in receiving with 432 yards on 33 catches with 12 touchdowns. Andre Raymond is the leading Edge rusher with 230 yards and nine touchdowns. Ross Cochran leads the Edge defense with 58 tackles.
The Renegades are led with 11 touchdown receptions by Clinton Solomon and seven touchdowns with 183 yards on the ground by Keithen Valentine. David Garrett has recorded 58 tackles to lead the Renegades defense.
Edge games can be heard on WJBC.com with pre-game this Friday at 6:45 p.m. For more information on the Edge, call 309-TC SPORT (827-7678) and check Facebook, Twitter and www.bloomingtonedge.com.
Haymakers vs Beef Week 9 Preview
The Lincoln Haymakers will face the Omaha Beef on May 11, for the team's first road game in four weeks. Kickoff of the second edition of the Nebraska Indoor Football Rivalry Game will be at 7:00 in the Ralston Arena. The Haymakers have played in only two road games this season, in a front loaded schedule of home games. The Haymakers will now face three of the league's top four teams, and will look to avenge early season losses against each team in the tour over the next three weeks. The Beef are currently tied for the league's top spot, but the Haymakers bring a two game winning streaking into the weekend after avenging an early season loss to the Bloomington Edge.
The Haymakers lost 55-49, in first ever Nebraska Indoor Football Rivalry Game against the Beef. The Haymakers' David Ferris scored a rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter to bring the game within one touchdown. The Haymakers failed to recover the onside kick, which sealed their fate in the first game against the Beef. The first matchup brought considerable change on offense for the Haymakers. Current starting quarterback Blake Bolles made his first start of the season against the Beef, after replacing A.J. Toscano for the position.
Since the first meeting of the season with the Beef, the Haymakers have gone 2-1. The team has maintained exceptional play from its' defense during the past three weeks, which has been a key to the Haymakers' success. Strong defensive will factor into an important role in this week's matchup against the Beef. The Beef bring the second ranked total offense and third ranked scoring offense into the game. Linebacker Rising star Willie Horn is coming off a strong performance against the Edge. Horn recorded an interception and nine tackles in last week's game. He will be looked at again to lead the defense against the Beef's top tier offense.
With the end of the season approaching, the Haymakers look to start piling up the wins to get back into the playoff race. A win against the Beef, would be just what the team needs. A victory would help bring the Haymakers up in the standings, while it would slow the Beefs accent to the top. The Haymakers would move to 4-4 on the season with a win, and would be just two games out of fourth place and from the final playoff position.
Indoor Football League
Slaughter Home Saturday
Come celebrate SARGE'S BIRTHDAY on Saturday, May 11 at 6:05 PM as the Slaughter battle the Texas Revolution. Watch for Sarge's friends who will dance and play games with Sarge. Saturday is also Military Appreciation.
Scheduled Military Appreciation activities:
Dog tag machine provided by the US Army
Military Humvee located outside the main entrance to the arena
Remembrance table on the field for the pregame festivities and on the concourse during the game
A member of Bugles Across America will play TAPS during the pregame festivities
All military branches will be honored during the game
A Military Drive to benefit Operation Care Package will take place on the concourse.
The Chicago Slaughter will take on the Green Bay Blizzard on Friday, May 31. This will be the third (of four) matchup between the teams. The Slaughter have won the first two meetings with scores of 50-41 and 27-14.
Professional Indoor Football League
Swashbucklers to Face Albany Panthers for Second Time
The Swashbucklers are 3-3 on the year while the Panthers are also 3-3. Last week Louisiana defeated the Knoxville Nighthawks 45-37 and was able to preserve the win as Knoxville attempted a last second effort to score as time ran out in regulation. Also last week Albany was defeated by the Richmond Raiders 51-49. Though the Panthers are the defending Professional Indoor Football League champions, it's the Raiders and the Alabama Hammers who are currently atop the league standings with identical 5-2 records.
The defense will be looking to defensive back Brian Harvey, Jr. to have another standout game to slow down the Panthers defense. Last week against Knoxville, Harvey got his second interception in three games. He also got eight tackles on the Nighthawks. For his efforts, Harvey was named the PIFL Defensive Player of the Week for week 9.
The Panthers will look upon this game as a critical matchup to get back onto the winning track. Louisiana will be trying to extend the winning streak to four. The Bucs will be returning home on Saturday, May 18th, in the Smuggler's Den at the Lake Charles Civic Center to take on the Raiders. It will be the first contest between Louisiana and Richmond this season.
But to accomplish a fourth win, Harvey and the Swashbucklers defense will have to find a way to slow down the Panthers offense. Albany is led by veteran quarterback Cecil Lester. For the season up to now, Lester has 139 completions out of 249 attempts with only four interceptions. He has accumulated 1,601 yards with 29 touchdowns.
His counterpart is Chris Mitchell for the Bucs. Mitchell is 87 out of 135 with only four picks as well. He has 1,107 yards for 22 touchdowns. Running back Kendrick Perry has 60 rushes for 208 yards. Mitchell will once again be looking for wide receivers Sammy Knight, Jordan Rideaux and Cortland Bell as deep threat scoring targets. All three receivers have surpassed over 200 passing yards and will be looking for more in the Albany defensive secondary.
Knoxville Nighthawks Take on Lehigh Valley Saturday, May 11
The Knoxville Nighthawks (2-6) will take on the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (3-4) Saturday, May 11th at 7:00 pm EST at the Knoxville Civic Center Coliseum.
The Knoxville Nighthawks are preparing for their second game against the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks. The Nighthawks lost to Louisiana last Saturday 45-37 in a very close game. Knoxville looks to continue to improve. We made a great comback last week after being down 21 points early in the fourth quarter. We fought hard and had a great effort. Again, we came up a bit short. The crowd stuck with us until the very last play. We hope they will come out again and support us, said Head Coach Cosmo DeMatteo.
Nighthawks' quarterback Ryan Porter went 33-53 passing, which included 317 yard passing and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Charles Gilbert had 17 receptions for 158 yards and one touchdown. Rico Joseph had 6 catchs for 66 yards and one touchdown. Armandre Johnson had four solo tackles, three assisted tackles and one sack on defense for Knoxville.
This is the second of three meetings between the Nighthawks and Steelhawks during the 2013 season. The Nighthawks will have an off week next week and then meet Lehigh Valley for the third time on Saturday, May 25th at Lehigh Valley.
Saturday will be Breast Cancer Awareness Night. That night will be sponsored by Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center, Susan G. Komen of Knoxville, and Sports Animal. There will be an opportunity to win a $700 diamond cross necklace. Bring (2) cans of food to the game and receive $2.00 off the price of tickets. Food donations will go to the Fish Hospitality Pantry of Knoxville.
Ultimate Indoor Football League
Corpus Squeaks by Raiders at Home
The Lakeland Raiders' long-awaited rematch against the Corpus Christi Fury started out on a clunky note. After kicker Jesus "Jesse" Cortez narrowly missed an UNO on the opening kickoff the two teams combined for four different fouls on the first three plays of the game. The final play of that yellow flag-dominated drive was a 40 TD bomb from Fury QB Robert Kent to WR Kenyada Tatum. The two connected again for the 2 point conversion and the Raiders were in an early 8-0 hole.
It took exactly one play - the first penalty-free play of the game - for the Raiders to get right back in it. Raiders QB Chris Walley got the defense all turned around and tossed a 25 yard strike to Roderick Jefferson for the touchdown and the game was 8-7. Unfortunately, that was as close as the Raiders would come the rest of the night. The Fury returned the subsequent kickoff for a touchdown.
The defense showed flashes of excellence. Twice they limited the damage done by the potent Fury offense with interceptions in the end zone (one by Reggie Lewis and the other returned for a coast-to-coast TD by DeAngelo Woodie), but the Fury maintained the upper hand.
After the Lewis interception, the Raiders took over at their own 1 yard line the start of the 2nd quarter down by 15 and put together the longest drive in Raiders history, quite possibly in UIFL history. The 49 yard touchdown drive ate up an unprecedented 11 minutes and 35 seconds and brought the home team to within a touchdown of Corpus Christi.
The two teams battled back and forth, matching high-powered offense and stone wall defense all night. In the end, the Fury cemented their spot atop the UIFL standings by coming away with a 50-36 victory at Jenkins Arena in Lakeland.
The Raiders have a much needed bye week to recover from the physical toll the game took on the players. "(QB) Chris (Walley) is pretty beat up," said Coach Mike Mink after the game. "Their defensive line put a lot of heat on him. In the game he was feeling it."
Football is a game of inches and that truism was on full display Saturday night. The game was much closer than the 14 point differential would indicate.
As Coach Mink put it, "One play here, one stop there and it's a different ball game."
This loss was a tough one in terms of playoff seeding implications.
"We're just going to try to finish out the next home game and we'll evaluate and go from there," Mink commented. The Raiders have one regular season game remaining, a home tilt against the Missouri Monsters on May 18th. After that the playoffs should come down to a three team race between the Raiders, the Fury, and the Florida Tarpons.