Tag: Arena Football

SW Florida To Debut New Arena League

ALeagueA new arena “football” league is set to begin play in four Southwest Florida cities in 2019.  I put the word “football” in quotes because one of the unique rules will be no kicking.  No punts, field goals or extra points will be allowed.  The league has been organized by the ownership group of the Lakeland Tarpons.  Other teams will include the Sarasota BigCats, Gulf Coast Fire (Ft. Myers) and Manatee Neptunes (Bradenton).

The Tarpons have bounced around several leagues since they were an expansion team in the Ultimate Indoor Football League (UIFL) in 2012.  They moved to Arena Indoor Football (AIF) in 2016 and then Arena Pro Football (APF) in 2017.  They played this past season in the American Arena League (AAL).

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Lakeland Tarpons will have a league of their own in 2019

The A-League will feature several unique innovations.   There will also be new rules designed to speed up game play and enhance the fan experience. Teams will only carry 16-man rosters, which must include at least two players who play both offensive and defense. Dubbed “The Deuce”, these two way players must play all 60 minutes on both sides of the ball.

There will also be no kicking in the game. The elimination of the kicking game dramatically improves the pace of the game and eliminates many dead ball fouls and timeouts. Teams will scrimmage from their own five-yard line, or if turned over on downs, will scrimmage from that spot.

A totally unique element of the A-League is the scheduled double header game concept. All four teams will host a regular-season doubleheader where all teams will play in the same arena in back-to-back games.

The A-League season will run from May to the end of July, 2019. All teams are owned and operated by A-League Sports with teams located in a tight footprint of local Florida markets including, Lakeland, FT Myers, Sarasota and Bradenton. Plans are in place for the addition of two to four new teams for the 2020 season. Each team will play an eight-game regular season with four home games in each team’s home venue.

The A-League is developing partnerships with regional semi-pro teams to develop talent for their rosters.

The A-League will join the Arena Football League (AFL), Indoor Football League (IFL), Champions Indoor Football (CIF), American Arena League (AAL), National Arena League (NAL) and National Gridiron League (NGL) on the indoor turf next season.

For more information on the A-League you can click here.

 

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Atlanta Havoc, Duke City Gladiators Win Indoor Titles

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AMERICAN ARENA LEAGUE:  ATLANTA HAVOC 58, RICHMOND ROUGHRIDERS 50

Unlike their NFL neighbors in Super Bowl 50, the Atlanta Havoc put up 32 unanswered points, thanks in part to five second-half interceptions that proved costly as the Havoc stunned the Richmond Roughriders 58-50 in the American Arena League championship game.

The Roughriders, who won the Arena Pro Football League title last season, went into the half with a 43-26 lead.

Havoc QB Darren Daniel found Thyron Lewis Sr. for a 26-yard touchdown to open the second half and make it a 43-33 game, as the Havoc began closing in.

Richmond sent former Virginia Tech standout Bryan Randall out at quarterback in the second half. On the Roughriders’ first possession of the half, Randall was picked off by Micheaux Robinson, who ran in for a score to cut the Richmond lead to three, 43-40, with 10:46 to play in the third quarter.

Randall was intercepted by Robinson again on the next Richmond possession. And the Havoc went on to score on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Daniel to Lewis to take its first lead, 47-43, with 6:07 left in the third quarter.

Richmond added a 30-yard touchdown from Kent to Rashaad Carter with two minutes to play, to cut the Atlanta lead to 58-50.

Richmond was set to have one final possession, but the Roughriders were penalized for an illegal defense on a play where Atlanta took an intentional safety to run additional clock. The Havoc got the ball back and were able to run out the clock and claim the title.

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Duke City QB Caleb Holbrook Leads Gladiators to Champions Bowl IV title

 

CHAMPIONS INDOOR FOOTBALL:  DUKE CITY GLADIATORS 31, SIOUX CITY BANDITS 27

Caleb Holbrook completed 15 of 25 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns as the Duke City Gladiators defeated the Sioux City Bandits 31-27 in the Champions Bowl IV at Tingley Coliseum here Saturday.

Duke City, who sported the top passing offense and the best rushing defense in the CIF, held the Bandits to 65 yards rushing on the evening. Sioux City, tops in the league in rushing offense and passing defense, ends its season at 11-4.

Duke City outscored the Bandits 17-3 in the third quarter. The Gladiators took the lead for good on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Holbrook to Sedrick Johnson, giving Duke City a 24-20 lead with 6:58 left in the third quarter.

After Duke City extended its lead to 31-20 with 1:02 left in the third quarter on a Clifton Rhodes touchdown run, the Bandits responded with a touchdown drive of their own. After an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave the Bandits a third and 21 situation from their own 8, Liam Nadler completed a screen pass to Darren Miller that went for 39 yards and gave Sioux City first and goal from the Duke City three.

Miller scored on a 3-yard run on the next play to trim the Duke City lead to 31-27 with 12:42 left in the game.

This is Duke City’s first title in their four-year history.  They defeated Wichita (44-39) and Texas (41-28) in the playoffs.

Obscure Sports News

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Ohio Machine won their first Major League Lacrosse title

 

Here are some of the sports news you won’t see on ESPN….

It’s the final four weekend in the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL).  The Madison Radicals (13-2), San Francisco FlameThrowers (11-4), Dallas Roughnecks (13-3) and Toronto Rush (13-2) meet in Montreal this weekend to play for the title.  Dallas won the title last season.  Madison is seeking their first championship.  Toronto last won the title in 2013.  San Francisco is the newcomer to the Championship Weekend.

The Philadelphia Soul (14-1) will face the Tampa Bay Storm (11-4) in ArenaBowl XXX in Philadelphia on Saturday.  The Arena Football League (AFL) title game will end the league’s 30th season.  The Soul is looking to repeat as AFL champions while the Storm will be looking for their sixth ArenaBowl title.

The Oklahoma Thunder (10-0) and Chattanooga Eagles (9-1) will meet in Gridiron Bowl 8 for the Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) crown on Saturday in Memphis.  This is the fourth appearance for the Thunder who won the title last year.  Chattanooga is making their first trip to the Gridiron Bowl.

For the first time in franchise history, the Ohio Machine claimed the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) title last weekend.  Peter Baum scored two goals and added two assists.  He scored twice in a two-minute span in the third quarter which fueled Ohio’s comeback from a 10-6 deficit.   Ohio defeated the Denver Outlaws 17-12 at the Ford Center in Dallas in front of 7,543 fans.

The Big3 Basketball League (BIG3) will end the season this weekend in Las Vegas with the final four.  The Power (4-4), Ghostballers (4-4), Triology (8-0) and 3-Headed Monsters (6-2) advanced to the championship weekend after winning their playoff games last weekend in Seattle.   Rashard Lewis was awarded the league’s MVP.  Stephen Jackson was dubbed the Best Trash Talker.

The Los Angeles Sparks moved to the top of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) power rankings this week.  They won a double-overtime thriller over Chicago as four Sparks had double-doubles in the game.  They play four of their final five games at home.

Puerto Rico FC has taken advantage of the fresh start provided by the arrival of the North American Soccer League’s (NASL) Fall Season. After a tough first half of the year, the Caribbean side is thriving at the top of the table after a pair of strong results on the road in Week 4 of the Fall Season.  The club’s next opponent will be Spring Season Champion Miami FC, which enters the weekend riding a three-game winning streak. The top-of-the-table clash will get underway at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium on Saturday night.

On day two of the 2017 TOTAL Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships, the United States had its final two athletes go home.  Bjorn Seguin took on Germany’s Marc Zwiebler in men’s singles and lost, 21-10, 21-15. Zwiebler started game one by scoring the first four points of the match and never trailed. Game two was close early, Zwiebler led 8-7, before rattling off five straight to propel himself to the victory.  In men’s doubles action, Mathew Fogarty partnered with Nicholas Bonkowsky of Trinidad and Tobago as they took on Kah Ming Chooi and Juan Shen Low of Malaysia. Fogarty and Bonkowsky scored the first point of the match, but that was the highlight for the duo. The Malaysians won game one 21-2, followed by a 21-4 win in game two.

The Scrap Yard Dawgs claimed their first Cowles Cup in franchise history with a 5-2 win over the USSSA Pride in the winner-take-all contest of the final series in the 2017 National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) Championship held at Tiger Park on the LSU campus.
Rookie Kasey Cooper charged the offense with three RBI, the bulk coming on a two-run home run in the sixth inning that gave the Scrap Yard Dawgs (35-19) the lead for good. Monica Abbott pitched her second complete game of the afternoon, limiting the Pride to two runs off four hits while striking out 11. It was Abbott’s two-hit, 14-strikeout performance earlier in the day that forced the decisive third game.  Abbott was named MVP of the NPF Championship series. The Tennessee alum and Scrap Yard Dawgs ace limited foes to 15 hits and struck out 56 over 29 innings in the tournament.   The Pride (43-11), who received a leadoff homer from Megan Wiggins for an early lead, reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the third after Kirsti Merritt delivered a two-out RBI single to score Sierra Romero who reached on a fielding error.  Angel Bunner relieved starting pitcher Kelsey Nunley in the fourth inning and retired the side in her first two innings of work, but yielded the go-ahead homer to Cooper in the sixth inning.  The Scrap Yard Dawgs gave Abbott additional breathing room in the top of the seventh. Meagan May Whitley led off with a solo shot that landed in the left field berm and Cooper later drew a bases loaded walk to force home a run that stretched the lead to 5-2.  Abbott finished the game off in style with consecutive strikeouts of Romero and pinch hitter Gionna DiSalvatore to close out the seventh inning.  Kayla Winkfield led the way with two hits and five others contributed one apiece as the Scrap Yard Dawgs totaled seven in the contest.

Rattlers Strike For Indoor Football League Title

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In their 25th Anniversary season, the Arizona Rattlers rewarded their fans with their first title in the Indoor Football League (IFL).

The Rattlers moved from the Arena Football League (AFL) where they had lived for the previous 24 seasons to the IFL.  The Rattlers defeated the Sioux Falls Storm 50-41 to win the United Bowl championship and denied the Storm of a seventh straight title.

Arizona looked like they would runaway with a total domination of the title game as they put up a 34-7 lead at halftime but held on and an interception in the final minute preserved the win.

The Rattlers defense did not allow a first half touchdown with the only score by the Storm coming on special teams.  Justin Shirk (#30) had 1.5 sacks, a tipped ball, and was in Storm QB Lorenzo Brown’s face all night.  His efforts earned him the United Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP). Defensive back Arkeith Brown also had a big night, breaking up two passes and grabbing the game winning interception, returning it 46 yards.

The Storm climbed back into the game in the third quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points. WR Judd Harold pulled in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Brown.  Shortly after Robbie Rouse ran seven yards for another score.  The final score came from DL Brandon Peguese who picked off Sokol and returned it two yards for the touchdown.

The Rattlers finally got back on the scoreboard in the fourth with a seven-yard run by Monroe.  Arizona was also able to follow that up with a 23-yard field goal by Sawyer Petre.  Sioux Falls responded with a five-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Harold, pulling the Storm to within ten.  The Rattlers then extended their lead, again off the foot of Petre, this time a 23-yarder.  The Storm would again close the gap on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Brown to WR Mike Tatum. Petre came up big again for the Rattlers with 47-seconds left, kicking a 28-yard field goal to put the team up by nine.  The Storm drove down the field one last time, but was picked off by DB Arkeith Brown, who returned it 46-yards.

The Rattlers started the season at 4-4 but went on a 10-game winning streak on their way to the title.    It was the first championship for the Rattlers since winning the ArenaBowl in 2015.

The question now is will the Rattlers stay in the IFL or will they return to the AFL if there is stability in the league?  There has been no word of it to this point.  As indoor leagues continue to evolve, it would seem that the IFL is a more stable organization at this time.

 

 

Obscure Sports Report

American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) – The unthinkable has finally happened.   The Dallas Roughnecks lost their first game in franchise history.  The Roughnecks, who were the defending AUDL champions and winners of 23 straight games, lost to the Jacksonville Cannons 24-22.  The Cannons appear to be on the rise in the South Division.  The Roughnecks didn’t rebound very well on Sunday, losing to the Raleigh Flyers 32-25.

National Lacrosse League (NLL) – The Georgia Swarm defeated the Toronto Rock 11-8 in the first game of the Eastern Division final.  In the Western Division semifinal, the Saskatchewan Rush had no trouble with the Colorado Mammoths in a 19-8 victory.  Georgia and Saskatchewan will try to wrap it up this weekend at home.

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The Fort Wayne Flite celebrate another CBA title.

 

Central Basketball Association (CBA) – The Fort Wayne Flite held off the Indianapolis Blaze to repeat as league champions.  Trailing by three points, 93-90, with seven seconds remaining Indianapolis failed to tie the game with a wide-open three-point attempt, and then on the ensuing possession, down 95-92, missed another three-point shot at the buzzer, allowing Fort Wayne to win a second consecutive championship title.  Greg Foster led the Flite with 23 points followed by Mikel Brigham with 16 and Corey Wickware with 15.

Arena Football League (AFL) –  The Philadelphia Soul remains on top of the five-team lead at 5-0, followed by Tampa Bay (4-1), Washington (1-3), Cleveland (1-4) and Baltimore (1-4).

National Arena League (NAL) –  The Jacksonville Sharks had a bye week after demolishing the Corpus Christi Rage 71-6.  This weekend they will host the Monterrey Steel (4-2).  The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks stayed within a game of the Sharks winning two weeks ago against the Dayton Wolfpack 68-6.  The Steelhawks will play at High Country this weekend.

Indoor Football League (IFL) – Scores from last weekend:  Salt Lake 38, Colorado 37; Arizona 49, Spokane 35; Iowa 56, Cedar Rapids 54; Sioux Falls 44, Green Bay 24.

Arena Pro Football (APF) –  It doesn’t appear that any of the teams played this past weekend.   The leagues website is horrible and really needs some attention.   Here is the schedule for the upcoming weekend:  River City Raiders (3-2) at Richmond Rough Riders (4-0), Florida Tarpons (4-0) at Birmingham Outlawz (0-5).  Note:  Florida should actually have a loss since they were beaten by Richmond two weeks ago.

Champions Indoor Football League (CIFL) –  The Duke City Gladiators (4-5) lost to the Dodge City Law (8-2) on Saturday, 65-62, in the closing seconds.    The win keeps the Law on top of the South Division and a bye week this weekend.

CAN-AM Indoor Football League – The Vermont Bucks (6-1) and Rochester Kings (5-0) lead their divisions.  Vermont beat the Boston Blaze 41-30 two weeks ago and, according to the league’s website, will play the Blaze again on June 3rd.   Rochester defeated Boston this weekend, 66-30, and will host the Capital City Reapers on Saturday.

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – Seattle Reign FC forward Nahomi Kawasumi was named the league’s player of the week for Week 5 after scoring a goal and earning an NWSL-record four assists in Seattle’s 6-2 win over the Washington Spirit.

Major League Soccer (MLS) – Toronto FC leads the Eastern Conference with 25 points while the Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City tied at the top of the Western Conference with 19 points.

North American Soccer League (NASL) – Miami FC leads the Spring Season standings with 14 points.  Miami edged Indy 3-2 last weekend.  They will play the San Francisco Deltas this weekend in the U.S. Open Cup.

United Soccer League (USL) –  Here are the current power rankings:  1. San Antonio FC, 2. Charleston Battery, 3. Real Monarchs SLC, 4. Tampa Bay Rowdies, 5. Louisville City FC, 6. Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 7. Rio Grand Valley FC, 8. Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 9. Swope Park Rangers, 10. Orlando City B.

Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) –  The #2 ranked Chicago Force rolled past the Minnesota Vixen 53-0 to improve to 5-0.  Chicago built a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and exploded for a 39-0 lead at halftime.  Mary Choules had nine tackles for the Force and was named the Game Day Defensive Most Valuable Player.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ArenaBowl XXIX:  Strange Place and Time


The Arena Football League has had a strange season with teams folding or reshuffled before the start of the season and the league deciding to include all eight teams in the playoffs.  It should be no surprise that the championship game has a couple of quirks as well.

The Arizona Rattlers will host the Philadelphia Soul on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.   The game will be played at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

ESPN, which has broadcast rights to the game, dictated the time and day for the ArenaBowl.   The scheduling demand meant that the Rattlers can’t play at their home arena because the Phoenix Mercury WNBA team is playing at Talking Stick Arena.  The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. because ESPN is broadcasting the California vs. Hawaii college football game at 7 p.m.

As for the game, both teams are entering the ArenaBowl with 15-3 records.  The Rattlers beat Portland (84-40) and Cleveland (82-41) while the Soul disposed of Tampa Bay (63-41) and Jacksonville (55-50) to play for the title.  The Rattlers are looking to win their sixth title while the Soul are searching for their second.  The Soul won it in 2008 but came up short in the 2012 and 2013 title games (both to Arizona).

The game will feature the two top quarterbacks in the league.  Arizona quarterback Nick Davila led the league with 111 touchdown passes while Philadelphia quarterback Dan Raudabaugh was second with 101.

In a game not known for defense, the Rattlers are first in the league with 29 sacks while the Soul are the leaders in picks with 25 interceptions.

The Rattlers are 7-1 all-time against the Soul with Philadelphia winning earlier in the season 65-58.  The Rattlers evened the season series a month later winning 80-63 at home.

MILTON’S ARENABOWL PICK:   Arizona 72, Philadelphia 65