Three-peat! Oklahoma Thunder Takes Third Straight Gridiron Bowl Title

thunderFor the third time in the past three years, the Oklahoma Thunder knocks off a team from Tennessee to win another Gridiron Bowl Championship in the Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL).

The Oklahoma Thunder dominated the game early to defeat the Middle Tennessee Bulldawgs 38-15 in Gridiron Bowl IX in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Thunder had previously defeated the Nashville Storm in 2016 and Chattanooga Eagles in last season’s Gridiron Bowl.

A dominating performance by the Thunder offense broke the game open in the 2nd quarter, outscoring Middle Tennessee 25-6 in a 10-minute span.  Thunder QB Brandon Noohi threw touchdown passes of 24 and 29 yards and WR DJ Dempsey added a 13-yard TD run to lead the scoring. Noohi went finish with 229 yards passing and four touchdowns.

The Thunder defense held the explosive Bulldawgs’ offense to 202 yards.   Oklahoma’s BJ Hodshire was critical to the run defense, forcing three fumbles while holding Middle Tennessee to only 19 rushing yards on 20 attempts.  DT Calvin Barnett also had two sacks, and S DJ Wolfe also added a key interception.  The 15 points scored by Middle Tennessee were the only offensive points surrendered by the defense throughout the postseason.

With the victory, the Thunder organization now claims 7 national and world championships in its 10-year existence.   It’s three consecutive national titles are the most ever by a GDFL team.

 

Obscure Sports News

masl2

The Baltimore Blast return to the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) finals after edging out the Milwaukee Wave 2-1 in a series-deciding mini game.  The Blast won the first game of the series in Baltimore 8-7 in overtime on Saturday.   The Wave returned home and took control early with a 3-0 lead in the first quarter enroute to an 8-4 win to even the series.  In the mini game, Andrew Hoxie scored his fourth goal of the postseason to put the Blast up 1-0.  Milwaukee’s Marcio Leite scored late in the mini game to tie it up a 1-1.  Tony Donatelli scored the series winner with less than two minutes left.   The Blast will now await the winner between Soles de Sonora-San Diego.  Soles de Sonora leads the series 1-0.

The top three chess players in the world – Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So and Fabiano Caruana – have helped their teams to advance to PRO Chess League championship weekend.  The Norway Gnomes, Montreal ChessBrahs, St. Louis Arch Bishops, and Stockholm Snowballs this weekend.  The semifinal matches will be played on Saturday at 10 am PST and 1 am PST.  The finals will be played on Sunday at 10 am PST).

The Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) released their preseason top ten teams.  The defending champions, Oklahoma Thunder, have the top spot followed by – Nashville (TN) Storm, Memphis (TN) Blast, Georgia Crush, Missouri Valley Pitbulls, Marvel City Tigers, Crescent City Kings, Lee County Ticats, East Alabama Predators, and Georgia Knights.  The 2017 season kicks off on May 13th.

A new arena/indoor football league kicked off last weekend.  The National Arena League (NAL) with the defending champions of last year’s American Indoor Football (AIF) Columbus (GA) Lions facing the Jacksonville Sharks from the Arena Football League (AFL) in the first week of action.   The Sharks handed the Lions their first loss since 2015.  Quarterback tommy Grady finished with 19 completions for 182 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Sharks.  Will Dukes had seven receptions for 56 yards and Mo Williams had six for 77 yards and two touchdowns.  In other games from the league:

  • High Country (NC) 62, Albany (GA) 29
  • Lehigh Valley (PA) 66, Dayton (OH) 25
  • Monterrey (Mexico) 55, Corpus Christi (TX) 12

Leonard Gates is the top ranked player in the American Darts Organization (ADO) with 398 points followed by Larry Butler who has 368 points.  Gates’ last tournament win was the Port City Open in February where he placed first in Mens 01 and Men’s Cricket events.   The ADO’s next tournament is the 31st Virginia Beach Classic this weekend.  Top prize is $37,580.

 

 

 

 

Team of the Week:  Oklahoma Thunder


When I thought about putting this post together for this week, I had hoped it would be our local team in this slot but in the heavyweight semi-pro football of matchups, this game went to the Oklahoma Thunder as they defeated the Nashville Storm, 29-16 in Gridiron Bowl VII played in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday.

To save any confusion, this is NOT the NBA team that plays in Oklahoma City.

Never heard of this Thunder team or the Gridiron Bowl?

The Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) is one of the few stable semi-pro football leagues in the United States.   The GDFL currently has 25 teams and just finished their sixth season with the Gridiron Bowl.

 The Thunder defense dominated the defending champion Nashville Storm, scoring a defensive touchdown in the third quarter and shutting down Nashville’s rushing offense, holding them to 28 yards.  The Thunder also forced four turnovers and sacked the Storm quarterback six times in the game.

With the Thunder leading 15-14 in the third quarter, the Storm blocked a punt and took over possession at the Thunder 7.  Nashville tried two running plays but were unable to gain positive yardage.  The Thunder intercepted a third-down pass to end the threat.  Oklahoma QB Brandon Noohi completed passes of 70 and 20 yards on the ensuing drive.  The drive was capped with a 5-yard run by Josh Birmingham to extend the Thunder lead to 22-14.  

The Thunder won their fifth national title.  Their first since 2013.  The win over Nashville snapped the Storm’s 21-game win streak.

Gridiron Bowl Results:

  • 2010 – Gridiron Bowl I:  Carolina Warriors 15, Kentucky Wolverines 7
  • 2011 – Gridiron Bowl II: Chambersburg Cardinals 19, Oklahoma Thunder 14
  • 2012 – Gridiron Bowl III: Central Penn Piranha 49, South Buffalo Celtics 14
  • 2013 – Gridiron Bowl IV: Oklahoma Thunder 56, Lehigh Valley Storm 8
  • 2014 – Gridiron Bowl V: Central Penn Piranha 21, Oklahoma City Bounty Hunters 19
  • 2015 – Gridiron Bowl VI: Nashville Storm 31, Crescent City Kings 28
  • 2016 – Gridiron Bowl VII: Oklahoma Thunder 29, Nashville Storm 16