It was a busy weekend in the football world. No, not the World Cup where they play futbol but there were several championships played in the American-version of football. Let’s start here at home first…..
United Bowl: Iowa Barnstormers 42, Sioux Falls Storm 38
The Iowa Barnstormers won their first indoor football title after 18 seasons with a thrilling 42-38 win over the Sioux Falls Storm to win the Indoor Football League (IFL) title. QB Drew Powell, the recently named IFL MVP, led Iowa down the field in less than three minutes for the game-winning drive. It was capped by a bruising and dramatic Jamal Tyler touchdown run. The Barnstormers were down 38-35 heading into the final drive. Tyler’s go-ahead touchdown came with just 13 seconds left in the game.
Now for title games overseas……
Italian Bowl: Milano Seamen 28, Bolzano Giants 14
The Milano Seamen came from behind to win their second straight Italian championship and the fourth in five years as they downed the Bolzano Giants 28-14 in the 2018 Italian Bowl.
Belguim Bowl XXXI: Brussels Black Angels 50, Limburg Shotguns 0
The Brussels Black Angels spoiled a magical year for the league newcomers the Limburg Shotguns in Belgian Bowl XXXI, by overwhelming them 50-0 to win their third Belgian title This was the fourth straight appearance in the Belgian championship game for the Black Angels and 11th overall. They have won three of the last four but this was the most lopsided victory.
Swedish Championship: Stockholm Mean Machines 42, Carlstad Crusaders 41
For the first time since 2010, there will be a new name on the Swedish championship trophy as the Stockholm Mean Machines stunned the Carlstad Crusaders 42-41 in the Swedish championship final at Stockholm Stadion. Behind a 28 point third quarter, Stockholm took a 42-28 lead into the fourth quarter and then held on as Carlstad mounted a furious comeback.
The Calanda Broncos won their eighth Swiss Bowl title in 10 years. The Broncos jumped out to a 23-0 lead at halftime and cruised to another title. The Broncos finished the season undefeated. The game was played in Bern.
Turkish American Football League: Koc Rams 52, Bogazici Sultans 21
The Koç Rams used a dominant second half performance to win their third straight Turkish American Football League title this past weekend by downing the Bogazici Sultans 52-21. The Rams broke open a tight ball game, scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half. Quarterback David Whipple completed eight of 11 passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another 124 and another two touchdowns in a superb performance. Running back Javonte Hence rushed for 164 yards and three touchdowns while wide receivers Kaan Ozer and Alihan Agackesen caught a touchdown pass each. Mehmet Sarikatipoglu also kicked a 20 yard field goal.
The Kragujevac Wild Boars won their third consecutive Serbian championship and eighth overall by beating SBB Vukovi Belgrade 54-36 in Serbian Bowl XIV at Čika Dača Stadium in Kragujevac. Paced by a five-touchdown performance by running back Joshua Quezada, who earned MVP honors, and five touchdown passes from quarterback Dalton Oliver, Kragujevac took control of the game early on and never let up.
American Arena League (AAL) – The Richmond Roughriders will host the Atlanta Havoc this weekend for the AAL championship. The Roughriders won the Arena Pro Football title last year over the Florida Tarpons. For more information: American Arena League
Arena Football League (AFL) – The Albany Empire defeated Baltimore Brigade 56-49 on Saturday night at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore’s regular-season home finale. The Brigade dropped to 7-3 with only their second loss in the past seven games. Baltimore leads the Empire and Philadelphia Soul , both 6-4, by a half game in the AFL with two games remaining in the regular season. It was the Brigade’s first loss at home this season. Brigade wide receiver Brandon Collins finished with 10 receptions for 131 yards and three touchdowns while quarterback Randy Hippeard was 24-for-41 passing for 292 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. Quarterback Tommy Grady completed 14 of 20 passes for 199 yards and seven touchdowns to lead the Empire. The Brigade will take on the Philadelphia Soul on Saturday followed by a game against the Washington Valor on July 7. For more information: Arena Football League
Champions Indoor Football (CIF) – The Duke City Gladiators broke open a close game in their semifinal playoff game against the Texas Revolution. With four minutes left in the fourth quarter, it appeared the Gladiators were on the way to a comfortable victory with a 35-21 lead and had the ball at the Texas 5 with a first down. QB Caleb Holbrook then threw toward receiver Dello Davis but Davis lost a tug-of-war for the ball, the Revs defender Frankie Solomon II who wrestled it from Davis and returned the ball to the Gladiators’ 12. On the ensuing kickoff, however, Texas failed to execute an onside kick and the Gladiators took over at the Revs’ 21 and kept possession until the late score, a 20-yard pass from Holbrook to Juwan Lewis for a 41-28 win. The Sioux City Bandits edged the Salina Liberty, 45-39, in their semifinal game to advance to the Champions Bowl this weekend in Albuquerque. For more information: Champions Indoor Football
Indoor Football League (IFL) – In the IFL semifinals, the Sioux Falls Storm stunned the Arizona Rattlers by a score of 69-68 in front of 16,479 fans in Phoenix. A blocked extra point following a Rattlers touchdown became the difference, as the Storm were able to score and convert the point after to escape with a one-point win. At the start of the fourth quarter, Sioux Falls regained the lead with a two-yard touchdown run by Lyle McCombs, bringing the score to 59-55. A two-yard run by Verlon Reed put the Arizona back in the lead 62-59. Sioux Falls tied the game at 62 with a 30-yard field goal with 3:30 remaining. The Rattlers took over in Storm territory after a late hit penalty by Sioux Falls. With eight-seconds remaining, kicker Sawyer Petre missed the potential go-ahead field goal to force overtime. Arizona started overtime with the ball, and Reed connected with Dezmon Epps for a 16-yard touchdown on fourth down. The point-after attempt was blocked by Sioux Falls, keeping the Rattlers lead at six. The Storm scored on their first play, a 20-yard touchdown pass from Brown to WR Damien Ford. The point-after attempt was good, giving the Storm the win. The Storm will play the Iowa Barnstormers this weekend in the United Bowl in Des Moines. The Barnstormers defeated the Nebraska Danger 48-17 in the other semifinal game.
A new ownership group has taken over the IFL’s Cedar Rapids (IA) Titans franchise and plans to keep the team in the city for the 2019 season. The Titans joined the IFL as a 2012 expansion team. The team’s previous ownership also owned the Cedar Rapids Rampage of the Major Arena Soccer League. That Rampage’s future in the city is over if a new owner does not come forward, since its ownership will be operating a new Orlando-based MASL expansion team for the 2018-19 season.
National Arena League (NAL) – A three touchdown night from fullback Derrick Ross helped the Jacksonville Sharks reach the franchise’s 100th win. Ross and the Sharks broke the game open with 37 unanswered points and routed the Maine Mammoths 51-21 to earn the team’s 100th all-time victory Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Arena. The Sharks (7-4) have reached 90 regular-season victories combined in the National Arena League and its former home, the Arena Football League, to go with 10 postseason wins. Ross, who had devastated the Mammoths (2-8) in two previous matchups this season, brought his touchdown total against Maine to eight on the year. Quarterback Adrian McPherson rebounded from his previous loss to Carolina, completing 20 of 29 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns, two to Chris Gilchrist. Former University Christian standout Jenson Stoshak led the Sharks with eight receptions for 56 yards. For more information: National Arena League
National Gridiron League (NGL) – The NGL is a proposed new spring indoor football league that plans to start play in 2019 with 12 teams aligned in 2 divisions. The NGL currently lists an Eastern Division with the Virginia Redbirds (Roanoke) and five teams called the Destroyers, Blue Bombers, Pioneers, Stampede and Firebirds with no assigned markets. The Western Division has the Kansas Kapitals (Topeka) and five teams called the Bighorns, Twisters, Mudcats, Outlaws and Redsticks with no assigned markets. For more information: National Gridiron League
American Arena League (AAL) – The Richmond Roughriders and Atlanta Havoc won close games to advance to the title game. The Roughriders jumped out to a 22-0 lead on the Carolina Energy in the first quarter then had to rally from a 29-22 deficit in the third quarter as the Roughriders scored on five consecutive possessions for a 57-43 win. The Atlanta Havoc was the higher seeded team in their semifinal matchup with the Cape Fear Heroes but due to scheduling conflicts they had to play in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The Havoc scored with 22 seconds left to take a 61-54 win as Quarterback Chris Wallace scored from three yards out.
Arena Football League (AFL) – The Philadelphia Soul (5-4) defeated the Albany Empire (5-4) in a thrilling game at the Times Union Center in front of 9,534 fans with a final score of 75-74 and are now tied with Albany for 2nd place. With 0.4 seconds left in the game, Soul QB Shane Austin found WR Darius Prince in the end zone to score the game-winning 10-yard touchdown. Although the Empire led the entirety of the second half, the Soul made the comeback of the year as they scored 12 points in the last minute of the game.
Champions Indoor Football (CIF) – Top-seeded Duke City Gladiators opened the playoffs with a 50-39 win over the Wichita Force to claim their first postseason win in franchise history. With 4:30 left in the game trailing 39-31, the Gladiators outscored the Force 19-0 including a fumble recovery in the end zone as time expired. In other playoff games: Texas Revolution 56, Amarillo Venom 45; Sioux City Bandits 54, Quad Cities Steamwheelers 46; Salina Liberty 81, Bismarck bucks 51.
Indoor Football League (IFL) – The six-time world champion Arizona Rattlers (11-3) defeated the Nebraska Danger (4-10) in the final game of the regular season by a score of 59-23 at Eihusen Arena in Grand Island, Nebraska. The win earns the Rattlers home field advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs. The Rattlers took command of the game early, scoring 13-straight points, and never relented. Arizona’s offense, defense, and special teams all put points on the board in a 36-point win. The Rattlers offense consisted mostly of the run game, with RB Darrell Monroe leading the way with 88 yards and three touchdowns. QB Verlon Reed, who came in for QB Jeff Ziemba midway through the second quarter, also had a big night on the ground, rushing for 77 yards and four touchdowns. Other scores from last weekend: Sioux Falls Storm 69, Green Bay Blizzard 61 (3 ot); Iowa Barnstormers 54, Cedar Rapids Titans 21. This weekend’s playoff matchups: Nebraska Danger at Iowa Barnstormers; Sioux Falls Storm at Arizona Rattlers.
Major Lacrosse League (MLL) – The Dallas Rattlers defeated the Ohio Machine by a score of 17-16 on Sunday night to take sole possession of first place in Major League Lacrosse. The Rattlers started off the first quarter with a strong three-goal run that opened with Jordan Wolf recording his 150th MLL career goal. Another milestone came with the second goal as Ty Thompson netted his first goal of the evening to make it 18 straight appearances with at least one goal. Thompson’s streak dates back to May 6, 2017. The Rattlers defense held the Machine to a scoreless final period of play. With the 17-16 win, the Rattlers are now in sole possession of first place and are the only MLL team to be undefeated at home.
Major League Quidditch (MLQ) – The league is taking a break this week due to the International Quidditch Association (IQA) World Cup which is being held June 27-July 2 in Florence, Italy. Australia is the defending World Cup Champions. The MLQ will resume league play on July 7th.
Major League Rugby (MLR) – In the largest match of the inaugural Major League Rugby season, the Glendale Raptors stood tall. The first-place Raptors (7-0) put their undefeated record on the line against the second-place Seattle Seawolves on Saturday night at Infinity Park in a match that decided the top of the MLR standings two weeks ahead of the MLR Playoffs. With so much to play for right in front of them, the Raptors knocked off the Seawolves (6-2) 33-11. Glendale swept the season series and kept their record unblemished.
Last week’s scores:
NOLA Gold 46, Utah Warriors 43
Glendale Raptors 33, Seattle Seawolves 11
San Diego Legion 31, Austin Elite Rugby 17
This week’s schedule:
Houston SaberCats at Utah Warriors
Glendale Raptors at San Diego Legion
National Arena League (NAL) – The Maine Mammoths (2-7) took on the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (0-8) for the second time this season. This victory is the Mammoths’ first victory in front of their home crowd and second win overall in the 2018 season. Their first victory was against the Steelhawks in Week Three with a 45-24 score. Quarterback Jonathan Bane returned to the Mammoths after suffering a minor injury. During the course of the game, he was 15-of-22 for 218 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception on the night. His top receiver was Devin Wilson, totaling eight receptions for 142 yards and five touchdowns. Wide Receiver Robert Brown Jr. made five receptions for 63 yards. On the defensive side for Brown Jr., he recovered a fumble and returned it all the way inside the five yard line, setting the Maine offense up to score. On special teams, he returned the opening kickoff 44 yards. Edgar Poe Jr. made one catch for 20 yards. On the rushing game, Desmond Maxwell had two rushes for three yards and one touchdown. Jackson Dallas rushed one time for two yards and one touchdown. Kicker Henry Nell was 7-of-7 on PAT’s, 0-for-1 on FG’s, and successfully made two deuces.
Last week’s scores:
Massachusetts Pirates 62, Columbus Lions 55
Maine Mammoths 62, Lehigh Valley Steelhawks 36
This week’s schedule:
Columbus Lions at Carolina Cobras
Maine Mammoths at Jacksonville Sharks
Lehigh Valley Steelhawks at Massachusetts Pirates
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) – One big inning was all the USSSA Pride needed to end Cleveland’s three-game win streak. The Pride scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to defeat the visiting Comets, 4-0, in the first of a three-game series at Space Coast Stadium. Jailyn Ford picked up the pitching victory for the Pride. She allowed just one hit and struck out four in five innings of work. Jolene Henderson struck out four of the seven batters she faced in the final two innings.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – Washington Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe was voted the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Player of the Week by the NWSL Media Association for Week 11 and 12 of the 2018 NWSL season.Bledsoe, 26, recorded her third and fourth shutouts of the season leading the Spirit to back-to-back scoreless draws against Sky Blue FC on June 8 at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, NJ and Seattle Reign FC on June 16 at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md.
Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played against the Connecticut Sun and Los Angeles Sparks. This is the 13th player of the week honor of Delle Donne’s career. In Washington’s 95-91 win over the Sun, Delle Donne scored a season-high 36 points, shooting 13-for-22 from the field and grabbing six rebounds. Against the Los Angeles Sparks, she scored 18 points and had seven rebounds to go along with four steals. Delle Donne averaged 27 ppg and 6.5 rpg for the week.
The Saskatchewan Rush won their third National Lacrosse League (NLL) title in Game 3 of the championship series against the Rochester Knighthawks. Jeff Shattler scored four goals in the series-deciding game in the 15-10 win. For the Rush, the win was particularly sweet redemption after having their two-year reign atop the NLL come to a gut-wrenching conclusion last year as they lost the final to the Georgia Swarm especially losing the deciding Game 2 at home in overtime. But the Rush were determined to get back to the top and they rumbled through the regular season with a 14-4 record which earned them home-floor advantage throughout the playoffs. They wound up needing it and using it to their full advantage with a raucous crowd of 13,645 at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon watching the Rush hoist the newly minted NLL Cup.
The American Arena League (AAL) wrapped up their regular season but the playoff schedule is a little blurry. The Georgia Doom defeated the Atlanta Havoc on Saturday, 48-42, to clinch a playoff berth but the Doom owners decided not to participate in the playoffs. Don’t expect the league’s website to be much help either. According to the standings, the top teams are: Richmond Roughriders (10-1), Atlanta Havoc (9-2), Georgia Doom (6-2) and Carolina Energy (6-3).
Washington Valor defensive back Fred Obi has been named the Arena Football League (AFL) Week 9’s Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Philadelphia Soul. In his first game with the Valor, Obi recorded three solo tackles, one pass break-up and a pair of interceptions, the second of which occurred with just 18 seconds left in the game and sealed the Washington win.
The Champions Indoor Football (CIF) league begins their playoffs this weekend with eight teams entering the postseason.
Duke City Gladiators vs. Wichita Force
Amarillo Venom vs. Texas Revolution
Salina Liberty vs. Bismarck Bucks
Sioux City Bandits vs. Quad Cities Steamwheelers
Champions Bowl IV will be played the weekend of June 30th, with the location of the game to be determined during the playoffs.
The Sioux Falls Storm stunned the Iowa Barnstormers in a week 16 Indoor Football League (IFL) showdown. The Storm would begin the third quarter with a 25-yard field goal by Miles Bergner, cutting the Barnstormers lead to 35-31. The Barnstormers would extend their lead to 49-31 after scoring on back to back drives. The first score was a 21-yard touchdown pass by Drew Powell to Skyler Scott and then a 29-yard touchdown pass by Drew Powell to Brady Roland. The Storm would end the third quarter with a team safety, trailing 49-33. The Sioux Falls Storm would be the only team to score in the fourth quarter to earn their tenth win of the season with a 51-49 victory. The first score was a one-yard rushing touchdown by Lorenzo Brown along with a successful two-point conversion where Lorenzo Brown found Damond Powell, next Lorenzo Brown would get a two-yard rushing touchdown with a successful two-point conversion after Lorenzo Brown hit Damian Ford and then the Thunder Defense would block the game winning field and earn a safety from it.
The Columbus Lions defeated the Maine Mammoths 55-34 on Saturday night in the National Arena League (NAL). The Lions held off a late charge from the Mammoths to improve their record to 5-2 on the season. This loss drops the Mammoths to 1-7 on the year. Quayvon Hicks led the offense on Saturday. Hicks rushed for three touchdowns, with his final touchdown sealing the game for the Lions. Quarterback Mason Espinosa had another efficient day throwing for over 250 yards and five touchdowns. Triston Purifoy had a monster game for the Lions. Purify hauled in 11 passes for 111 yards and three touchdowns. Durron Neal contributed with 84 yards on four catches and two touchdowns. The Lions offense totaled 281 yards on the day and averaged 5.9 yards per play.
In the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL), the DC Breeze had a thrilling 25-24 overtime win over the Toronto Rush to hand the Rush their first loss of the season. Toronto had the disc with 38 seconds remaining in overtime with a chance to send the contest to the sudden death 2nd OT; however, the DC defense held on and frustrated Toronto’s offensive push.
The revival of the XFL, which plans to start in 2020 with eight teams is considering St. Louis, Houston, San Antonio and Los Angeles.
The BIG3 Basketball League is coming back again this summer and the 3-on-3 league starts on June 22nd with live streaming the league’s game for a nine-week period with one game being shown each Friday.
Major League Quidditch (MLQ) has begun its fourth season with 16 teams. The Austin Outlaws are the defending champions.
Alliance of American Football (AAF): The proposed new springtime AAF officially announced San Diego and Birmingham will be its sixth and seventh team locations. The AAF plans to start play with eight teams in February 2019 and previously announced teams for the markets of Atlanta, Memphis, Orlando, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.
American Arena League (AAL): The Richmond Roughriders defeated the Jersey Flight 74-65 on Saturday night at the Richmond Coliseum, advancing their record to 9-1. By defeating Jersey, Richmond ensured itself the Northern Division title in the AAL with one game remaining in the season, a home game next Saturday against the High Country Grizzlies. The game marked the indoor football debut for new receiver Robert Meachem, who was a Super Bowl champion in the NFL. Meachem was eased into the action, though, with Rashaad Carter continuing to take the bulk of the catches for the Roughriders.
Arena Football League (AFL): The Albany Empire (5-2) won their fifth consecutive game on Saturday night in a back and forth battle against the Baltimore Brigade (5-2) at the Times Union Center by a score of 61-53 in front of a crowd of 8,057. The game was even throughout, but thanks to a late defensive touchdown by the Empire, Albany took the lead and momentum and never looked back. Albany maintained its third quarter dominance by allowing just 7 points. So far on the season, the Empire has outscored opponents by 61 total points in the third quarter.
Current League Standings:
Baltimore Brigade (5-2)
Albany Empire (5-2)
Philadelphia Soul (4-3)
Washington Valor (0-7)
American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL): The Minnesota Wind Chill secured a 22-18 victory over the Indianapolis Alleycats at home on Saturday. The Alleycats, now 7-2 had their six-game win streak snapped by the Wind Chill. The first place Alleycats fell to second place in the division while the Wind Chill remain in third.
South: Dallas Roughnecks (7-1)
West: Los Angeles Aviators (7-2)
East: Toronto Rush (8-0)
Midwest: Madison Radicals (6-1)
Champions Indoor Football (CIF): Mario Esparza kicked a 19-yard field goal in overtime as Bismarck Bucks erased a 25-point deficit to beat the Omaha Beef 41-38 and eliminate the Beef from playoff contention. The Beef (4-8) led 38-13 in the second quarter after a 1-yard touchdown run by John Gibbs. But Tray Boone answered with a 50-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and the Bucks (5-6) slowly chipped away at the lead. Esparza kicked a 29-yard field goal to tie the game as time expired in regulation.
Indoor Football League (IFL): The Iowa Barnstormers (10-2) beat the Arizona Rattlers (10-3) 41-38 Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, sweeping the 3-1 series. At the start of the third quarter Drew Powell marched the ball in for an Iowa touchdown, 34-28. Iowa’s wide receiver Skyler Scott ran the ball 7-yards for the touchdown, 41-31. Jeff Ziemba completed a pass to Jamal Miles for the Arizona touchdown, but it wasn’t enough to take the lead and the Barnstormers won 41-38. With the win, the Iowa Barnstormers have swept their three game regular season series against the Arizona Rattlers, being the only team in the IFL to give Arizona a loss so far this season.
Major League Lacrosse (MLL): The Denver Outlaws handed the Charlotte Hounds their first home loss of the season, and completed a season sweep against them, in a 16-13 win on Saturday night. Denver scored five of the first six goals of the game and Wes Berg had two goals in a 30-second span in the first quarter. Ryan Brown scored with just under six minutes left in regulation to cut Charlotte’s deficit to 14-13. The Outlaws would answer with goals from Eric Law and Chris Cloutier to close out the game. The Hounds started the season 4-0, but have now lost two of their last three, with both losses coming at the hands of the Outlaws.
Major League Rugby (MLR): The Glendale Raptors remained as the only undefeated team in the league with a 47-10 win over NOLA Gold in a steamy game played in New Orleans. Temps were over 90 degrees but the Raptors jumped out to a 19-0 lead and never were threatened. With seven tries on the day, Glendale trails Seattle by just one point in the league standings while remaining the only unbeaten side in MLR. The Raptors have two remaining home games, hosting the Houston Sabercats on June 8 after a quick turnaround from this weekend’s play, then the Seattle Seawolves on June 16. Glendale’s final regular season match is on the road, the team traveling to California to tackle San Diego Legion. Glendale will play host to the league semifinals on June 30, with matches at Infinity Park deciding which of America’s professional rugby teams will compete for their first championship title. The top four teams in the league will gather in Glendale, competing in a double header that kicks off at 5pm Mountain Time. Winners of each match will then travel to San Diego on July 7 for the first ever, American professional rugby championship.
National Arena League (NAL): The Jacksonville Sharks (6-3) took down the Columbus Lions (4-2) in a back and forth second-half battle with a score of 67-65. This is the second time Jacksonville has faced the Lions this season. Sharks Quarterback Adrian McPherson had his best game as a Shark tonight, and is rapidly improving. His 26-of-37 for 327 yards, eight touchdowns, and one interception performance helped the Sharks take the lead multiple times this game. Leading receiver, Antonio Vaughan had a 100-yard performance with eight receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns. McPherson used his targets wisely, as Chris Gilchrist finished the night with 90 yards and three touchdowns, Cody Saul had 55 receiving yards with one touchdown, and Tom Gilson had a game that helped the team out tremendously by having four receptions for 68 yards and two touchdowns.
The league has also registered the “Nashville Kats” as the potential name of a future team to be announced. A Nashville-based team was reported to be close to playing in the 2018 season of the NAL but decided to wait another season. The original Arena Football League had two versions (1997-2001 and 2005-07) of teams called the Nashville Kats. More recently, a team called the Nashville Venom played two seasons (2014-15) in the former Professional Indoor Football League.
National Lacrosse League (NLL): Goalie Matt Vinc of the Rochester Knighthawks forced a third and deciding game in the NLL Cup Final. Vinc finished with 47 saves and the Knighthawks used a four-goal run in the second quarter to catapult them to a 13-8 victory over the Saskatchewan Rush in Game 2 of the best-of-three final on Saturday night. Game 3 will go down on June 9th back at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon where the Rush earned a 16-9 win in the series opener.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):Shellie Robinson and Alexa Peterson both hit home runs but it wasn’t enough for the Cleveland Comets to avoid a sweep at Chicago as the Bandits collected six extra base hits on the way to a 12-5 win on Sunday at the Ballpark at Rosemont. The Bandits used a pair of walks and two singles to score two runs off Cleveland rookie Devin Brown in the top of the first. Jiang Xinyue drew a leadoff walk in the top of the third and scored on Robinson’s opposite field homer, the first four-bag hit in Cleveland Comets history.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL): The North Carolina Courage fought to draw the Houston Dash in their fourth consecutive road game. After finding themselves trailing by one early in the second half, the Courage turned to a new face to provide the late-game heroics as rookie Frannie Crouse netted the equalizer to earn the point.
Current League Standings:
North Carolina Courage (30 pts)
Seattle Reign FC (18)
Orlando Pride (16)
Portland Thorns FC (15)
Chicago Red Stars (15)
Utah Royals FC (14)
Houston Dash (14)
Washington Spirit (8)
Sky Blue FC (1)
Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA): The Las Vegas Aces got a 26-point, 12-rebound double-double from rookie of the year candidate A’ja Wilson, and season-scoring-highs off the bench from Dearica Hamby (14 points) and Kelsey Bone (10) en route to an 85-73 victory over the Washington Mystics (5-2). It was the Aces’ (1-4) first win since relocating from San Antonio last fall.
Current League Standings:
Connecticut Sun (5-0)
Washington Mystics (5-3)
Chicago Sky (3-3)
New York Liberty (2-2)
Atlanta Dream (2-3)
Indiana Fever (0-6)
Los Angeles Sparks (4-1)
Seattle Storm (5-2)
Phoenix Mercury (4-3)
Dallas Wings (3-3)
Minnesota Lynx (2-5)
Las Vegas Aces (1-5)
Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL): The new WPLL started its inaugural 2018 season this weekend with five teams called Baltimore Brave, New England Command, New York Fight, Philadelphia Fire and Upstate Pride (Albany, NY). The league will play a total of nine regular-season games with playoffs starting in mid-July. The former commissioner of the United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX), which started play in 2016, is the organizer of the WPLL.
Alliance of American Football (AAF) – Announced that they will place a team in Salt Lake City, Utah when they begin play next spring. Salt Lake City joins Orlando, Atlanta and Memphis and will play at Rice Eccles Stadium, which is the home field for the University of Utah. The Memphis team has announced that former Chicago Bears’ great Mike Singletary will be their head coach.
AmericanArena League (AAL) – The Georgia Doom upset the Richmond Roughriders 56-44 in Macon, Georgia after the Doom replaced head coach Derek Stingley with Defensive Coordinator Gerald Dockery.
American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) – The Toronto Rush (4-0) held on to defeat the Montreal Royal 21-18 to stay undefeated and atop the East Division standings. Montreal drops to 2-3. In other divisions, the surprising Atlanta Hustle are tied with the Dallas Roughnecks at 4-1 in the South. Madison is 5-0 in the Midwest but Indianapolis (6-1) is right on their heels. The West seems to be wide open as 2.5 games separate the first and last place teams. The Los Angeles Aviators and San Diego Growlers are tied for first with 4-2 records.
Arena Football League (AFL) – The Albany Empire (2-2) defeated the Washington Valor (0-4) 53-42 on Friday night at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. in front of a crowd of 9,036. Empire quarterback Tommy Grady threw for 257 yards and seven touchdowns earning himself the game MVP award. Empire receiver Malachi Jones had six receptions for 120 yards and three receiving touchdowns, while chipping one rushing touchdown and earning himself Offensive Player of the Game. Terence Moore was named Defensive Player of the Game with six total tackles and a fumble recovery.
Champions Indoor Football (CIF) -The Omaha Beef made just enough plays to edge out the Bismarck Bucks in an offensive explosion 79-78. After a tough game last week against Sioux City, John Gibbs showed what he can potentially be for Omaha. A week ago, Gibbs had one touchdown in the air and two on the ground, but it was the three interceptions that hurt the Beef the most. Saturday night, Gibbs had eight total touchdowns (7-passing/1-rushing) and most importantly, no interceptions. Gibbs found receivers Daniel Mckinney, Brandlynn Clark and Jerimiah Eaton open all game. Mckinney lead the receivers in receptions (6) and total touchdowns (5), Clark added two touchdowns, and so did Eaton, with one of his touchdown catches coming with under 10-seconds left in the game.
Fan Controlled Football League (FCFL) – The online, fan-involved indoor football league has delayed their start date to the summer of 2019.
Indoor Football League (IFL) – The six-time world champion league leading Arizona Rattlers (9-1) defeated the Green Bay Blizzard (1-8) by a score of 62-26 at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Rattlers have extended their current win streak to eight.
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – The Denver Outlaws fell 24-22 in a back-and-forth, high-scoring game to the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Despite scoring a season-high 22 goals and rallying from a five-score fourth-quarter deficit, Denver was never able to overcome a Chesapeake 13-point third quarter and four two-goal tallies. Midfielder Drew Snider led all scorers with a career-high six goals-representing only the 20th six-goal game in Outlaws history.
Major League Rugby (MLR) – The Glendale Raptors were named the Major League Rugby Team of the Week the league announced today. The Raptors have jumped out to a perfect 4-0 start after a 31-27 win against the San Diego Legion. Facing a 21-10 deficit in the second half, Glendale used strong defensive pressure paired with timely stops to swing the momentum of the match. Down three with under 10 minutes to play, Raptors’ flanker Zach Fenoglio finished off a sequence of phase play with a try and the ensuing conversion proved to be enough for Glendale.
National Arena League (NAL) – The Columbus Lions stunned the Carolina Cobras 55-54 when Columbus quarterback Mason Espinosa found Durron Neal for a 19-yard touchdown pass as time expired then kicker Lindsey Wolfe made the extra point for the win.
National Lacrosse League (NLL) – The Rochester Knighthawks edged the Georgia Swarm 9-8 in the Eastern Division final while the Saskatchewan Rush knocked off the Calgary Roughnecks in the West final. Rochester and Saskatchewan will faceoff for the NLL title with Game 1 at Saskatchewan on May 26th.
National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) – Added the Minnesota Whitecaps to the league as their fifth team joining Boston, Buffalo, Connecticut and Metropolitan in 2018-2019. The Whitecaps were already an independent team which started in 2004 and played in the short-lived Western Women’s Hockey League in 2010-2011.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – The Orlando Pride (3-2-3, 12 points) earned a 2-1 win over Portland Thorns FC on Saturday afternoon, defeating the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) champions in front of over 17,000 fans at Providence Park. The match not only marked the Pride’s first win over Portland in Club history, but extended the team’s unbeaten streak to five straight games. Forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Christine Nairn got on the score sheet for the Pride, both putting in their first goals of the 2018 season.
Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – The Los Angeles Sparks and defending champion Minnesota Lynx will tip-off the league’s 21st season on May 20th. The league will again have 12 teams with the only relocation being the Las Vegas Aces which moved from San Antonio.
They finally did it. The Nashville Nightwatch of the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) shocked the Austin Sol 22-20 on Sunday to win their first game since 2016. The Sol rallied from a 13-11 halftime deficit to lead 16-15 through three quarters, but the NightWatch were better down the stretch. Nashville opened the final quarter on a 4-1 run and never trailed again in their 22-20 triumph. The last win for the Nightwatch was a 30-26 win against Jacksonville on July 9, 2016. I was at the game and it was the highest offensive output for the team in its history and looked promising for 2017. The Nightwatch went winless the next season.
ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE (AFL)
Albany Empire’s quarterback Tommy Grady and defensive back Marrio Norman have been named as the offensive and defensive players of the week for Week 4, respectively. Grady (6’7, 245, Utah) led the Empire to their first win in team history on 20-of-29 passes for 221 yards and 5 touchdowns. The former Ute currently is second in the League in pass completion percentage (67.0%) and third in passing yards (733) and passing touchdowns (16). Norman (6’1, 205, Coastal Carolina) had a dominant defensive game in the Empire’s 47-23 win over the Washington Valor. The six-year veteran recorded 10.0 total tackles, two interceptions for 32 yards, while returning one of those interceptions for a 12-yard touchdown. Norman ranks second in total tackles with 20.5.
Last week’s scores:
Albany Empire 47, Washington Valor 23
Baltimore Brigade 31, Philadelphia Soul 21
ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL (AAF)
The proposed new springtime AAF has announced Memphis as its third franchise when the league starts play in February 2019. The Atlanta and Orlando markets were previously announced as franchise locations. The AAF is reported to be in discussions with Arizona State University (Tempe) for use of its Sun Devil Stadium as home to a possible Phoenix area AAF franchise.
AMERICAN ARENA LEAGUE (AAL)
John Banks caught three touchdown passes, and George Jenkins graduate Reggie Ellis contributed his second spectacular touchdown catch in as many weeks as the Florida Tarpons tamed the Austin Wild, 50-30, for their first win of the 2018 season Sunday afternoon at the RP Funding Center.
Richmond Roughriders 82, Peach State Cats 22
Atlanta Havoc 74, High Country Grizzlies 32
Carolina Energy 98, Savannah Coastal Outlaws 13
Jersey flight 70, Upstate Dragons 6
CHAMPIONS INDOOR FOOTBALL (CIF)
Shannon Winesberry’s victory-sealing, 33-yard interception return in overtime Saturday night proved to be the difference as the Quad-City Steamwheelers won at Bismarck 45-32. Bismarck got half of their four touchdowns in the final 56 seconds, taking advantage of two Quad-City field-goal misses to rally from a 32-17 deficit to force overtime. The Steamwheelers scored on the first possession of the extra session, with a 22-yard reception from Davenport’s Keyvan Rudd setting up a short Tyler Williams TD run. The game ended on the next step, thanks to Winesberry and a defense that forced four turnovers and kept Bismarck from scoring on eight of 13 possessions.
Sioux City Bandits (5-3)
Salina Liberty (6-2)
Quad Cities Steamwheelers (4-3)
Bismarck Bucks (4-4)
Omaha Beef (3-5)
Kansas City Phantoms (2-6)
Duke City Gladiators (7-1)
Amarillo Venom (6-1)
Texas Revolution (2-5)
Wichita Force (3-5)
Dallas Marshals (1-8)
INDOOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE (IFL)
The six-time world champion and first place Arizona Rattlers (8-1) defeated the Cedar Rapids Titans (1-8) by a score of 57-42 at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Rattlers have now won their seventh straight game.The two teams would trade punches early, but a dominant third quarter by the Rattlers would prove to be too much for the Titans. Offensively for Arizona, Quarterback Jeff Ziemba completed 12 of his 20 passes for 124 yards and three touchdowns. Ziemba also had a rushing touchdown. RB Darrell Monroe rushed the ball 20 times for 107 yards and three touchdowns.
Iowa Barnstormers 49, Sioux Falls Storm 42
Green Bay Blizzard 47, Nebraska Danger 25
MAJOR LACROSS LEAGUE (MLL)
The Florida Launch dominated the Denver Outlaws 16-7 at FAU Stadium on May 6 to improve their record to 3-1. With the return of Kieran McArdle, the Launch led an assertive offensive attack against that Outlaws. Dylan Molloy, Mike Tagliaferri, and McArdle led the team in goals, with each player putting up a hat trick. Tagliaferri posted his first MLL goal as well as his first MLL hat trick. On defense, Alec Tulett led the team, causing four turnovers and collecting four ground balls. In the cage, Austin Kaut stopped 21 of the 28 shots he faced for an impressive .750 save-percentage.
MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY (MLR)
In a match that featured a little bit of everything, the Legion (2-1) knocked off the SaberCats (1-2) 35-32 on the back of outside centre Anthony Salaber’s three-try performance. Both teams came out of the gate playing extremely fast, and it paid off for the SaberCats rather quickly. They struck first when scrum half Connor Murphy kicked to some space behind San Diego’s back line. A favorable bounce ended up in the hands of wing Alex Elkins who produced the ball to outside centre Osea Kolinisau. Kolinisau used his one move to ground the ball on the goal line and was awarded the first try of the match. Fly-half Sam Windsor nailed the conversion and the SaberCats were out to an early 7-0 lead.
The SaberCats, with only four minutes to play, had their chances to put the match away. Murphy attempted to pin San Diego deep with a box kick, but he didn’t get all of the ball and Audsley scooped it up off the ground to give San Diego a chance to win it with a try.
Houston forced San Diego’s attack into touch and had one more chance to finish the game with a successful lineout. The ensuing lineout was not thrown straight, and the Legion would have an opportunity at a lineout of their own. The phase play that stemmed from that lineout was extended when an errant pass that went out of bounds in stoppage time was brought back to the spot of a penalty, and Tony Purpura finally put a stamp on the game with a try on the goal line.
Audsley kicked the conversion and the Legion escaped with a 35-32 win.
NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE (NAL)
The Massachusetts Pirates trailed the Columbus Lions by 15 points early in the third quarter of their National Arena League marquee matchup Sunday when quarterback Sean Brackett threw his second interception. The defense took the field and proceeded to make the first of three straight stops, all of which the offense turned into touchdowns as the Pirates outscored the Lions, 29-7, over the final 25 minutes to post a 44-37, last-second victory.
Jacksonville Sharks 48, Maine Mammoths 31
Carolina Cobras 65, Lehigh Valley Steelhawks 3
NATIONAL LACROSS LEAGUE (NLL)
The Calgary Roughnecks extend their post-season winning streak against their Colorado to 8-0 with a 15-12 win. With the win, the Roughnecks will advance to face the Saskatchewan Rush in the West Division on Sunday, May 13, at 5:00 p.m. The Mammoths controlled the first half, going on a six goal run en route to a 7-3 advantage heading into the break. Although Colorado outshot the Roughnecks 50-46, Calgary dominated the second half outscoring the home team 12-5 including two empty net goals to conclude the night.
In the East, the Rochester Knighthawks eliminated the New England Black Wolves 15-11 to advance to the East final against the Georgia Swarm on Saturday.
SOUTHERN PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE (SPHL)
The Huntsville Havoc won the SPHL title by defeating the Peoria Rivermen 4-2 to win the series 2 games to 1. Huntsville knocked off the Mississippi Riverkings 1-4, 4-3 (ot) and 5-2 in the first round and then dethroned the defending champions, Macon Mayhem, 4-6, 8-2, 3-2 (ot) in the semifinals.