Football Friday (8/9/19)

Austria

Austria defeats Sweden for U19 European Gold Medal

Football – the American version – is played all over the world and throughout the year.  Let’s take a look at this week’s football news…

AMERICAN ARENA LEAGUE

The owner of the Wheeling-based West Virginia Roughriders announced the team will not be returning to the AAL for the 2020 season, but discussions with other leagues have not yet taken place. The AAL had some unstable teams during the 2019 season resulting in most teams playing non-league competition to fill out their schedules and some AAL teams suspended operations prior to or during the season. The Roughriders played as the Richmond (VA) Roughriders in the 2018 AAL season before relocating to Wheeling for the 2019 AAL season. The AAL’s Cape Fear Heroes (Fayetteville, NC) are rumored to be leaving the league for the 2020 season. A previously announced 2020 AAL expansion team called the Tampa Bay Tornadoes announced a September tryout, but some doubt has been reported as to whether the team will make it to its first season.

ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

PHILADELPHIA SOUL 48, WASHINGTON VALOR 41
Game #2 – AFL Semifinals
(Philadelphia wins series 117-74)
The small scuffle in the third quarter of Sunday’s semifinal series finale between the Philadelphia Soul and the Washington Valor was a metaphor for the game, but not the series.

Both teams fought back and forth until the last minute-and-a-half, when Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh connected with wide receiver Darius Prince to take the lead with a 33-yard touchdown to win, 48-41.

The Soul didn’t want the game to be as close as it ended but coach Clint Dolezel said with the playoff format with aggregate scoring, it makes it a lot less stressful for both players and coaches.

“It’s the beauty of the home and away thing,” Dolezel said. “I would always want to play at home second. So, that if you do clinch it, it’s in front of your crowd.”

The win, combined with last week’s 69-33 victory, means the Soul advance to ArenaBowl XXXII with an aggregate win over the Valor, 117-74.

Before to Sunday’s game, Raudabaugh said the way the Soul would walk out of Wells Fargo Center as winners would be by scoring on every drive – and they did just that, at least in the first half.

ALBANY EMPIRE 62, BALTIMORE BRIGADE 21
Game #2 – AFL Semifinals
(Albany wins series 123-47)
The Arena Football League’s top point-producers were kept off the field Saturday night for more than eight minutes of the second quarter. It happened because Albany’s defense scored three straight touchdowns in a playoff game against the Baltimore Brigade.

It was part of a 62-21 humiliation that the Empire put on the Brigade at Royal Farms Arena to win their two-game, aggregate score semifinal playoff series, 123-47.

The Empire will now play host to ArenaBowl XXXII at 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, at Times Union Center. The game, against the winner of the other semifinal series between Philadelphia and Washington, will be televised live by ESPN2.

“It’s an awesome feeling to get there for the first time,” said Terence Moore, a seventh-year linebacker who scored twice. “The good thing about the locker room is that we’re excited about being there, but we still feel we have one more to complete the job.”

Albany (12-2), coming off its second straight regular-season title, made this a no contest early. Having won last week’s meeting with Baltimore 61-26, the Empire needed only to stay within 34 points of the Brigade to play for the Arena title.

That was never their mentality.

READ MORE…

CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have had a revolving door at kick returner this season. Janarion Grant put an end to that on Thursday night. The former Rutgers star returned two punts for touchdown in his Canadian Football League debut, sparking the Bombers to a 26-24 win over the Calgary Stampeders at IG Field in Winnipeg.

The ownership group trying to bring a CFL expansion team called the Atlantic Schooners to Halifax (Nova Scotia) is still working on a business plan for a new stadium that will be a requirement for acceptance into the league. The earliest an expansion team could start play would be in 2021 and that season could be played in Moncton (Nova Scotia) or a temporary stadium in Halifax. The CFL is holding a regular-season game later this month at the University of Moncton as part of the 2019 edition of Touchdown Atlantic. The CFL has yet to close on a recently announced proposed sale of the Montreal Alouettes team whose ownership sold the team back to the league just prior to the 2019 season.

FINLAND

The Kuopio Steelers (7-2) and Seinäjoki Crocodiles (3-5) staged a game for the ages in Finland’s Maple League. The Steelers scored 37 third quarter points to beat Seinäjoki 85-55 in one of the highest scoring games in Maple League history.

Kuopio scored 64 points in the second half alone.

Trailing 35-21 at the half, the Steelers exploded for 37 points in the third quarter, holding Seinäjoki to just six and then added another 27 in the fourth.

Read more…

GRIDIRON DEVELOPMENTAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

The Oklahoma Thunder (9-1) are one win away from capturing their fourth consecutive National Championship and their eighth overall title in the franchise’s 12 seasons of operation. The only obstacle standing in Oklahoma’s path to another Gridiron Bowl title is a rematch with the Middle Tennessee Bulldawgs (10-0).

The Thunder and Bulldawgs have met in the regular season earlier this year. Middle Tennessee defeated Oklahoma 26-13 on June 29th, in Nashville,Tennessee getting a little payback from last seasons championship loss but there is a big difference in winning a championship game, versus winning a regular season game.

Flashback to 2018, the Thunder defeated the Bulldawgs 38-15 on August 11th in Gridiron Bowl IX in Birmingham, Alabama to give them their third consecutive national championship banner. They will face off again for the third time in their short history, in what is quickly becoming an intense rivalry.

This Gridiron Bowl will feature two of the most storied programs on the Minor League Football circuit today. The Bulldawgs have made five appearance in championship games the last five seasons since they have been established dating back to when they were still a part of the Tennessee Football League (TFL).

For the Middle Tennessee Bulldawgs, Gridiron Bowl X will mark their second straight Gridiron Bowl appearance. They are also seeking their first GDFL league championship since winning consecutive spring titles in the MTFL ,MFA & TFL .

Middle Tennessee punched their ticket to the 2019 Gridiron Bowl with a 32-27 victory over the Erie Express in the Intense Xtreme Conference Championship in Erie, Pennsylvania on last Saturday July 27.2019.

Chapa had three first half turnovers and another interception that bounced off the chest of Moore. After Erie took the lead with under two minutes to go, Chapa hit Moore on a 53 yard play to give the Bulldawgs the lead for good.

Thunder starting QB Damian Manning led the offense by completing 10-of-14 passes for 140 yards and two scores. Adidas McDonald also added a game-high 148 yards on the ground while also rushing for three touchdowns. WR Brandon Shepherd led receivers with 5 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown in the win.

Meanwhile, the Bulldawgs traveled to Cathedral Prep Events Center and defeated the Erie Express 32-27 in the Xtreme Conference Championship to earn their spot in the Gridiron Bowl. Bulldawgs trailed by three points at one point, after Hanna hit Terry Jackson on a 28 yard TD pass with Jeremy Ditzler adding the XP to give Erie the lead 27-24. 2:57 4th, but rallied.Bulldawg QB Eric Chapa and WR Tyran Moore showed some great moxie.

Defensively, the Thunder held River City to -8 yards in total offense, though this total was primarily due to key mistakes by the Pythons that resulted in -52 yards rushing. The Thunder also forced 5 turnovers, including one pick-six by CB Traivon Bryant, a sack/fumble forced by DE Rashawd Rushing, and a fumble recovery by WR DJ Dempsey deep in Python territory that led to a subsequent Thunder touchdown. .

As for the Bulldawgs defense, DB Chris Perkins led Middle Tennessee Bulldawgs in the turnover department with three interceptions a fumble recovery, four pass breakup and a touchdown in the victory over the Outlaws and Express. The Bulldawgs defense has been ranked #1 all season long and this is the most points they have given up to an opponent all season.

The 2019 National Championship (Gridiron Bowl X) between the Oklahoma Thunder and the Middle Tennessee Bulldawgs is slated for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff at Missouri Southern State University, in Joplin,Missouri Admissions $15.00

IFAF 2019 U19 European Championships

Although they started slow, Team Austria built momentum quickly and finally dominated Sweden in the gold medal final of the IFAF 2019 U19 European Championhips, shutting them out 28-0 Sunday evening in Bologna, Italy.

In front of a loud and boisterous crowd at Arcoveggio Stadium with Austrian and Swedish fans chanting back and forth, Austria simply outran, outmuscled and outhustled a Swedish team that had not faced this kind of speed and execution before in the tournament.

Austria jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead and then cruised in the second half for the win.

Read more…

IRELAND

The main event in the Irish American Football Association’s calendar is finally back once again as the four time champions Belfast Trojans take on the South Dublin Panthers for the Shamrock Bowl in its 33rd year. These two teams are well known to each, having faced each other multiple times in recent years. They last played each other on the 9th June 2019 in Belfast, where the Trojans came out 26-16 winners. This would be the first of a string of three defeats for the Panthers to end their regular season whilst the Trojans would win out their remaining four games.

The Trojans finished the regular season as second seeds, gaining home field advantage in the semi-final, of which they overcame UCD 14-0 in a rain soaked game at Harlequins RFC. Both defense’s took advantage of the weather, stifling each other’s offenses as both were finding it difficult to establish an air game in the tough conditions. The Trojans eventually broke the deadlock at the end of the second quarter, ironically through a passing play, before going on to score the games only other touchdown in the second half.

Read more…

NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE

JACKSONVILLE SHARKS 67, COLUMBUS LIONS 43
Semifinals

The Columbus Lions couldn’t overcome their demons, falling to their rival Jacksonville in the semifinal game 67-43. With the loss, the Lions’ hope of reaching a third consecutive NAL Championship comes to a halt.

Columbus would strike first after causing a fumble on the opening kickoff and quarterback Bryan Hicks sneaking in for a touchdown. But after the Sharks and Mike Fafaul answered back with a touchdown pass to Durron Neal, Hicks would throw a pick six deep in Jacksonville territory, returned by Markus Smith to put the Sharks up 16-6. Although Ulric Jones would pouce on a fumble for a touchdown and Hicks found his way into the endzone late in the 2nd quarter, Jacksonville would enter the half with a 37-22 lead.

Read more…

CAROLINA COBRAS 30, MASSACHUSETTS PIRATES 36
Semifinals

In what was a battle of the #2 and #3 offenses, this was a total defensive struggle as the two teams combined for just 56 points, there were five total turnovers, eight combined sacks, and multiple times where teams were stopped on downs. The great news is that the Carolina Cobras (10-5) prevailed,

beating Massachusetts Pirates (8-7) by a score of 30-26 and will advance to face the winner of the Columbus Lions vs Jacksonville Shark game (Tuesday), for the NAL Championship on August 17, 2019, the location has yet to be determined.

This was a sloppy game on the offensive side of the ball for both teams as the defenses dominated. The Cobras got the ball and drove down the field, only to be turned over on downs as QB Charles McCullum was sacked on fourth down. The Pirates were not able to answer as they too turned it over on downs. On the next Cobras drive Jordan Jolly fumbled and turned it back over to the Pirates. This time the Pirates capitalized, with a 20-yard pass from QB Sean Brackett to Rannell Hall for the score. With the PAT it was 7-0 Pirates and that is how we ended the first quarter.

Read more…

(Thanks to Oursportscentral.com, American Football International and Gridiron Developmental Football League for these stories.  Please go to their sites and support them.)

Football Friday (7/26/19)

unicorns

Germany’s Schwabisch Hall Unicorns are Europe’s Top Team

Here’s a recap of American football leagues around the world:

ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

The Albany Empire enters the AFL playoffs as the top seed.  Returning home for the first time in nearly a month, the Empire made a statement in the team’s tenth win of the season, handling the Philadelphia Soul, 72-27 in the regular season finale. Albany dominated from start to finish and ended the game with the largest margin of victory in Empire history and the most points scored by one team in a game in 2019. The Empire remain home this weekend for the first game of a home-and-home playoff series against the Baltimore Brigade. The Philadelphia Soul (7-5) begin their quest for a fourth ArenaBowl title this Sunday at 3:30 pm against the defending champion Washington Valor (7-5) at Capital One Arena. Having fallen to the three seed after a loss to the Empire in the regular season finale, the Soul will host the second leg of the home-and-home series at the Wells Fargo Center on August 4th at 4 pm.

Final Regular Season Standings:

  1. Albany Empire (10-2)
  2. Washington Valor (7-5)
  3. Philadelphia Soul (7-5)
  4. Baltimore Brigade (7-5)
  5. Atlantic City Blackjacks (4-8)
  6. Columbus Destroyers (1-11)

CHAMPIONS INDOOR FOOTBALL

Champions Indoor Football announced that the Duke City Gladiators had submitted a petition for a voluntary release from their league commitment. This afternoon, the CIF of Board of Directors voted unanimously to honor Duke City’s petition and release the team from the CIF effective immediately. All six remaining teams also reaffirmed their commitment to the CIF for the upcoming 2020 season.

“The owners of the six current teams of the CIF are working hard this off-season and are dedicated to the growth of the league as we enter our sixth season,” CIF Commissioner

Ricky Bertz said. “Our owners are dedicated to the CIF and continuing the league’s growth moving forward. We have six solid teams and will also continue to evaluate possible expansion options as we proceed towards the 2020 season.”

Champions Indoor Football announced today that the Duke City Gladiators had submitted a petition for a voluntary release from their league commitment. This afternoon, the CIF of Board of Directors voted unanimously to honor Duke City’s petition and release the team from the CIF effective immediately. All six remaining teams also reaffirmed their commitment to the CIF for the upcoming 2020 season.

“The owners of the six current teams of the CIF are working hard this off-season and are dedicated to the growth of the league as we enter our sixth season,” CIF Commissioner

Ricky Bertz said. “Our owners are dedicated to the CIF and continuing the league’s growth moving forward. We have six solid teams and will also continue to evaluate possible expansion options as we proceed towards the 2020 season.

GRIDIRON DEVELOPMENTAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

The Middle Tennessee Bulldawgs (9-0) defeated the Tri-City Outlaws (4-5) 12-6 in a game that was continued after being postponed due to a torrential downpour this past Saturday. With 1:57 left in the first half, Bulldawg defensive back Randall “Bay Bay” Smith scored from the “Dawg-Cat” position on the first play from scrimmage. His run of 17 yards tied the game.  Read more…

The Oklahoma Thunder are looking to do something that’s never been done in before in minor league football, win four straight national championships. They’re well on their way to doing that after a convincing win in round one of the playoffs. Oklahoma took down the Joplin Crusaders with a 28-6 final score. With that, one step closer to returning to the national championship.  Read more…

INDOOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE

The owner of the IFL’s Grand Island-based Nebraska Danger announced the team will most likely be put up for sale. It is hoped a new ownership group would keep the team in Grand Island, but if that is not possible the team could be sold and moved to a new location. The Nebraska Danger joined the IFL as an expansion team for the 2011 season and just completed its ninth season.

NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE

The Columbus Lions (5-8) stormed back from a 43-20 deficit to beat the Orlando Predators (2-12) in overtime 52-46. In doing so, the Lions clinched a playoff berth for the 3rd straight year and set up a future date with the Jacksonville Sharks.  Read more here…

Current Standings:

  1. Jacksonville Sharks (12-1)
  2. Carolina Cobras (10-3)
  3. Massachusetts Pirates (7-6)
  4. Columbus Lions (5-8)
  5. New York Streets (3-10)
  6. Orlando Predators (2-11)

INTERNATIONAL LEAGUES:

CANADA

The Saskatchewan Roughriders came out on top in a back-and-forth battle against the BC Lions on Saturday Night, combining big offensive plays and relentless defensive pressure to claim the 38-25 home win.  A thrilling 100-yard kickoff return touchdown from Marcus Thigpen gave the Riders a one-point lead heading into the second half, but the Lions continued to stick around until three consecutive touchdown drives from the Riders in the second half sealed the victory.  Read more…

GERMANY

The German Football League returns this weekend with a full schedule of games after a four-week July break for most of the teams.

Two teams remain unbeaten so far as the GFL has reached the midpoint of the season. The Braunschweig New Yorker Lions, winners of four of the last six German championships, and the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns who have won the last two titles.

There were a total of three games during four week break but this weekend, all 16 teams will be back in action.

EUROPE’S TOP 10

  1. Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (9-0 GFL) – Germany (Last poll: #1)The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns have passed the halfway point of the 2019 season and look just as dominant as ever. The Unicorns are on a 43 game winning streak stretching back to the 2016 German Bowl and show no signs of letting up. This year they have beaten the Marburg Mercenaries 52-9, the Ingolstadt Dukes 24-0, the Munich Cowboys 35-3, Kirchdorf Wildcats 51-12, Stuttgart Scorpions 63-13, Frankfurt Universe 31-0, Stuttgart again, 63-21, Kirchdorf Wildcats 56-0 and Ingolstadt Dukes 51-0.  Next up: Munich Cowboys, July 27.
  2. Swarco Raiders (14-0 – AFL: 11-0 CEFL: 4-0 Int.) – Austria (Last poll: #2)The defending Austrian champs have looked just as impressive as ever in running their record to 14-0 overall (4-0 in CEFL play) They ran through the AFL without a loss and then downed the Danube Dragons in the Austrian semifinals. . They defeated the Dacia Vienna Vikings in the ECTC final and then got by Switzerland’s Calanda Broncos to capture the CEFL title. In the other international games, Swarco disposed of France’s Thonon Black Panthers, beating them 41-7 in Central European Football League action and then beat up on the Italian champions, the Milano Seamen, 50-23.  Next up: Austrian Bowl XXXV vs Dacia Vienna Vikings, July 27.
  3. New Yorker Lions (7-0 ) – Germany (Last poll: #3)The Lions have looked every bit as impressive as their championship years. They have won all their games but were pushed to the limit by both the Dresden Monarchs, finally beating them 34-31 and also by the Hildesheim Invaders who they rallied to defeat 35-28, in the last game before the break. They had opened the year beating the Cologne Crocodiles in a back-to-back series, 23-6 and 45-7, and then took care of the only team that defeated them in the regular season last year, the Berlin Rebels. Braunschweig beat the Rebels 29-12. The Lions downed the Potsdam Royals 35-14.  Next up: Berlin Rebels, July 28.
  4. Hildesheim Invaders (6-1) – Germany (Last poll: #6)Hildesheim is so far the most improved team in the league and have won six of their seven opening games. They edged the Dresden Monarchs 31-27 and finally were beaten by the New Yorker Lions 35-28 in the last game before the break. Most of their other wins were by lopsided scores as they beat the Potsdam Royals 50-28, took care of the Dusseldorf Panther 49-17, downed the Cologne Crocodiles 31-14, outlasted the Berlin Rebels 56-41.and beat the Panther again 46-10.  Next up: Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, July 27.
  5. Dresden Monarchs (5-2) – Germany (Last poll: #5)The Monarchs had opened the season with three straight wins – 49-13 over the Dusseldorf Panther ,42-14 over the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes and then a 17-0 shut out of the Cologne Crocodiles – before dropping two close games in a row, 34-27 to the New Yorker Lions and then 31-27 to Hildesheim. They rebounded beating Cologne again, 42-7 and then the Potsdam Royals, 33-13. Their two close games against the Lions and Invaders show they are definite contenders.  Next up: Dusseldorf Panther, July 27.
  6. Frankfurt Universe (6-1) – Germany (Last poll: #4)Frankfurt has opened the 2019 with four wins, – downing the Ingolstadt Dukes 37-13 and then getting by the Munich Cowboys 24-17, after beating the Allgau Comets 20-0 in their opening game and then downing the Marburg Mercenaries 20-14. They were brought down to earth with a thud, getting shut out 31-0 by the Unicorns. They came back and defeated Ingolstadt 63-13 and the Comets 34-7  Next up: Kirchdorf Wildcats, July 28.
  7. Calanda Broncos (14-2; NL: 11-1, CEFL: 3-1) Switzerland (Last poll: #9)Calanda put on a strong showing in the second half of the season, winning the Swiss Bowl in emphatic fashion, beating the Geneva Seahawks 31-0. They were oh so close to winning the Central European Football League title losing in the championship game 46-42 to Austria’s Swarco Raiders after leading much of the game. In rest of international CEFL play, the Broncos overwhelmed Turkey’s Koc Rams a few weeks ago whipping them 55-17 in Istanbul and last week beat the Kragujevac Wild Boars from Serbia 37-33.. Calanda opened the tournament with a big 27-3 road win over Poland’s Wroclaw Panthers.  Next up: Season over, Swiss champions
  8. Dacia Vienna Vikings (10-4 – AFL: 8-3, ECTC: 2-1) – Austria (Last poll: #7)The Dacia Vienna Vikings have reached the Austrian Bowl but needed a strong second half against the Prague Black Panthers in the semifinal to win 21-14.. They won all but four games during the year, three to the Swarco Raiders, the last one a 35-10 loss in the ECTC final. The only other team to beat them was the Graz Giants early in the season. In international play, they had big wins in European Club Team Competition (ECTC) action downing the Badalona Dracs 38-8 and Denmark’s Triangle Razorbacks 60-0.  Next up: Austrian Bowl vs Swarco Raiders, July 27.
  9. Wroclaw Panthers (12-1; LFA: 10-0, CEFL: 2-1) – Poland (Last poll: #10)                  The Wroclaw Panthers dominated the opposition in Poland’s Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego, finishing the regular season with an 8-0 record and then beating the Gdynia Seahawks in the semifinals 52-6 and downing the Bialystok Lowlanders 28-14 to win the title. In international play, the Panthers dropped a 27-3 decision to the Calanda Broncos early on but rebounded with big wins over the Kragujevac Wild Boars from Serbia and Turkey’s Koc Rams.  Next up: Season over, Polish champions
  10. Danube Dragons (7-5) – Austria (Last poll: #14)   The Danube Dragons came close to reaching the Austrian Bowl, losing a tough semifinal game to the Swarco Raiders 49-43. Danube had beaten the Graz Giants 24-17 in the wild card playoffs to earn the right to play in the semis.  The Dragons had fashioned a solid 6-4 regular season record with their only losses coming against the Raiders, as well as the Dacia Vienna Vikings and the Prague Black Panthers (34-31). Their performance against Swarco in the semis earned them their 10th place.  Next up: Season over, Austrian semifinalists.

(Thanks to Oursportscentral.com and American Football International for these news stories.)

Football Friday

gcfire

QB Rakeem Cato leads Gulf Coast Fire to A-League Title

Here’s look what’s going on around the world with American football leagues:

A-LEAGUE

The Gulf Coast Fire defeated the Manatee Neptunes 80-20 to win the league championship. Fire quarterback Rakeem Cato left the Neptune secondary up in smoke, throwing 11 touchdown passes — five of which went to long-time teammate Tommy Shuler.  The Fire defense was scorching hot as well, picking off Manatee QB Matt Parsons six times and recording two safeties.

AMERICAN ARENA LEAGUE

The American Arena League Championship Game will be played on Saturday, June 29th at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia. Two undefeated teams will compete for the 2019 Jack Bowman Trophy. The Southern Conference Champion, Carolina Energy (Charlotte, NC) will meet the Northern Conference Champion, the West Virginia Roughriders.  Last Saturday, the Energy defeated the Atlantic Division Champions, the Carolina Havoc (Florence, SC) and the Roughriders defeated the American Arena League Mid-West Division Champions, the West Michigan Ironmen.

ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

The Washington Valor (5-4) defeated the Baltimore Brigade (5-4), 42-35, Thursday night at Capital One Arena. Valor wide receiver Josh Reese put Washington ahead when he recovered a loose ball following a missed field goal with just 14.9 seconds left in the game. Valor quarterback Arvell Nelson was named the game’s Most Valuable Player for the fifth time this season, accounting for five total touchdowns, including four rushing touchdowns. The win moves Washington into second place in the league standings, tied with the Brigade. The Valor are now 3-1 at home this season with two of their three remaining regular season games to be played at Capital One Arena.

Current AFL Standings:

AFL

CHAMPIONS INDOOR FOOTBALL

The Omaha beef defeated the Oklahoma Flying Aces for the third and final time this past Saturday 71-51. Six straight wins for Omaha has them at the top of the CIF with a record of 7-1.

The Beef went up 13-3 in the first quarter. On fourth and goal, Derrick Bernard found newly acquired receiver Clinton Solomon in the corner of the end zone for his first touchdown in a Beef uniform. The Beef held Oklahoma to a three and out on the next drive, where the Flying Aces attempted a 61-yard field goal. On the miss, dangerous returner Chris Perry, returned it for a 50-yard touchdown.

Oklahoma turned in around in the second quarter outscoring Omaha 24-17. Flying Aces quarterback RayJohn Ramsey threw three touchdowns, with two of those going to receiver Torrance Carr. The flying Aces went back and forth with the Beef scoring wise, with a total of five lead changes. Omaha took a three-point lead right before halftime with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Javon Bell from Bernard.

Omaha came out in the second half blazing. Bernard threw two touchdowns to Kayne Farquharson and Donovan Rasberry, as the Beef stretched the led to 44-34 right before the fourth quarter. During the third quarter intermission, things got heated between both teams. A small melee broke out and the benches cleared. After getting everything under control, three Beef player were ejected. The incident awoke a sleeping giant, because Omaha rallied off 27-points in the fourth quarter and put up 70+ points back to back weeks. Derrick Bernard had another efficient day throwing the ball going 13-19 185-yards and seven touchdowns. Javon Bell was the leading receiver with five catches and three touchdowns. Newcomer Clinton Solomon only had two catches, but he provided the red zone threat Omaha was looking for, scoring twice on his two receptions.

Current CIF Standings:

cif

GRIDIRON DEVELOPMENTAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

The Houston Raiders (1-4) topped the Joplin Crusaders (1-2), 8-6, in a shocker Saturday afternoon at Houston Baptist University in Houston. The Raiders scored in the fourth quarter, after Marcus Ross blocked a punt into the end zone and was able to fall on it to scored a  touchdown with 5:20 remaining to seal the victory. With the win, Raiders get their first ever victory in GDFL history.

The Oklahoma Thunder (4-0) dismantled the Memphis Blast (2-3), 78-0 after a dominating offensive and defensive attack. Offensively, they scored eight touchdowns, balancing out their scoring through the air and on the ground.

On defense, they forced four turnovers, including three forced fumbles and then got a safety, which that helped to take all the momentum away from the frustrated Blast team.

To the Blast credit, they kept the Thunder from getting too much in control after keeping it a two-possession game in the first quarter and did a solid job of keeping them from overwhelming them. Quarterback, Martavious Hayslett brought a spark to the team in the second half and had a number of big plays, including a crucial 15-yard run on third down.

Still despite his best efforts, his explosiveness wasn’t enough to get the Blast back on track and in the second half of the game, they imploded. In the second half, tackling proved to be a problem in the second game in a row, which allowed the Thunder to score a whooping 48 points in the second half.

INDOOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE

The six-time World Champion Arizona Rattlers (14-0) completed their first undefeated regular season in franchise history on Saturday, defeating the San Diego Strike Force (1-13) in front of 14,036 fans at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

QB Drew Powell was 12-of-16 passing for 151 yards and two touchdowns, and also rushed for two touchdowns.

RB Roland Genesy Jr. led the rushing attack for Arizona, carrying the ball 13 times for 100 yards and a touchdown.

San Diego QB Jihad Vercher was 11-for-28 passing for 93 yards and two touchdowns. RB Dominique Carson had 61 rushing yards, and WR Marques Rodgers and WR David Carter each caught a touchdown for the Strike Force.

Defensively, Rattlers DL Connor Flagel had two sacks and three tackles for loss, while DB Dillion Winfrey had five solo tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.

DB Omar Cook led the Strike Force with eight solo tackles, while Rodgers and DB E.J. Johnson each had a fumble recovery.

Final Regular Season Standings:

IFL

NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE

The Jacksonville Sharks (7-1) enter Week 11 with a vengeance as they face the Empire State’s New York Streets (3-5) for a week one rematch. Jacksonville got off to a rough start in their home opener, losing to the Streets 52-41, their lone loss of the year. Saturday is the Sharks chance to get comeback with dominance.

New to the league, the New York Streets early season flare has faded within the tough competition of the NAL losing four of their last five games. However, against Florida teams the Streets are undefeated (3-0). Defeating the Orlando Predators twice and Jacksonville once.

The Sharks’ defense will face the challenge of stopping former Syracuse University quarterback, David Legree, who has proven to be very versatile on the ground and in the air. The dual-threat quarterback was the first signee for the Streets yet suffered a preseason injury that kept him out of the lineup until week nine. Legree faces one of the best secondaries in the NAL. Last week, the Sharks forced three interceptions and 4 QB hurries against the defending NAL champions. Seth Ellis is currently in the running for Defensive Player of the Year and has a seven-game interception streak. He is the current league leader in interceptions with nine. The Sharks strong defensive line looks to put pressure on Legree all night and add to their league-leading sack total.

Offensively the Sharks have given up the fewest sacks this season only letting seven. Behind the NAL’s best offensive line are Sharks quarterbacks Jonathan Bane and Mike Fafaul. The two have formed one of the most efficient passing games in NAL. They lead the league in fewest interceptions thrown, yielding only eight this season. Jacksonville is second in completions with 169, pass efficiency 57.5%, and passing yards with 1798. The Sharks are third overall in passing touchdowns this season (38), star receiver Devin Wilson owns nearly half with 17 of them. The Sharks also have a top-ranked running game, currently second in rushing yards (173) and yards per game (21.6).

Current NAL Standings:

nal

INTERNATIONAL LEAGUES:

GERMANY

The Hildesheim Invaders exploded for three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter to defeat the Dresden Monarchs 37-21 and stay unbeaten in the German Football League North division.

Trailing 27-12 with just over nine minutes left in the game, Hildesheim, aided by a pair of Dresden fumbles, staged a rally for the ages, securing the win with a punt return touchdown with 40 seconds remaining to record their sixth win of the season.

Invaders quarterback Casey Therriault completed 24 of 37 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 112 and another touchdown. Running back Sean Richard had 79 yards rushing and a touchdown while receiver Anthony Dable-Wolf enjoyed one of his best days of the season catching 10 passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

FRANCE

The French Federation of American Football, FFFA playoffs took an unexpected turn this past weekend when the underdog Saint-Ouen L’Aumône Cougars knocked off the heavily favored and previously undefeated Asnieres Molosses 24-6 to advance to the French championship game for the first time since 2016.

This was also the first time the Cougars had beaten Asnieres in the two years the Molosses have been in the top league in France.They lost both games earlier this year to the Molosses, 20-7 and 32-7.  Add to that the fact that the Molosses had not lost a game all year. So this was a little unexpected. And it could not have come at a better time as head coach and general manager Xavier Mas is leaving the team after 20 years.

Running back Isaac Amoako was the main architect of the victory scoring two touchdowns, one on a pass from Luke Casey and the other on the ground. Defensive back Maxime Roger scored on a 45 yard interception return while Antoine Droissart kicked a field goal and all three extra points.

For the Molosses, quarterback Camile Thouary was held to 70 yards passing while Joel Fourn scored the lone touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

The Cougars did to Asnieres what Asnieres has been doing all year to teams. Used a stifling defense and an opportunistic offense. Saint-Ouen rolled out to a 24-0 fourth quarter lead before allowing the Molosses to score.

Saint-Ouen took a 10-0 lead into the break on one of Amoako’s touchdowns, a 29 yard reception and Droissart’s field goal. They added two more touchdowns in the decisive third quarter with Roger picking off a Thouary pass and then Amoako bulling his way into the end zone. Meanwhile, the defense played lights out football for three quarters.

The Cougars will now face the Thonon Black Panthers in the French final. Thonon defeated the Amiens Spartiates 22-7 in the other semifinal.

HUNGARY

Last weekend the Hungarian Football League playoffs kicked off with the wild card round. The Fehérvár Enthroners earned a hard fought 33-28 victory over a very tough Miskolc Steelers squad on Saturday, while one day later the Kiev Capitals had an easy 32-0 road win against the Győr Sharks.

ITALY

The Lazio Ducks survived a furious second half rally in Parma, Italy finally coming away with a 22-20 wild card playoff victory over the Parma Panthers this past weekend in Italy’s Div. 1.

The Ducks had built a 19-0 halftime lead, only to watch as the Panthers roared back in the second half, outscoring Lazio 20-3, but missing a game-tying two point attempt with zeros on the clock.

Game MVP was Ducks receiver and defensive back Lorenzo Melchiorre who was on fire scoring two of the three touchdowns for Lazio and grabbing one interception. He also punted twice for 104 yards.

Ducks quarterback Tyler Johnson threw for 254 yards and three touchdowns, two to Melchiorre who had five catches for 69 yards while teammate Anrea Rinaldi had six receptions for 93 yards and one touchdown. Running back Mike Gentili returned from injury and had 15 carries for 79 yards.

ROMANIA

The Bucharest Rebels romped to a 34-14 victory over the Timisoara 89ers in Romanian Bowl X on Saturday night in Ghiroda behind a 269 yard, four touchdown passing performance from Stan Bedwell.

The win marked the fourth Romanian championship for the Rebels and the first since 2016. Bedwell celebrated his fifth European title since arriving in 2008.

The game started ominously for the 89ers as QB Charles Babb fumbled the ball away on the third play from scrimmage after being sacked by Codrin Cuciurea. Radu Ionescu was there to fall on it at the 19 yard line. Three plays later, Bedwell hit Daniel Marcu in the back of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown. Bedwell’s two-point conversion pass to Bogdan Brindusa gave the Rebels an early 8-0 lead.

Minutes later, the turnover woes continued for Timisoara  as an errant snap on a punt attempt gave the Rebels the ball with favorable field position once again. A 24-yard completion from Bedwell to Brindusa on 4th-and-15 from the 89ers 25-yard line set up a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Rashad Dillard to give the Rebels a 14-0 lead.

The 89ers finally started to come to life in the second quarter as Valentin Cocrean made a fantastic diving interception on a Bedwell pass. This set up a 6-yard touchdown run by Jeron Jones to mark a halftime score of 14-6 in favor of the Rebels.

After struggling for over two quarters, the Rebels offense came alive late in the game scoring on their final three possessions. First, Bedwell hit Marcu on a 42-yard scoring pass then tossed the conversion pass to Brindusa to take a 22-6 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

In the final stanza, Bedwell threw long touchdown strikes to Brindusa (40 yards) and Silviu Ionut (63 yards) to complete the scoring for the Rebels. In between the Rebels fourth quarter touchdown drives, Babb connected with Cocrean from two yards out and hooked up with Remus Baizath for the two-point conversion to close out the 89ers scoring.

(Thank you to OurSportsCentral.com and AmericanFootballInternational.com for these game reports.)