Obscure Sports News (5/16/18)

rochester
Rochester Knighthawks edge Georgia Swarm 9-8 to advance to National Lacrosse League final

 

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.

American Arena 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.

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Obscure Sports News (5/9/18)

nightwatch
Nightwatch win first game since 2016

 

AMERICAN ULTIMATE DISC LEAGUE (AUDL)

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.

Other scores:

  • 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.

Current Standings:

  • North Division
    • 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)
  • South Division
    • 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.

Other scores:

  • 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.

nal
Massachusetts Pirates celebrate big win over Columbus Lions

Other scores:

  • 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.

Obscure Sports News (5/3/18)

ALLIANCE OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL (AAF)

The proposed new springtime AAF announced Atlanta will become home to the league’s second franchise. The AAF recently announced Orlando as its first franchise location and plans to announce six additional markets over the coming weeks. A team in Southern California is expected to be one of the next six markets.

AMERICAN ULTIMATE DISC LEAGUE (AUDL)

The Raleigh Flyers (4-2) split their Texas road trip last weekend as they lost to the Austin Sol (2-1) 25-23 in overtime then rebounded in Dallas to defeat the Roughnecks (3-1) 24-20.  Check out this highlight of Justin Allen’s 90-yard heave for Raleigh at the end of the third period here.

AUDL Division Leaders:

  • Midwest:  Madison (3-0)
  • South:  Atlanta (3-0)
  • East:  Toronto (3-0)
  • West:  San Diego (3-2)

Locally, the Nashville Nightwatch and Tampa Bay Cannons were both winless going into Saturday’s game.  The Cannons had five goals by Jordan Huston in a 25-13 win.   The Nightwatch return to their home field this Sunday at 2 p.m. against the Austin Sol.

ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE (AFL)

The Washington Valor were defeated, 67-51, by the defending-champion Philadelphia Soul Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center. Valor wide receiver Josh Reese set a career high with three receiving touchdowns while Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh threw five touchdowns and was named the game’s MVP.

Current Standings:

  • Philadelphia (3-0)
  • Baltimore (2-1)
  • Washington (0-2)
  • Albany (0-2)

GRIDIRON DEVELOPMENT FOOTBALL LEAGUE (GDFL)

The Huntsville Rockets defeated the Chattanooga Eagles 22-19 in one of the top game last weekend.  The Rockets (1-0) take the top spot in the league.  Here are the rest of the top 10 teams:

  • #2 Georgia Crush (1-0)
  • #3 Mississippi Road Warriors (0-0)
  • #4 Starkville Steeldogs (0-0)
  • #5 Missouri Cyclones (1-0)
  • #6 River City Pythons (1-0)
  • #7 Oklahoma Outlaws (2-0)
  • #8 Memphis Blast (1-0)
  • #9 Chattanooga Eagles (0-1)
  • #10 Alabama Sabers (0-1)

MAJOR ARENA SOCCER LEAGUE (MASL)

The Orlando SeaWolves will join the MASL next season.  The SeaWolves will play at Kissimmee’s Sliver Spurs Arena.  The new team will be part of the MASL’s 2018-19 alignment when the season kicks off in December.

MLR
Glendale Raptors defeat Seattle Seawolves in Major League Rugby action.

MAJOR LEAGUE RUGBY (MLR)

The Glendale Raptors took their 1-0 record to the Pacific Northwest for a rain-soaked slugfest against the Seattle Seawolves on Saturday night.  In front of a sold-out crowd at Starfire Sports Complex and under the pouring rain, the Raptors (2-0) made the most of their chances and were able to defeat a strong Seawolves (1-1) side by a score of 19-15.

Current Standings:

  1. Glendale Raptors (9)
  2. Seattle Seawolves (6)
  3. Houston SaberCats (6)
  4. NOLA Gold (5)
  5. San Diego Legion (5)
  6. Austin Elite (2)
  7. Utah Warriors (1)

NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE (NLL)

The defending NLL champions, Georgia Swarm (11-7), clinched the Eastern Division title while the Saskatchewan Rush (14-4) took the Western Division title as the regular season ended last weekend.  Rochester, New England, Colorado and Calgary also clinched playoff berths.    It took a 16-11 win by the Swarm over the New England Black Wolves in the final regular season game to clinch the Eastern Division title.