Obscure Sports News (6/20/18)

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.

Dallas

Dallas Rattlers take over sole possession of first place in the MLL

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.

Current Standings:

  • Eastern Conference
    • Connecticut Sun (7-4)
    • Washington Mystics (6-5)
    • Atlanta Dream (6-5)
    • New York Liberty (3-6)
    • Chicago Sky (3-7)
    • Indiana Fever (1-10)
  • Western Conference
    • Los Angeles Sparks (8-2)
    • Phoenix Mercury (10-3)
    • Seattle Storm (8-3)
    • Dallas Wings (5-4)
    • Minnesota Lynx (4-6)
    • Las Vegas Aces (3-9)

 

 

 

 

 

Champions Are Crowned in AFL, AUDL and GDFL

sf

San Francisco FlameThrowers claim their first AUDL title with a 30-29 win over the Toronto Rush

 

It was championship weekend in the world of obscure sports as three sports leagues played their title games.   Let’s take a look at the results:

Arena Football League (AFL)

The Philadelphia Soul repeated as ArenaBowl champions with a thrilling 44-40 win over the Tampa Bay Storm.  The Soul rallied in the second half, scoring 30 points, after trailing the Storm 20-14 at halftime.  Soul Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh started the second half with a 40-yard touchdown throw to Darius Reynolds to lead 21-20. That play got the Soul’s momentum moving in the right direction. They led 28-27 at the end of the third quarter, and then shut down a Tampa Bay drive at the beginning of the fourth. A Radaubaugh throw to Darius Prince on a short fourth-and-goal put the Soul ahead for good.

American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL)

The San Francisco FlameThrowers stunned the ultimate disc world this weekend as they knocked off the Madison Radicals in the semifinal game and then upset the Toronto Rush 30-29 to win their first title.   With 3:12 left, San Francisco received the disc, leading 29-28.  They maintained possession of the disc for nearly two minutes. San Francisco worked the disc forward, backward, side to side, and forward again. With just 1:21 on the clock, Cassidy Rasmussen threw the score to Marcelo Sanchez.  Toronto got a goal with 38 seconds remaining to keep within reach. The Rush pinned San Francisco in its own end zone but couldn’t come up with a block. The FlameThrowers were able to run out the clock to secure the 30-29 victory.

Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL)

The Oklahoma Thunder repeated as Gridiron Bowl champions with a convincing 51-12 win over the Chattanooga Eagles on Saturday in Memphis.  (Note:  There is no posting of the game report from this game on any of the league’s or team’s social media sites.  Only the final score.)

 

The Obscure Sports Report

mll

Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – The Denver Outlaws opened the league’s 16th season with a 13-12 win over the Charlotte Hounds in the first week of action.  Mike Bocklet led the defending league champions with four goals and one assist in the win.  Bocklet scored the game winner off of a rebound with 3:57 left.  Other scores from the weekend:  Boston 18, Florida 17 (ot); New York 15, Chesapeake 14 (ot); Ohio 10, Atlanta 9.

Arena Football League (AFL) – The Philadelphia Soul remained undefeated and alone atop the league standings with a 49-31 win over the Washington Valor.  Soul WR Shaun Kauleinamoku led the team with 12 receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.  Kauleinamouku broke open the game in the third quarter with a 13 yard reception from QB Dan Raudabaugh for a 35-31 lead.  In other games:  Tampa Bay 62, Cleveland 61

PRO Rugby (PRO) – There is little hope that the league will return for a second season.  There has been a dispute between the league and USA Rugby in sanctioning the league.  There has been no schedule or any signs of the league’s return after a reasonable first season in 2016.  The league had five teams last year with the Denver Stampede winning the title last July.

National Lacrosse League (NLL) –  With two games left in the regular season, Georgia, Saskatchewan, Colorado and Vancouver have clinched playoff berths.  Georgia currently has the league’s best record at 12-4.  All of the other teams are still in playoff contention except for Buffalo and Calgary.

Indoor Football League (IFL) – The Iowa Barnstormers won their fourth straight game with a 31-25 win over the Cedar Rapids Titans in the “Iowa Bowl” last weekend.  The Titans pulled within 24-19 early in the fourth quarter when QB Brion Carnes found Franklyn Williamson for a two-yard TD pass but the Barnstormers came back and answered with a 7-yard run to extend their lead to 31-19.

National Arena League (NAL) – The Columbus (GA) Lions defeated the High Country Grizzlies 57-44 last Saturday to go above .500 on the season at 3-2.  The Lions have struggled after going undefeated last season and winning the league title in another league.  Against the Grizzlies, the Lions receivers dominated the game as Michael Reeve had 104 yards on 10 receptions and two touchdowns and Jarmon Fortson had six receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown.

Arena Pro Football (APF) – The six-team league has announced that it will merge with the Can-Am Indoor Football League in 2018 to form the American Arena League (AAL).  It will initially be split into North and South Divisions.  Here are the current standings in the APF:  Florida Tarpons (3-0), Richmond Rough Riders (2-0), River City Raiders (1-1), Savannah Coastal Outlaws (0-1), Birmingham Outlawz (0-3)

Champions Indoor Football League (CIFL) –  The Sioux City Bandits (6-1) and Amarillo Venom (6-0) lead their respective divisions going into this week’s games.  The Bandits will host the Western Michigan Ironmen (3-4) while the Venom will be on the road to play the Texas Revolution (4-2).

Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) – The Boston Renegades (2-0) remained on top of Division 1 after a thrilling overtime 26-22 win over the DC Divas (2-1).  The Montreal Blitz (2-0) defeated the Maine Mayhem 49-14 to stay on top of Division 2 and the Maine Mayhem (1-1) continues to be the top team in Division 3 after its loss to Montreal.

Central Basketball Association (CBA) – The Illinois Coal Miners ended Ft. Wayne’s 14-game winning streak with a 100-74 win in Danville last weekend.  Tyron Criswell lead the Miners with 30 points for the win.

NBA D-League (NBDL) – The Raptors 905 have forced a third and decisive game in the NBA D-League finals against the Rio Grand Valley Vipers.  Pascal Siakam scored 32 points to help the Raptors to a 95-85 win.   Game three will be Thursday night on ESPNU.

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – Jess Fishlock was named the league’s Player of the Week after her performance in a win for the Seattle Reign’s 5-1 win over the Houston Dash.  Fishlock scored the first goal in the 18th minute and then assisted on a Megan Rapinoe’s volley to make it 2-0.  A rebound from another shot led to Beverly Yanez’s goal later to make it 4-0.  Seattle is currently two points behind the North Carolina Courage in the league standings for first place.

Professional Bowler’s Association League (PBA League) – The L.L. Bean PBA League will be playing their tournament over the next few weekends on ESPN.  The teams participating are the Dallas Strikers, New York Kingpins, Philadelphia Hitmen, L.A. X, Motown Muscle, Brooklyn Styles, Silver Lake Atom Splitters, and Portland Lumberjacks

 

 

ArenaBowl XXIX:  Strange Place and Time


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MILTON’S ARENABOWL PICK:   Arizona 72, Philadelphia 65