The SFL season draws ever closer! The beginning of the preseason follows months of build preparation and recruitment and this is the first chance for GM’s and coaches alike to get a look at their team in an official environment using a league mandated playbook.
Pre-Season Day 1 Box Scores: http://www.mediafire.com/file/n8410g6uo0cdkgw/Stats%20Day%201.zip
Queen City Corsairs @ San Antonio Vaqueros
The Queen City Corsairs opened proceedings as they visited the San Antonio Vaqueros at Vaqueros Ranch Field. It’s the first match in league history between these two outfits in any capacity.
The Corsairs, led by Erik Barkley, are the dynasty team of the SFL, with four Championship titles to their name. They will be looking to add a fifth trophy to the cabinet but face stiff opposition against the likes of Tallahassee, Atlanta and reigning champions Mexico City in the Eastern Conference.
San Antonio were a Western Conference worst 3-9 record in Season 9 but have gone through a major upheaval during the offseason under the stewardship of owner and league veteran Greg Corky.
Queen City’s decision to go without a star corner will be questioned once again in the aftermath of the game, with Vaquero’s QB Joey Langdon skewering the Corsairs secondary for 231 yards and two touchdowns. The second year quarterback showed little sign of the nerves which plagued his interception riddled rookie season, capping off a 13-17 victory with a game sealing touchdown pass to Marshall Julien with just under three and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Despite driving downfield in response,Corsairs QB A.J. Caswell was picked off with under a minute to go by FS Jared Olsen, allowing the Vaqueros to run the clock down. The Corsairs last minute desperation drive was shut down to secure a victory for the home side.
Many feel San Antonio’s season will be defined by strong special teams play, augmented by the strong boots of kicker Antonio Flowerglass and punter Arminius Davis. Davis’ special talent for the position was certainly on display, with booming kicks helping San Antonio dominate the field position battle.
Whilst the league’s most successful head coach will no doubt be disappointed by his teams inability to secure a warm up game victory, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that once the playbook chains are unshackled Erik Barkley will be able to turn this Queen City outfit into a championship challenging team.
For Corky however, San Antonio must capitalize on this early success and turn this win into meaningful regular season results. The playoff picture will be more hotly contested than ever before with only two guaranteed places per conference. It remains to be seen if the Vaqueros can live up to the early season hype.[masterslider id=”3″]
Dallas Ruffnecks @ Oklahoma City Renegades
In the late fixture, the Dallas Ruffnecks would take on the Oklahoma City Renegades at Robbers Cave.
Steven Mullenax’s Dallas side suffered a major championship hangover in season 9. A heartbreaking defeat to a Queen City side that many considered underdogs lead to the Ruffnecks missing out on playoff football for the first time since Season 6 when they were known as the Dallas Law.
The offseason has been one of ups and downs for the Ruffnecks. Mullenax was successful in luring Macc Wavy Jr. back into the fold as QB and Offensive Coordinator, but the agreed acquisition of former St. Louis Gladiators Director of Scouting and Offensive Coordinator Liam Crowter hit the rocks when he was successful in his ownership bid with the London Knights. Despite this, the Ruffnecks retained the services of perennial MVP candidate Troy Loshaw at Free Safety and looked to build around him as a strong defensive core.
Oklahoma City failed to capitalize on a fast opening to Season 9 by falling to a 5-7 record, but the show will go on for Michael Irvine as OKC look to finally return to the summit of League football and go one better to secure the league championship for the first time in their history. They will look to do this behind a strong receiving core and coverage team.
They’ll also look to capitalize on the arm of Deacon Nickens. The rookie QB had a blistering start to his SFL career with a 393 yds, 3 TD game to help take the Renegades to a 21-24 victory. The two teams exchanged touchdowns in the last couple of minutes leading to a dramatic finish. With 40 seconds left on the clock, Wavy Jr. was simply unable to break down a determined Renegades coverage corps, but he had good numbers on the day, failing to break the 300 yds mark but matching Nickens for TD’s.
With Wavy Jr. at the helm of the offense however, the Ruffnecks look set to be far more dynamic on offense than last season. Mullenax’s defensive pedigree should allow Dallas to challenge far more effectively both on the ground and in the air than was evidenced in this display.
For the elder statesman of the league, Michael Irvine will no doubt be pleased by the clutch attitude displayed by his fledglings, but Renegades teams of past seasons have shown good preseason intensity and form yet failed to to meet expectations. It remains to be seen if OKC have the resilience and drive to last a full twelve week season, but if this is evidence of what’s to come, they have a great chance of success.[masterslider id=”4″]