By Various Writers
Due to issues with a couple of game recaps this week, some of them games are covered using pictures without an official report. The Beat Writing Team apologises for this inconvenience. We hope you will still be able to enjoy the article and as always, thank you for your support.
Chicago Wildcats @ Vancouver Legion By Kody Hill
Both winless, these two teams hoped to win their first game of the the season during the ‘Friday Night Lights’ broadcast. Chicago came refreshed after a bye week and Vancouver were trying to recover from losing to the current champs, Alaska. Let’s digest what happened in this game!
The quarter proved to be a low scoring affair as the only points came from a field goal by Vancouver. The Legion used the running game alot, even though it was less than effective. Chicago connected on some big plays could not make anything from it. Passing was fairly even between both teams as the defense were getting deflections and interceptions.
Nothing really happened of note in this half as the lead remained the same. The Legion were passing and running with more balance now and they came close to the end zone but in a ‘Super Bowl 49’ twist they passed in a play where they should have run and the result ended in an interception. Chicago could not get anything done on offense. The half ended 3-0, Vancouver.
Vancouver kicked another 3-pointer from Eric Walsh to make the game 6-0. Touchdowns were proving hard to come by in this game. Then Chicago came back with a field goal of their own to make it a 3 point lead for Vancouver again. The quarter ended 6-3.
IT WAS CRUNCHTIME IN A GAME THAT WAS ANYBODY’S FOR THE TAKING…..that happened to be Vancouver. Nobody was covering wide receiver, Trevor Ferril, as he made a big play for a touchdown. The whole fanbase was shocked as it happened! The lead had extended to 13-3. Chicago made a garbage time field goal to make the game 13-6 and Vancouver kicked a third. The game ended 16-6.
Vancouver ended up getting their first win of the season. The Season 9 runners-up will have to wait at least another week for that first win.
Sioux Falls @ Vancouver
London @ Chicago
Las Vegas Fury @ Dallas Lobos By Jon Bond
In the clash between two teams trying to get on their feet and show a faint playoff pulse, the Lobos emerged victorious behind a consistent effort by its defense and quarterback Shabazz Psynergy. After last week’s disaster of a performance, Psynergy looked much more composed under center. He completed 56 of 80 passes for 551 yards and five touchdowns. He didn’t benefit from any ground game. Rookie Royce Robbins had 7 yards and on 4 carries. Mike Osayi had an impressive 22 receptions for 237 yards and two touchdowns, followed closely by Junior Senior III with 197 yards and two touchdowns himself.
Thomas Ramen might have done enough to keep the starting QB gig in the desert. The first-round rookie signal-caller threw his way to 284 yards on 29-of-45 passing and two touchdowns. He had a few nice passes. His touchdown pass to John Blades was mostly a result of some typical slice and dice magic on the play, but he also showed a smidgen of his first-round pick pedigree.Ramen was smart enough to target the second-round pick early and often, connecting nine times for 161 yards. Ramen was picked off by Dante West and Iverson Gamble to devastate the Fury’s comeback chances. It was encouraging performance once again by Max Jackson who returned another kickoff for a touchdown.
The on-again, off-again performances by Robert Redford dropped out of its clockwork-like efficiency at the Hunting Grounds. Since arriving on the Fury, Redford had a big game followed by an average performance each week. He was due for another meaningful performance Saturday, but the Ray West-led defense snuffed out the Fury’s run attack. Redford finished with 97 yards on 14 carries, forcing the Fury to rely heavily on the Ramen-led passing attack. It’s hard to see Las Vegas playing the role of West spoiler if teams can find ways to shut down Redford.
Houston Hyenas @ Atlanta Swarm By Ryan Michaels
Broadcaster: Michael Truilo
Houston came into Atlanta riding high off their victory last week against the Dallas Lobos. Atlanta played host, looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking last minute loss to the Tallahassee Pride.
The Atlanta Swarm opened the game with the ball after receiving the opening kickoff but unfortunately, the drive was cut extremely short. On the third play from scrimmage, Atlanta quarterback, Marcus Dunhill, dropped back to pass and lofted a pass over the left side. Houston cornerback, Ryan Michaels, leaped in front of the intended receiver and pulled the ball from the air. Houston wasted little time with the ball as they scored on their third play from scrimmage, a post pattern thrown from quarterback, Kentez Johnson to Hall of Fame wide receiver, D.R. Sim who screeched down the field, running 60 yards for the touchdown, giving Houston the early lead, 7-0. Atlanta would take advantage of a deep pass over the middle of the field between the Houston safeties, to wide receiver Siege Falco, to enter the Houston side of the field. Another pass to Siege Falco put Atlanta down to the Houston 32 yard line. The Swarm would be unable to move the ball further from there and would have to settle for a field goal, cutting the lead to 7-3. The Hyenas took the ball on the next drive and once again wasted very little time with it. Only a few plays into this drive, Johnson throw a corner route over the right side, this time to Badr Ajlouni, who broke a tackle at the 15 yard line of Atlanta and outraced the other Swarm defenders into the end zone, extending the Houston lead, 14-3. On Atlanta’s next drive they methodically drove down the field to the Hyena 30 yard line, but the field goal would be missed by kicker, Alex Kid, the ball sailing wide right of the goalposts. Fortunately for Atlanta, Houston’s next drive was ended very quickly as Atlanta safety, Aaron Lee stepped in front of an underthrown ball and took it other way. The Swarm were unable to fully capitalize on the turnover though, having to settle for another field goal, pulling them closer to Houston, 14-6. After both teams traded drives back and forth Houston took over with a few minutes left in the half. A deep pass over the left side intended for receiver D.R. Sim, was batted into the air and intercepted by Atlanta safety, Mahmoud Ajlouni and returned all the way down to the Houston 8-yard line. One play later, Marcus Dunhill hit wide receiver, LB Allen III in the back of the end zone for the Swarm’s first touchdown of the game, cutting further in to the Hyena’s lead, 17-13. Houston’s next drive would move quickly down the field and wind up at the Atlanta 1-yard line with 18 seconds left, but they would be unable to punch it into the endzone, settling for a field goal and a 20-13 lead at the half.
With nothing happening for either team in the 3rd quarter, the next score of the game would come in the beginning of the 4th, on a very deep corner route behind the safeties of Houston to Atlanta wide receiver, Boo Chisholm, who coasted into the endzone untouched to tie the game at 20-20. Several minutes later, a deep pass to Houston Hyenas’ non-contract receiver, Josh Fedd, would put the Hyenas for the final score, 27-20.
PoTG: Houston Hyenas Wide Receiver, Badr Ajlouni – 6 receptions for 139 yards and 1 TD
Honorable Mention: Atlanta Swarm Free Safety, Mahmoud Ajlouni – 6 total tackles, 3 INT’s
Carolina Skyhawks @ London Knights By Chris Colon
To start the game off, the London Knights played host to a fiery but confident team in the Carolina Skyhawks. The Knights took possession after winning the coin toss. London came out very excited in this one and passed the ball to start the game off. Right away, you could feel the passion in the air between both rivals who were coming off a tied matchup record from just a season ago. Both teams were tied at one win a piece with only one point separating them from total points scored across both games. The feeling in the air was intense and you could sense a battle was about to ensue. Starting out of the gate, quarterback, Nathan Lee, threw his 14th Interception in three weeks of SFL regular season play. The defender on the play was one of the veterans on the confident Skyhawks franchise, Mr. Phill Hall. Sensing defense was going to play a major factor, the Skyhawks answered back with a three and out drive. Carolina punted the ball away after their first drive of the game. Pinned on their own 1 yard line, London was in danger of giving up a safety. Fearing a turnover, London connected a few passes and began to gain momentum, until out of nowhere, a London player caught the ball near midfield and then fumbled. The player fumbling the ball was Tristan Carr, who was seen cussing in the air as if he was angry at himself for putting the ball on the ground and not holding on. Taking over on London’s 36-yard line, Carolina connected a couple passes before “The Monstet”, Aj Francis, ran one in for a five-yard touchdown; his second of the young season. London then connected on a few passes only to punt the ball away. So far London were scoreless to start the game and hadn’t actually passed the 50-yard line. Carolina received a punt with decent field position and Luyindula did his best to march the ball down field, only to punt the ball back. Both defenses were playing well and forcing punts. London took the ball and punted it away again after a masterful stop and a near sack from “Big Hawk”, Christopher Colon. Both defenses were playing well though London hadn’t forced a turnover yet. That changed when London, in the last minute of the first quarter, forced a terrible interception thrown by Jacques Luyindula. London took over with 44 ticks left in the 1st and it was inside ‘Mike’ linebacker Slinn Shady recording the first interception of his brilliant young career. Finally getting something going, London’s offense ran the ball and passed midfield only for the clock to run out going into the 2nd. London’s momentum was starting to get going. Seemingly, the momentum was thought to be gone until London effectively moved the ball downfield. The Knights were able to complete a beautiful pass for a touchdown. James Hands, who went on to have a decent day, recorded his 6th receiving touchdown of the season. Kicking the ball away, London’s defense came back onto the field with a tied game. Carolina were able to march up the field and eat time off the clock. Luyindula connected with Jalan Miller for his 2nd touchdown of the season to go up 14-7. Carolina were able to get a stop on the next series and force a turnover on downs midway through the 2nd. Carolina went on another beautiful drive and scored on a field goal to go up 17-7. Attempting to force a turnover, the London Knights went on a drive towards the end of the 2nd quarter. “Big Hawk” secured his 3rd sack of the season. The Knights failed again on the very next play and went for a field goal to bring them within one score. Carolina led 17-10. Both teams went into the half playing a decent game.
Both teams were high on their gameplan. Both coaches were laying the plan and in a unique moment, our writers were able to sneak into the locker rooms to catch a special moment in sports. The atmosphere was intense. Headcoach, Sir Chappell, approached his team and riled up his players. It was, however, “Big Hawk” who infused some confidence in his teammates, assuring them that this game was heating up and that they sensed London making this game a lot closer. Carolina were not leaving this game the loser. He was ready for battle and so was the rest of the of the Skyhawks locker room. The home team too was also riled up. Frank Axemall was able to push his team to inspire them and get them ready. Sensing a war was coming on, both teams met each other in the tunnel before coming out onto the field. Colon and Axemall along with each others Head coaches exchanged an intense but respectful glare. Onto the field both teams walked…
Coming out of the half fired up, the London Knights defense forced a stop and recorded a sack from William Davidson. Not much happened through the 3rd, score wise. It was much of a defensive quarter until London scored on a touchdown pass by Nathan Lee with about 3 and a half left in the 3rd. Suddenly, Carolina on their series, marched up the field and Luyindula connected with Miller again for another touchdown with 2:32 left in the 3rd and Carolina took the lead, 24-17. At the end of the 3rd quarter, Luyindula threw his second interception of the game. Sensing the urgency, Head Coach, Liam Crowter decided to go for it on 4th down and converted. The seconds ticked away and all were feeling the intensity as the crowd started roaring. Aj Francis ran through defenders and did his best to close out London at Queensway Stadium. 7 minutes were left, then before you knew it, under 3 minutes and Carolina punted the ball away. After the 2 minute warning, Carolina forced a fumble with a minute and change left and London lay stunned. Slinn Shady yelled to his teammates to not give up. Carolina couldn’t bring the ball up the field as London stood Carolina in their tracks. London took over with a minute left and you could sense a shift was coming. This was a feeling Carolina knew all too well, having been through this just a season ago. You’d have swore Carolina wasn’t ready. On the contrary however, Carolina seemed ready. They were ready. HC Sir Chappell pointed to Nathan Lee and dared him to throw his way. The offense looked onto the field as Miller and Francis had amazing days on the statline. The clock ticked away as it was 10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2.. 1.. Incomplete Hailmary Pass. London, with one second left, attempted another Hailmary pass and failed. Carolina won a hard fought game 24-17 and play St. Louis next week at home while London goes back to stateside to play Chicago. Tough challenges ahead but both teams are capable of answering the bell.
Tallahassee Pride @ Tulsa Desperados By Slinn Shady
Oklahoma City Renegades @ New Orleans Pharaohs By Slinn Shady
Indianapolis Red Devils @ St. Louis Gladiators By Ethan Kye
In a Week 3 clash, we had the 1-1 St. Louis Gladiators taking on the 1-1 Indianapolis Red Devils.
Tom Pepper came into this game toting a high QB rating, 1 sack and 1 interception. The Gladiators were looking to end his reign as the best QB in the league after 2 weeks. So to start off the battle, St. Louis came out blazing with an Aciel to Scott touchdown in the 1st quarter. Bo Knowles, a non- contracted LB would shortly pick off Tom Pepper and a defensive battle would begin. Both teams wouldn’t score again until the second quarter, with both kicking field goals. St. Louis kicker, Matthew Martin, would make his kick and Indianapolis’s kicker would answer back. The second quarter would end with a score of 10 – 3 in St. Louis’s favor.
Both teams came out of the locker rooms ready to blaze. Red Devils would start off with the ball and, unable to convert anything, they would punt to the Gladiators, who in return would move the ball down the field for a field goal. The Red Devils would answer back with a field goal of their own. Indy would get the ball back and hand the ball off to RB, Keith Swearingen, who would make a massive run up the field for 45 yards. The Gladiators would get the ball back only to throw a pick to Steve Veteck and Indy would move the ball down the field to within field goal range where they would set up to have it kicked wide right. St. Louis would then get the ball back to throw it away to free safety, Ashley Rose Finch, a little into the 4th. The Gladiators would answer back with an interception by Freeman Peltier. The Gladiators would then move the ball down the field and RB, Denzel Diaz, punched it in for the score. St. Louis would score again later in the game with a field goal and the Red Devils would answer back with a score. The game would end with a Gladiators victory, 23 – 13 over the Red Devils.
Sioux Falls Sparrows @ Alaska Storm By Jeremy Vega
Game of the Year? Not exactly…
Alaska Storm vs Sioux Falls Sparrows, two undefeated teams through 2 weeks of action. Alaska coming off a comeback win on the road against conference rival Vancouver. Sparrows coming off a thrashing of a win over Conference Rival Fury in their home opener. The SFL community wanted it, and got it. We had hoped we would see a great & competitive game between two power houses fighting for the top spot in the SFL. But we did receive that & the Alaska storm showed why they are ranked #1. Being able to beat the teams they should beat, and out coaching the great teams that should give them problems. Well, once again we were reminded why the Alaska storm head Coach Mighty is a Mastermind.
The Storm dominated the Sparrows to a score of 37-3. Playing perfect in all three phases of the game. Alaska put up 400+ yards on offence while dominating TOP & finishing with zero turnovers. QB Ron Cockren once again put his elite accuracy on show for us as he threw 4 touchdowns to no interceptions and had an 85% completion on 54 attempts. Defensively, the Storm defense shut out the Sparrows. They shut down hot rookie runningback Colin Hart. Confused QB Julian Tyree all night and left the Sparrows offence stalling all night. Big Sexy per usual on a big stage finished with 3.5 sacks and 5 tackles for a loss. Special teams Star Kicker Brad Brechett went 3/3 on field goals with 26 being his longest of the night.
The Sparrows had a tough outing on the road against the reigning champs, nothing to hang their heads on. We all know they will be back even better next week and will continue to get better as the season progresses. Week 4 the Sparrows will head to conference rival Vancouver (1-3) while the Storm will head to Las Vegas to take on their Conference rival the Fury (1-2)
Thank you as always for supporting our beat writers throughout the season.
San Francisco Sharks @ Denver Nightwings By Roby Roby
The 1-1 Denver Nightwings hosted the 0-2 San Francisco Sharks in what turned out to be a Game of the Week style matchup Sunday evening in Week 3 of the very young SFL season. Both teams came into the game trying to improve their standings in the SFL. The Nightwings, led by quarterback Josh Miller, lit up the scoreboard near the last part of the 1st quarter on a 25 yard TD pass to Jockamo Jones. Miller boasted a 154 QB rating the entire first half of play. The Sharks, led by new rookie free agent signing Rob Roby, showed great poise against a Denver team that had only given up 11 points a game this season. The Sharks offensive assault, powered by HB Ogun Zulu (who had a rushing TD in the second quarter), WRs Gabriel Manning & Mike Martino, and TE Matt Burnham slowly churned their way to tie the game at 10-10 and ended the first half trailing 10-13 to a very tenacious Denver team. Denver gained the upper hand behind HB Jarrod McChesney who racked up 94 yards on the ground in the first half.
After a very even first half of play, the game quickly picked up speed in the second half. On the Nightwings first drive, they went up 20-10 on a 67-yard passing touchdown from Miller to the non-contract TE Sam Blanchec. The Sharks answered back on a red zone TD pass from Roby to Martino at the midway point of the 3rd quarter making it a 20-17 ball game in favor of Denver. McChesney with 140 yards rushing through the midway point of the 4th quarter, helped to set up Denver for another 56 yard TD bomb to TE Sam Blanchec. This gave Denver a 27-17 lead. The Sharks, in spite of the air raid assault by Miller, maintained composure in the bottom half of the 4th quarter. Down by 10, Roby led the team into field goal position from the teams own 30-yard line via key receptions from Manning & Burnham. Trailing Denver 20-27, the Sharks converted an onside kick with just over 4 minutes left in regulation. Roby took the field again and lead the Sharks on a 55-yard drive that resulted in a rushing TD by Zulu. With the game tied at 27-27, Jockamo converted a 77 yard TD reception from Miller with just 1:40 seconds left in regulation. The Sharks remained persistent on victory. After a key 4th down conversion, Roby heaved a 52 yard TD pass to Manning which tied the game 34-34, thus sending it into Overtime.
In OT, an unsuccessful first drive for Denver allowed the Sharks to drive down the field and secure a win via a field goal. The Sharks earn their first win of the season entering a bye in week 4. Denver falls to 1-2 and will travel to Oklahoma City next week.
Queen City Corsairs @ Baltimore Vultures By Jeff Melinyshyn
In the finale of the Sunday match ups was the rivalry game between two eastern conference rivals. Queen City traveled from New York to face off against Baltimore. This game went back and forth the whole time. The first quarter did not even yield a single point. At half time the score between the two rivals was knotted at 3 apiece. Baltimore would eventually start their game winning drive with one minute and forty-eight seconds remaining in the 4th quarter. Quarterback Mike Dazzo placed the ball on the string to wide receiver Garren Malone for a 61-yard pass completion that will go down in Baltimore Vulture lore. Running back Troy Gaines would punch in the touchdown a play later. Mike Dazzo finished the night with 409 yards a touchdown and would throw two picks. Troy Gaines had an okay day with 19 yards rushing and the game winning touchdown, but he also helped in the passing game with 45 yards receiving. Garren Malone went bananas for 120 yards and score on 7 catches. Shea Carroll had a field day as well going off for 144 yards. Meanwhile the Baltimore defense was able to intercept AJ Caswell 3 times, making it back to back games that AJ has thrown multiple interceptions. Joe Dazzo, Baltimore Linebacker was all over the field and accounted for 10 tackles. Queen City did do something right and that was block rookie phenom Aman Takkes, he only accounted for 5 tackles. Baltimore’s next game is against the very tough Mexico City Aztecs. If Baltimore can pull off another upset that would move them to 2-2 in a very tough eastern conference.
Meanwhile on the other side of the ball Queen City could not get anything going. This offense which was on fire the first two weeks, did not look like that offense. But this is a well-run organization and you have to bet on them making changes and turning it around. This was a hostile environment from the get go. Quarterback AJ Caswell threw for only 186 yards passing and zero touchdowns, while also throwing 3 interceptions. Star running back Ash Odom also had an off night running the ball for less than 100 and finished with 87 and a touchdown. The leading receiver for the Corsairs was Chris Curtis who had 85 receiving yards on 5 catches. We can chalk this up to possibly overlooking the opponent. But as I stated Queen City has won 4 championships so we should give them the benefit of the doubt on this one. On defense the leading tacklers was corner, Oskar Dunklee and strong safety Nacho Sicario as each had 7 tackles. Nacho was also able to record an interception along with fellow safety Zane Doty. In week 4 Queen City will finally be able to sleep in their own beds as they host the Indy Red Devils in what should be a great contest. Indy looking really good early, could show their might against Queen City in a possible upset and show the SFL that they are for real.