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 apologizes for this inconvenience. We hope you will still be able to enjoy the article and as always, thank you for your support.
Alaska Storm @ London Knights
Week 5 of the SFL was led off this week by what looked to be a non-contest when 4-0 Alaska, traveling 12 hours across various time zones, to face off with 1-3 London. Alaska was coming off a win against Las Vegas where it was closer than a lot of people expected. London having lost the last 3 games needed to show something against the defending champs. The game’s first score was when Storm quarterback Ron Cockren hooked up with Storm receiver Optimus Cline for a 15-yard TD. London would answer that score on the very next drive with London quarterback Nathan Lee hooking up with James Hands for a 52-yard TD pass. Alaska was driving the next drive and then London linebacker Slinn Shady made a spectacular one-handed interception at the 3-yard line deep in their own side of the field. But that momentum was short lived as the Storm was able to score 2 points stopped Ray King-Ball in the end zone for a safety. Including that safety Alaska would outscore London the rest of the game 23-10 for a final of 30-17. London put in a good plan and hung in with Alaska pretty much the whole game. The problem as third downs. Jason Williams, Storm fullback, seemed to make 3rd down after 3rd down conversions. Optimus Cline had 116 receiving yards against a London defense that is giving yards to everyone. Storm receiver Robert Merrill joined the party as well catching two touchdowns. Defensively, Storm defensive tackle Alex Dominguez has been a terror, but he was only able to record one sack. Linebacker D.J. Majesty led the Storm in tackles with only 4. The way London gashed them with passes and mixing in the run, you must figure more teams are going to try exactly what London did. The Storm could not come up with a turnover of London quarterback Nathan Lee, who basically has been handing turnovers to teams on a silver platter this season. Next up for the challenge of trying to knock off Alaska from the ranks of the undefeated is San Francisco on Sunday night. This game should be a measuring stick for San Fran to see just how far they’ve come since week 1 debacle against Las Vegas.
Meanwhile the game plan that was installed by Liam Crowter was a nice game plan. London was able to move the ball all game. This was definitely their best performance on offense this entire season. Nathan Lee looked like the quarterback London saw when they signed him in the offseason. Tristan Carr hand a second back-to-back 100+ receiving yard performance. James Hands is looking in form. Ray King-Ball looks like someone who can actually run and knows what he is doing. Donnie Hands is still looking for find is grove, but he is slowly finding his stride offensively. The receiving corps did have struggles with drops in the 4th quarter. When Nathan Lee was trying to bring this team back, the receivers seemed like they never caught a football in their life. The defense is still holy and not in a good way. The 3rd down problems need to be solved. This offense needs possessions and the defense needs to step it up. Lee, with his best performance had 317 passing yards (although it should have been more), 1 passing touchdown and zero interceptions. Donnie Hands had 37 receiving yards and 3 catches. The offense needs to get him involved and open up the middle for Tristan more. Speaking of Tristan Carr, 124 receiving yards and 14 catches. James Hands 71 yards on 3 catches and touchdown. Defensively Slinn Shady is the standout, 1 interception, 8 tackles, 5 assists. William Davidson led the Knights in sacks with 2. There is a lot to build from this performance against the top team in the SFL. London needs to turn things around within its conference and this could be that building block to end the losing streak at 4 games. Next fixture for London is Baltimore. This should be a big game for either team who wins. Also, sources have confirmed the news that Gerald Smith is the new Head Coach for the London Knights and Liam Crowter stepped down after the loss to Alaska but will remain owner and help out Gerald.
by Jeff Melinyshyn
Houston @ Tallahassee
In a game that had the potential to shape the number one seed in the Southern Conference, the Tallahassee Pride played host to the Houston Hyenas in Week 5 action of Season 11 of the SFL.
The Pride came out fast and furious with strong safety Alex Bond stepping in front of a pass to Badr Ajlouni and taking the ball back the other way, all the way to the house and only 13 seconds into the game the Pride had the lead 7-0. The Hyenas offense would shake off the first series and drove down the field to the Tallahasse red zone, having to settle for a short field goal and the lead was cut to 7-3. The teams would trade punts on their next drives and Tallahassee would begin to lean on the stud running back Jaye Eniola, as he plunged into the end zone from 3 yards out for the first of his FOUR touchdowns on the day, Pride extended their lead 14-3. After another interception by the Pride defense they found themselves at the Houston 32 yard line, the first play from scrimmage there put them at the Houston 2 yard line as Hyena strong safety Eddie Gauged chased Eniola down from behind to save the touchdown. 2 plays later though and Eniola would finish off the drive with his second touchdown of the first half, further extending the Pride lead; 21-3.
The second half became a do or die situation for the Hyenas after Eniola once again took a handoff and ran straight up the gut of the Houston defense. 72 yards later and Eniola would find himself in the end zone, untouched by the Hyenas and pushing the Pride lead even further, 28-3. After the only miscue by Jaye Eniola, a fumble at the Tallahasse 20 yard line, Houston would take advantage, handing the ball off to Warren Murray, who would push his way into the end zone from 5 yards out, cutting into the lead 28-10. After a Pride punt, the Hyenas took over at their own 42 yard line, a swing pass out to Murray seemed like it would only be good for about 8 yards, but a nice spin move by Murray would make a defender miss and a key block down field by tight end Yasin Clifton would spring him into the open field and he outraced the rest of the Tallahassee defense to the end zone and shrink the deficit even more, 28-17. The Hyenas weren’t done yet with the third quarter as they drove down the field after a Pride punt to the Tallahassee 13 yard line. Kentez dropped back to pass and found the “Doctor” D.R. Sim on a post route across the middle as he crossed the goal line and pulled Houston within 4 points, 28-24. Tallahassee weren’t quite done with the third quarter themselves and with 8 seconds left in the quarter, quarterback Christian Christiansen found a wide open Ken Gossett on the left side of the defense. No one would be able to catch him as he coasted into the end zone and gave the Pride a little bit of breathing room heading into the fourth quarter, 35-24. A field goal by Tallahassee pushed the lead to 38-24 with a little over 5 minutes left in the game. After another interception by Alex Bond, Eniola would get his fourth touchdown of the game on a handoff up the middle, breaking 2 tackles on his way to the end zone from the Houston 46 yard line and extend the lead to 45-24. Another field goal by the Pride would effectively put them out of reach for the Hyenas. Houston would salvage a bit of pride though with a 2nd touchdown pass from Johnson to Sim, giving us the final score 31-48.
Player of the Game: TAL RB Jaye Eniola – 29 carries for 240 yards and 4 touchdowns
Honorable Mention: HOU WR D.R. Sim – 6 receptions for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns
By Ryan Michaels
Carolina @ Indianapolis
Here at the 9th Circle we bared witness to a great defensive match up. We saw interceptions. We saw sacks. We saw clutch tackles. We saw an amazing game between both defenses however we saw a great game from AJ Francis. We had the 1-3 Red Devils play host to the 4-0 Skyhawks. If you love close games then you will love this one.
On the opening series, Carolina looked good getting downfield. Aj Francis marches on a few brilliant runs. Jacques Luyindula connects with Jalan Miller on a couple throws. Though the drive was halted by Indy’s defense forcing a punt. Indy now comes out for their first series of the game. Only to fail on three plays straight as Carolina’s defense forces a punt as well. Now starting out from midfield and Carolina moves up field. Rumbling and bowling guys over. Aj Francis marches. Then seemingly out of nowhere Indy’s Steve Vetack snatches a pretty throw out of the air on an interception in the endzone. Starting the series on the 20 from a touchback. Keith Swearingen runs down field to the 50. Running again for the first down. Indianapolis wearing their all red and white helmet uniforms gets a lucky break on a Carolina encroachment penalty. Christopher Colon then bull dozes through the line of scrimmage with a crushing tackle bringing the 1st quarter to a close.
Starting the 2nd Indy continues their drive only to be forced to go for a field goal but missed the kick. Carolina comes on now and Aj Francis like a bolt of lightning bursts through with an amazing run. Brings it up to about the 4 yard line. Carolina a few plays later scores on a touchdown pass. The receiver on the play was Harish Prasad, brother of OLB Shravan Prasad who was seen along the sideline fist pumping. It was Harish’s first career TD. Carolina clicking now, on Indy’s series. The Skyhawks secondary snatches an interception. Free Safety Sir Chappell and Head Coach of the team gets his 5th int of the season. Carolina goes on a beautiful drive but was forced to go for a field goal on Indy’s 9 yard line. Carolina at this point with 4:44 left in the first half goes up 10-0. Indianapolis responds with a sloppy series and punts the ball away 3:40 left in the first half. However Indy’s defense kept Indy in the game with an interception and Indianapolis’s offense rushes onto the field. Connecting on a couple plays before the 2:00 minute warning. Swearingen bursts through with a brilliant run. Seconds go by before Quarterback Tom Pepper throws a bolt to Eli McCormack for an Indy TD with seconds left in the first half. Indianapolis down 10-7 and is now within 3. We go into the half with a close game on our hands.
Indianapolis receives the ball to start the 3rd. Quarterback Tom Pepper flings a couple brilliant throws as Indy moves down the field effectively. Reaching midfield Swearingen catches the ball and spins away from a tackle. Connecting on a couple plays, Indianapolis decides to go for it on 4th down. They get the first down only for Swearingen to go down with an injury. He would later come back into the game. The Red Devils moving along effectively to the 22 yd line. Pepper with a beautiful throw in a tight window to McCormick on Carolina’s 7 yd line. Out of nowhere it was Defensive Tackle Christopher Colon rushing through with a crushing sack. He celebrates as it is now his fifth game in a row in which he has recorded a sack. Bringing his season total to 5.5 sacks on the season. Carolina forcing a field goal as Indianapolis ties the game 10-10 with 4:33 left in the 3rd. Carolina takes over as Indy kicks the ball away and Carolina takes over on their own 27. Francis runs for a 5 yard gain but gains nothing on 2nd and 3rd down. Carolina punts the ball away. Both defenses were playing well and forcing stops all game. Key players for both defenses chipping in with clutch tackles. As the 3rd Quarter come to a close. Both teams can make a case for who earns the win more.
Carolina starts the 4th off badly being forced to punt the ball away. Indianapolis takes the ball on their own 22. Carolina’s defense pushes the rb back. As Beaurivers Monroe and Julius Williams come through the line of scrimmage to bring down the runner well behind the los. Rb Keith Swearingen returns to the field not feeling 100% but still playing hard. Indianapolis brings the ball up the field near midfield. Though Carolina forces a punt with 7 minutes left in the game. Both teams were tired at this point and needed to dig into their playbooks. It was Carolina’s Aj Francis with the answer in the form of a fantastic run and brought down by Steve Vetack who prevented a possible TD run. Carolina now had the ball on indy’s 20. Luyindula takes a shot at the endzone with an attempted pass to Jalan Miller. It went incompleted as Carolina was now forced to go for a field goal. They connect and now go up 13-10. Indy now off the kick return get the ball back with 3:46 left in the game. Indianapolis starts moving the ball to midfield on some calculated throws. With time coming off the clock. Carolina fans who came to the game were yelling hard for their Skyhawk players. Keith Swearing answera with a phenomenal run past the 50 yard line bring the ball down to the CAR 43 yd line with 2:32 left in he game. Bringing the ball up now to Carolina’s 31 yard line. Indianapolis was clicking on every cylinder. Carolina though were still confident and anticipating a possible mistake. With Indianapolis playing well at the moment it was hard to see a mistake. They were having a brilliant second half and were looking to score. The two minute warning arrives and you can sense a dramatic finish was brewing. Carolina was able to force Indy to go for a field goal with a minute left. Indianapolis kicks and the field goal is MISSED!! As the Indianapolis crowd is at a silence and the team included. Carolina’s defense jumps and celebrates as the realize they effectively did their job. Forcing a fg miss with under a minute left. They effectively seemed to give Carolina the win. Carolina knees the ball three straight plays and punts the ball away as Indy is tackled for the stop. The clock read 0:00 and Carolina pulls off an unthinkable as they are now 5-0 on the season for the first time in franchise history. Putting the rest of the league on notice as they head into their bye week strong. They now get a much needed rest as they now prepare for a round 2 match up in the Eggplant Bowl Rnd 2. Week 7 will see Carolina vs London in Carolina. You won’t wanna miss that one. Indianapolis now falls to 1-4 and must prepare for a tough Chicago squad who are looking to move up in the conference. Tune in next week as week 6 rolls by with the return of SFL REDZone week.
By Christopher Colon
Baltimore @ St. Louis
Unfortunately the Beat Writing team was unable to provide a recap for the Baltimore @ St. Louis game, and we also were unable to secure any pictures from the game. We sincerely apologise.
Chicago @ Queen City
Rewind to Season 9, and this matchup would be the marquee game of the week. Two Elite franchises boasting powerful offenses duking it out for league supremacy. Skip back to the present day and you have what could be described as a ‘David vs. Goliath’ type battle between squads at opposite ends of the Eastern Conference. Queen City have started Season 11 much like they start every season: with victories. Chicago, on the other hand, have suffered a slump since their winning debut season last year in Season 9. A top 5 offense and defense was going up against a team who can only be described as ‘middle of the road’. A Corsairs victory was expected, and they duly delivered.
In a game where defense and a strong running game proved to be decisive, the Corsairs ground out a solid victory, shitting down Chicago’s passing game that had proved so prolific against London in Week 4. Queen City’s ball hawking secondary related their financial investment yet again, picking off ET King 4 times and returning the ball for a total of 74 yards. As expected, standout rookies, Oskar Dunklee and Achilles Franke snagged an interception each (Franke actually came down with 2) but fellow rookie, Leroy Jenkins also got in on the act, picking off King before bringing the ball back for 18 yards. This was Jenkins’ first pick of his career and the Corsairs coaching staff will be hoping he can keep up this level of production as the season wears on. Queen City’s run defense didn’t fare quite as well, allowing Wildcats running back, J Calvin Kim, to carry for 110 yards on just 16 carries. Kim isn’t seen as one of the elite running backs in the league currently, so backs like AJ Francis and Denzel Diaz may be licking the lips at facing the Queen City front seven. On the offensive side of the ball, as previously mentioned, the men in green pounded Chicago into submission all game long, riding the back of a typical workhorse performance from Ash Odom. Odom proved why most of the community agree that he is an elite ball-carrier, trucking forward for 247 yards and a score. Chicago simply couldn’t stop him and had insult added to injury when AJ Caswell added a rushing score from close range. This was Caswell’s only touchdown of the game though as he struggled to get much going through the air, throwing a pick and relying heavily on his workhorse back. This sub par play has summed up a slow start to the season for the quarterback, who isn’t living up to his own high standards.
For the Wildcats, it was another case of decent defensive play not being backed up by the offense. Chicago were hoping ET Kind would build of his near-perfect display from Week 4, but would ultimately wind up disappointed. King did connect with his running back for a touchdown but threw for significantly less that 200 yards, as well as 4 interceptions that killed any chance of a Wildcats comeback after falling behind 17-10 at the half. The coaching staff can be encourage though after a good day at the office for rookie wide receiver Buchanon Simons, who totaled 92 yards receiving, however the issue still remains that Chicago’s offense just isn’t prolific enough to compete with a lot of the teams in the Eastern Conference. On defense, veteran cornerback Blake Hamrac snagged a rare interception and the hard working linebackers made a lot of tackles stick, but the Wildcats defense simply couldn’t get the Queen City offense off the field as the Corsairs accrued 21 first downs over the course of the game.
In the end it was a story of a more talented team beating an inferior squad like they should’ve done. Queen City were clinical and Chicago couldn’t keep pace. That’s why one franchise is 4-1 and the other sits at 1-3.
By Matthew Slinn
Mexico City @ Sioux Falls
No recap, but we have pictures!
Vancouver @ San Francisco
First Half: The Vancouver Legion traveled to the Shark Tank on Sunday evening where they met a fierce Shark team that was looking for a feast. Legion running back Kody Hill put the first points on the scoreboard when he took a handoff 75 yards for a Legion touchdown. On the Sharks second drive, the Sharks converted a 4th and inches play which kept them alive and eventually led to a game-tying TD pass from Rob Roby to tight end Matt Burnham. With pressure from the Sharks linebacker Chad Guy and a great tip from cornerback Camden Hoffman, the Sharks forced an interception and took a 10-7 lead after a 30 yard field goal by the kicker Rahzatarien Sloan who boasts a perfect 6 of 6 on the year. Kody Hill ripped up the half with 111 yards rushing and a touchdown. However, the game was knotted at 10-10 at halftime.
Second Half: The second half turned out to be a game of contention with lots of back and forth action. The Sharks, new rookie free agent signing sensation Christiano Torres intercepted Legion Quarterback Mark Biddix which allowed the Sharks to take a solid 13-10 lead early in the 3rd quarter. The teams played a game of tough-nosed football and it wasn’t until less than 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter that allowed the Kicker Eric Walsh to tie that game at 13-13. Wide receiver Brett Killian made a highlight reel catch in the early 4th quarter which appeared to give the Legion a boost, but it was the tenacious defense and swarming gang tackling of the Sharks that outnumbered the Legion offensive. Led by Chad ‘2 Ply” Guy, Abner St. John and Torres rallied the troops against the Legion creating multiple turnovers on downs which to a 40 yard Sloan FG which put the Sharks up 16-13 setting up a key victory over the Legion. Biddix ended the game 19 for 30 with 205 yards and 3 INTs. Despite his first-half heroics, Kody Hill ended the game with 121 yards on 12 carries. Chad Guy and Abner St. John produced 14 Tackles and a sack combined. The Legion fall to 1-4 on the season and host the Denver Nightwings in Week 6, while the Sharks improve to 2-2 and will travel to the frigid waters of Alaska to play in the Eye of the Storm on SFL Primetime Sunday Night.
By Rob Roby
Tulsa @ Denver
In a game between two teams with a combined record of 1-6 coming into this game, no one knew what to expect. Would this be a close game? Would this be a blowout? Could Tulsa take their first win of the season after being a playoff team last season? Would New Orleans win and hit .500? The game started off slow, with the first quarter ending in a score of 3-0 with Tulsa in the lead. The second quarter started with more of the same, Tulsa mustered up another drive ending in a field goal to make the score 6-0. After forcing New Orleans to punt on their next drive, Tulsa looked to add on to their lead. On 2nd and 4, Michael Martin threw a swing pass to running back Sonzo Robinson who subsequently fumbled the ball. The fumble was recovered by New Orleans on the Tulsa 27 yard line. The Pharaohs capitalized on this opportunity with a Xander Gold touchdown pass to Leroy Brown to put the score at 7-6 with New Orleans taking their first lead of the game. This lead would be short lived however as on the ensuing kickoff, Charles Ball returned the kick all the way to the house to put Tulsa back up 13-7. The half would end with this score.
After halftime, Tulsa received the kickoff and wasted no time putting together a long 5-minute scoring drive ending in a touchdown pass from quarterback Michael Martin. To this point, The Pharaohs only score of the day came on a very short drive due to recovering a fumble, otherwise the offense was unable to put a full drive together. Now into the 4th, on the New Orleans 3-yard line, Sonzo Robinson took a shovel pass from Michael Martin into the end zone to make the score 27-7 and basically decimate the Pharaoh’s hopes of coming back into the game. New Orleans would finally be able to put something together on their final drive, moving up to the Tulsa 23 yard line, but the clock would wind down before they could score and the game ended at 27-7. Tulsa earned their first win of the young season putting them at 1-4. With the loss New Orleans dropped to 1-3.
By AJ Francis
Las Vegas @ Denver
Denver drove the field through the air, with QB #6 Josh Miller finding receivers early on the sidelines to inch up the field after CB #38 BJ Armstrong started Denver off strong on their own 43 yard line. After a sack from DT #98 Mike “Fats” Johnson, WR #11 Jockamo Jones caught the early TD over FS #35 Anthony Wyo. However, the Extra Point was blocked by DT #90 Gibbons. Denver with the lead, 0-6.
Las Vegas pushed back, firing HB #28 Robert Redford repeatedly into the teeth of the Denver Defense. QB #11 Thomas Ramen finally threw a dart to WR #16 Brett Funk to put the Fury into Field Goal range, relying on K #1 Matt Rage to cannon a 48 yard attempt straight through the uprights. Las Vegas cut the lead to a FG, 3-6
Denver stood and participated in the exchange, changing pace slightly and getting HB #32 Jarrod McChesney involved to start off the drive, before returning to their sideline short-to-mid passing attack. The Fury seemed to pick up on Denver’s plan, and began to gain some defensive traction, forcing the Nightwings to punt. Although, they might have regretted the result, as they were pinned on their own 1 yard line after a beautiful special teams play.
Las Vegas relied on their stud HB to get them out of the hole they had been pushed into, working in some hard-to-diagnose pass routes that were successful in a few different plays during the drive. QB #11 Thomas Ramen even found a chance to work his wide receiver core into the mix, hitting WR #16 Brett Funk on a post route to keep the drive alive and extend into Nightwings territory. DE #77 Bandit Bandditto sacked QB #11 Thomas Ramen as he broke free of his block, which seemingly rattled the young QB as he threw to an obviously covered receiver and surrendered an interception to the Nightwings secondary on his next pass attempt.
WR #10 Ken McCarro and HB #32 Jarrod McChesney put Denver on their back during the ensuing drive, gauging the Fury for chunks of yards at a time during their sprint to the Las Vegas Red Zone. However, at the 21 yard line, CB #39 Merrick Itera stoned the Denver run attack, fueling the Fury Defense to hold the Nightwings to a chipshot field goal. Denver was up 3 – 9.
Las Vegas dished out another helping of HB #28 Robert Redford, handing him the rock play after play, driving towards FG range as they raced the 1st Half clock. The Nightwing Defense recovered quickly, though – stiffening as the field shortened and holding the Fury at bay; forcing them to call on K #1 Matt Rage to add 3 more points to the board. Denver takes the lead into the half, 6-9.
With the Fury receiving the ball to start off the 2nd Half, Thomas Ramen and Co. seemed confident in their productive running game as they stayed on the ground en route to a 3 and out. P #7 Dustin McRack boomed the punt from the Las Vegas 20 to the Nightwings 30.
The Nightwings came out emboldened by the home crowd, pushing the Fury defense around the field at will. WR #82 Logan Keel finally got involved in the game, coming down with a few key reception to keep the drive going while HB #32 Jarrod McChesney ran roughshod through the Fury trenches. Las Vegas defiantly stood tall once the Nightwings got into the Red Zone, with a critical pass deflection from ILB #99 Levant Irvine forcing the Nightwings to take the field goal. Denver extends their lead by 3, 6-12.
Las Vegas was clearly suprised by the hard charge of the Denver Offense on the last possession, as the entire offense looked out of sorts in a quick 4 play possession ending in a punt.
The Nightwings picked up where they left off once receiving the ball again, feeding their monster HB to bring the Fury secondary closer to the line and then striking deep while the defense was out of position. Back on the Las Vegas 15, Denver looked poised to put the game out of reach as WR #82 Logan Keel caught a crossing route to give the Nightwings a 1st and goal. As the sun set on the Richard Snowden Memorial Stadium, the Fury found the grit to resist the relentless Nightwings attack. The Fury Defense ground the Nightwings offensive push to a halt. Holding Denver, once again, to a field goal. Nightwings lead, 15-6.
The Fury received the ensuing kickoff and immediately went to work, dictating the pace with a steady running attack with some West Coast flashes, much like their cross-field opponents. Pushing into Nightwings territory, WR #81 John Blades made a contested reception in traffic to keep the drive alive and gave QB #11 Thomas Ramen a chance to make something happen. That situation worked for the Denver Secondary as well, as they were able to come away with a clutch pass deflection to hold the Fury to 3, maintaining a 6 point lead, 9-15.
As the Nightwings got the ball back, everyone in the stadium seemed to know to expect more of what they had already seen and Denver didn’t disappoint. A relentless running attack coupled with a shot deep here and there to keep the defense on their heels and away from the line of scrimmage. DT #98 Mike “Fats” Johnson was having none of it, though, standing up the running attack around mid-field after sharing successive run stops with FS #35 Anthony Wyo. With 2 Minutes left in the game, Denver was held to a punt from the 50 yard line.
QB #11 Thomas Ramen came out on to the field with a singular purpose; to put his team in the lead and get the “W”. With an immediate strike to WR #81 John Blades followed up by a second blow on the opposite side of the field to WR #16 Brett “Too Much” Funk to put the squad within 20 yards of the promised land. It fell to HB #28 Robert Redford to blaze the trail, with a bruising rush for a Las Vegas touchdown. Las Vegas takes the lead, 16-15.
With the spectre of a missed extra point ever-present above their heads, the Nightwings marched towards the field to salvage their hopes of a home victory. The SFL Gods are fickle, though – and CB #39 Merrick Itera snatched an errant pass into coverage and came down with a crucial interception to give the Fury possession with the clock, for the first time in the game, on their side. The Fury stuck to their plan, punishing the D-Line of Denver with successive rush plays, burning the remaining game clock as they forced the Nightwings to use their timeouts one by one. Putting it on their defense, the Fury punted off to Denver with less than a minute to go in the game. With P #7 Dustin McRack pinning the Nightwings on the 1 yard line, the Nightwings took the field for a last ditch effort to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Seeing a matchup he was looking for, QB #6 Josh Miller attempted to catch the Fury defense unawares with a quick run up the middle that was snuffed at the line. Rolling the dice, he opted to run the same play a second time, and the Las Vegas Fury proved up to the task, stopping HB #32 Jarrod McChesney in the endzone for a game sealing safety.
Final Score: Las Vegas 18 – Denver 15.
By Merrick Itera
Oklahoma City @ Atlanta
The Atlanta Swarm took down the Oklahoma City Renegades by a score of 34-20 at the Hive on Monday night as apart of the Simulation Football League’s weekly Fan Night.
The pass-happy Renegade offense struggled to put points on the board despite putting up similar total yardage. Renegade quarterback Ronnie Nickens had arguably his worst performance of the season so far, finishing 26/40, 282 passing yards, one touchdown, three interceptions with a season-low 65% completion percentage. After throwing no interceptions through two weeks of the season to go along with seven touchdowns, he’s now thrown three interceptions in two of his last three games. Renegade rookie running back J.W. Doyle struggled on the ground with 21 carries, 46 yards, one touchdown on 2.2 yards-per-carry.
The Swarm secondary stole the show, with strong safety Aaron Lee grabbing three interceptions and returning one for a touchdown and the cornerbacks Pat Ketza and Josh Vasquez combining for five pass deflections, effectively shutting down the potent Renegade offense. Swarm rookie quarterback Marcus Dunhill led the Swarm offense effectively and while he only scored one touchdown, boasting an 86% completion percentage and his second consecutive game without an interception. Fellow Swarm rookie wide receiver Siege Falco turned in another great game, with a season-high 12 receptions for 174 yards.
The win bumped the Swarm up to second in the Southern Conference behind the currently undefeated Tallahassee Pride, and the Swarm will be on the road to face the New Orleans Pharaohs next week. The Oklahoma City Renegades have now lost three straight games and will look to take down the Pride next week.
By Hunter Jones