Written by Matthew Slinn, Joey Schwindt, Jett Zero, Jack Brown, Ethan Kye and Bryant Dynasty
Images by Jonny Law
Written by Matthew Slinn, Joey Schwindt, Jett Zero, Jack Brown, Ethan Kye and Bryant Dynasty
Images by Jonny Law
|Well, here they are, back on the top of the Power Rankings - a position some in the community think they should have owned before now. So, how did Denver reach the summit of Mount SFL yet again? They sailed through Week 6, dispatching Arizona a home, 24-34 in a dominant rushing display. Jarrod McChesney had one of the most effective games of his career despite not touching the ball too many times. The reliable runner hit the Scorpions for 8.8 yards per carry and crossed the touchdown whitewash twice, helping the Nightwings gain an unassailable lead before Arizona made a 4th quarter comeback attempt. This weekend Denver travel to Carolina in a ame that will be otugher than many will expect. Who knows whether Denver will reamin atop the Rankings for more than one week. One thing to note - Barry Barkley has left the team with immediate effect and has been replaced by rookie, Maurice Lloyd. I hope Josh Vasquez plays well next week.|
|In what would ultimately be their last games as Baltimore Vultures, QB Mike and LB Joe Dazzo were unsuccessful in toppling the red-hot Revolution. Mike Dazzo in his last appearance threw and completed 34 of his 49 attempts for 331 yards, a pick and a score. Joe came out with 5 tackles, 5 assisted tackles with 2 tackles for a loss. We wish both men nothing but the best. Despite losing 35-23, the Vultures remain in the top 2 in the rankings this week and look to bounce back in Week 7 against a visiting Houston Hyenas team reeling from a tough road loss against the previously-winless Portland Fleet. Mike's replacement Jack Wigmore will look to bring back some success in this coming CrowdPlay Game of the Week.
|Sioux Falls bounced back as we knew they would against Tulsa, after Week 5's drubbing on the road against Fort Worth. The Sparrows kept with what they know works well - run the ball and play tough defence. The tactic worked a treat and a 31-7 half time lead was the reward. Colin Hart was as per usual, nearly impossible to tackle, picking up over 110 yards and a couple of scores. The defense was tenacious as ever, Jay Ringgold and Terrell Davis making a pair of picks each, keeping alive the notion that Deacon Nickens likes to throw the ball to the opposition just as much as his own receivers. One concern will be the lack of scoring in the second half. A more complete performance may be needed this week as they face a tricky Lone Star team.|
|The Louisiana Revolution were given another test this season and passed. Despite the early season controversy, they are still showing up on the field and have silenced a few more doubters with a strong 35-23 performance against the Baltimore Vultures. RB Reggie Streeter continues to add to his MVP credentials with 228 yard rushing and 3 scores. The Revs defense did their part and showed up ready to handle the elite play of RB T-Roy Gaines holding the Vultures to just 79 yards on the ground. There isn't much time to celebrate as another stout test is on the docket as the Vancouver Legion will roll into town in Week 7.|
|This was an underrated win for Jacksonville. Charleston is a very tough place to travel to (just ask the Sparrows) yet the Kings rocked up and came away with a well-earned victory, sending them to 4-2 and up our Power Rankings. Jared Willis once again had a fine game from half-back, cementing his position as one of the elite talents at the position this season. Willis has blown hot and cold through his career, so it's great to see him balling consistently. That kind of tough running game really helps when scores a low and the stakes are high, as does taking the ball away from the opposition. The Kings' secondary was aggressive with the ball in the air, picking off T.D Drew 4 times and not letting him get a foothold in the game. Alex Bond was particularly impressive form safety, continuing his so far great season. CC will probably be slightly disappointed in his performance at QB, and will need to improve as the Kings travel to Atlanta, facing the prodigious Bryant Dynasty and his team.|
|Mexico City Azteca pulled off a win against a tough Vancouver Legion team who was playing hard full of emotion and looking to pull off a win at home. The Aztecs played a tough game and managed to defeat the Legion 24-17 on the road. This was a great win for the Aztecs. Matt Willson would complete 27 of 29 passes for 296 yards 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions - yes 0 interceptions. Willson would be sacked twice the whole game. Mike Daggs would have 7 receptions for 122 yards and 1 touchdown. When Willson is having a good game like that you can count on the Aztecs pulling off the win. The Aztecs will be facing off against the Fleet who are high off their first win looking to get another. This should be a good game for both teams.|
|Vancouver Legion went out on the field with heavy hearts and filled with the emotions of a loss of a great player and an even better human being. This was a tough loss for Vancouver both emotional and physically as they would fall to the Aztecs 24-17 at home. Vancouver came in with the heart of a lion and tried to win one for Rich Pratchard. Rich Pratchard would get 5 receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown. I got the pleasure of watching him score. But in the end, the Legion would lose this game, but look to continue winning for a fallen friend and try to defeat a tough Louisiana team that's playing at home.
|The defending champions Atlanta Swarm returned to .500 this week but were made to work hard for it by an upstart London team, seemingly with nothing to lose. The game was all tied up at half time and it took late-game poise by rookie Bryant Dynasty to pull out the 10-point victory, which quite honestly, flattered the Swarm. A major positive in this game for Atlanta was the connection between Dynasty and his running back, BDG Hollewood. Hollewood hasn't been particularly successful running the ball this season, so Mark Chisholm seems to have decided to utilise his open-field skills in the check down game instead. This seemed to be a stroke of genius, as the RB crossed the touchdown line 3 times, also allowing TE Jamal Wooding some space in the passing game. Wooding averaged over 34 yards per catch. Aaron Lee was a stud as per usual on defense, but the Swarm haven't been great that side of the ball. This will be severely tested next game, as they host the Jacksonville Kings - a team in good form.|
|Chicago Wildcats - what's going on over there? You guys were so dominant early in the season. You guys struggled to get anything seriously going against the Skyhawks only 1 touchdown and field goal. This isn't the Wildcats we have seen through for most of the season. Where's that dominate gameplay you guys have had? The biggest stand out for Chicago was their HB Johnson as he would be the only guy to score a touchdown. Look for the Wildcats to claw their way back from this loss as they face a tough Charleston Predators team that's on the road. Can the Wildcats scratch their way to a win or will we see them start to be declawed?
|We've stopped even trying to guess which version of Queen City will show up week to week. The Corsairs are either sloppy to a point of sheer frustration, or they go out there looking like the best team in the SFL. Thankfully, for enough of the game last week, they appeared to be the latter. Despite losing the second half, the stellar first-half showing was enough to dispatch the Las Vegas Fury, 17-31, taking the men in green and black back to .500 and into the top 10 of our rankings. AJ Caswell had an inspired game, hitting a great Vegas defence for 420 plus yards and 4 TDs. Jett Zero was less successful, but when you have the likes of Deezer Powell and James Matthews Jr making one-handed catches like its nothing, who needs a ground game? The Corsairs wre solid defensively despite the loss of Avry King, sealing the deal with an interception late on. The upcoming weekend sees them travelling to lowly Tulsa. Which Queen City will show up? Your guess is as good as mine.|
|Ready to hear a painfully obvious and awful joke as a way to start this? No? Too bad. Man, the Storm is just storming along through the ranks. Boom, hilarious joke made, I’m here until Thursday. But yeah, like dang. The Storm were looking dead in the water after starting out 0-3 on the season but ever since then have rattled off 3 straight wins. The most recent of those 3 being against the cattle from east of Dallas. Where after being down 3-0, the Storm came back valiantly to a 27-10 win over the Toros while picking off Xander Gold 5 times, one being a 97 yard pick 6 and utterly steamrolling the Toros in quarters 2-4. With 2 TDs coming as a supporting cast from Ron Cockren. That run prevented the storm from falling to 2-4 and joining the 3-3 party so packed it violates social distancing laws. This upcoming week is not only huge for the Storm, but for nearly half the league. A 4th consecutive win is a necessity to move up the playoff ladder. Their opponent, the Las Vegas Fury. Should be easy, right? Well, you never really know in the SFL.|
|The early front running Scorpions took a second loss in a row against Denver, not quite displaying the firepower to stay with the high octane Denver offense. I think Eddie Gauge would have taken a 3-3 record had you handed it to him at the start of the season, however having seen what Arizona can do when they are at full tilt, the team could well be disappointed. Ashley Jackson has slowed down a bit since her excellent run of form through to Week 4, throwing an uncharacteristically high 4 picks vs the Nightwings. DJ Moses proved yet again a beast with the ball in his hands but as the Scorpions were playing from behind for much of the game, rushing wasn't really an option. AJ will want to improve her play next week on the road in London, a team looking for their first win. The Scorpions need to have equal parts confidence and resolve this weekend if they want to stop their current skid.|
|Carolina Skyhawks manage to beat the Chicago Wildcats in a close game. These barn burner games are what really get you going. The standouts in this would have to be the Skyhawks defense as they would keep the Wildcats to just a touchdown and not allowing the extra point after and then they would give Rob Emms 1 FG out of the 2 attempts. Sully Richardson would have a good night on the field. passing for 2 touchdowns and limiting his interceptions. Carolina Skyhawks face off against a tough Denver Nightwings team this week. Lets hope the home field advantage comes thru on this one.|
|Charleston had a chance to rocket up the Power Rankings this week, moving out of the mid-table mire and into the fresh air. However, it wasn't to be as Jacksonville played the villain, travelling to the home of the Predators and earning a 23-17 victory. The Predators will be dismayed by this result, however the season is still young and most of the toughest games are out of the way. T.D Drew needs to limit the turnovers and trust his receivers, especially hen hitting Buchanon Simons deep. The defense has shored itself up recently, especially against the pass, so expect a turnover or two as Charleston face the Chicago Wildcats this weekend - a game crucial to the season outlook of the Preds.|
|How unlucky were the Houston Hyenas this week? Falling on the road to one of the last two winless teams this far into the season is a tough pill to swallow. Losing 20-17 by giving up 17 4th quarter points is just as bad. QB Kentez Johnson went 20 of 40 for 221 yards and a lone score without any interceptions. FS Brady Clarke lead the team with 10 tackles and an interception. The Hyenas defense were able to pick off Matt South twice but were unable to capitalize giving up 2 crucial passing scores late that decided their fate. They'll need to be ballhawks on the road again come Week 7 as they face off against QB Jack Wigmore making his pro debut for the Baltimore Vultures.
|Lone star this past week was able to keep their foot firmly planted in the door of the playoff race. Primarily with their win over the St. Louis Gladiators in a game where, for all stats except for a couple, they did not look amazing. Of course, they got fewer yards on the day at 303 compared to St. Louis’s 345 yards. But granted they did outrush the Gladiators by more than double. They also netted 3 field goals from kicker Wally Herman. But Wallace and the gang won their game, not through the other stats above. But one, in particular, 4 interceptions. The Glory yoinked the ball out of the sky from Vasquez enough times as to where they were able to firmly pull away. Including a pick on the final play of the game in order to seal the deal over their opponents. The Glory have, through 6 weeks, come to a record of 3 wins, and 3 losses, them and 8 other teams. In order to stand out from the crowd, they have to start rattling off wins like no tomorrow. But it won’t be easy. Having to start this run on the road against Sioux Falls. Well, let’s just say, let’s hope they don’t get exposed as frauds.|
|Sheesh, Fort Worth. What happened after that first quarter? After going up 3-0, they got absolutely flattened to the tune of 27 unanswered points and 5 picks from Xander Gold. Yes, five. Reminiscent of his last two games out by the house of the rising sun. Meanwhile having no rushing offense whatsoever putting up less than 30 yards. Now granted, they certainly put forth more of an air raid offense, which played right into Florida’s defense. On Fort Worth’s defensive end, they did well enough. Except for letting up those 6 scoring drives. But once again, all of this brings up a single question, what is Fort Worth? They seem to be going up and down and all around in quality of play. Never keeping the same team from week to week or sometimes even drive to drive. But after that blunder, they fall out of the grand old 3-3 jamboree and see themselves at 2-4. But fortunately, they can ram themselves back into the fray with a win on the road against St. Louis. Can they do it? Only time will tell.|
|And so the skid continues for Las Vegas. This 3-game road trip has been sobering for the Fury, giving them nothing more than three frustrating losses, including last week's 17-31 loss at the hands of the Corsairs. The game went very much as it has been for Las Vegas over the last few weeks. The passing game was the main offensive option, looking good without ever looking fully dangerous, and the rushing attack was near non-existent. Scott Johnson is showing signs of improvement, so I expect a big game from him soon. Defensively, you can always rely on the Fury to be solid - they just came up against a Queen City side who were 100% clicking. However, they did manage to shut down Caswell in the second half, allowing a fleeting glimpse of a comeback that never quite happened. Vegas return home this week to take on the 3-win Storm. Expect this one to be exceedingly close.|
|St. Louis, at least you tried. It was a darn good attempt, too! All things considered, heading into Medal of Honor field, it is not exactly the easiest of tasks. Yet despite the odds, the Gladiators went toe to toe with the glory…in spite of the fact, Javier Vasquez chucked 4 INTs including on the very last play of the game that gave Lone Star the victory. Yeah…St. Louis had a bit of a turnover bug that game. Which sucks since on the whole, they were actually having a really good game all things considered. They actually outgunned the Glory of offense 345 to 303 yards and on the whole, things were looking really well. St. Louis, in general, has been a decent side and they have won some decent games against strong teams. But now, halfway through the season and sitting at 3-3, they need to pick up steam if they want to make a miraculous playoff appearance. The push starts next week against Fort Worth, good luck.|
|Despite the solid Week 5 win over Vegas at home, the Tulsa Desperados stay near the bottom of our rankings, travelling to the Sparrows and coming away with nothing more than a 31-17 loss. To tell the truth, this game was over by half time. Tulsa went into the half trailing by 24 points, a margin any team would struggle to overcome in Sioux Falls' back yard. Deacon Nickens was as reliable at throwing picks as ever, sending 4 balls the way of the Sparrows D whilst finding his own receiver in the endzone just once. The Tulsa receivers didn't get much joy, although Sonzo Robinson had a tough running game on the ground, without troubling the scoring. In defense, Cain Vasquez had a cracker of a game and the team never gave up, besting the Sparrows 10-0 in the second half. Alas, it wasn't enough. Nickens needs to learn to hold onto the ball if Tulsa want to best Queen City this week and get off the foot of the table.|
|Take note. Week 6, Season 15, Score 20-17. The Portland Fleet have won their first game in franchise history against the visiting Houston Hyenas. The Fleet went through the air to steal their first victory on the arm of QB Matt South, completing 40 of 55 attempts with 2 TDs and 2 INTs. Their attack on the ground was less effective with only 36 yards produced. This show needs to go on the road though as they head off to play the Mexico City Aztecs in Week 7. Hopefully the taste of victory was sweet and they build off it.|
|We have a brand new foot to the body that is the SFL Power Rankings this week - the undesired position taken up by the 0 wins London Knights. Granted, it was a tough ask this week - not many teams travel to Atlanta and even come close to beating them. In fact, London may have come the closest yet this season. The Knights put in a very promising performance, all the more miraculous when you think that this is just the second week the players have been able to get used to two new coordinators, both of whom have limited experience. I, for one, see promise on the horizon across the pond, es[ecially with the young talent that they possess. Vin Calia and Fox Highwind are dangerous young receivers; Tellymac Scarbro and Jeff Gagne is an excellent linebacker pairing and Jack Russell is turning into a near-elite safety. London weren't far off the upset this week - expect a win to come very soon.|