Written by: Rachelle Colston, Ray Bentley, Matthew Slinn and Ethan Kye

Images by Jonny Law



Birmingham Fuel
(▲ 1)
Someone must have lit a match in the Birmingham locker room because the 2nd ranked (2-0) Fuel’s offense was on fire on Saturday afternoon, when they welcomed the 6th ranked (1-1) Memphis River Runners to their house, defeating them 42-8. Quarterback Christian Brown, who leads the league with a 91.7 QBR, had an amazing day completing 31 passes for 293 yards. He also showed a little bit of his mobility and speed with his 11-yard rushing touchdown. Brown would spread the love to his two favorite targets, Riley Quintero, who had 11 receptions for 114 yards and one touchdown and Tucker Warner, who had 5 receptions for 51 yards and two touchdowns. Running Back Randy Squarebush had 31 carries for 66 yards and one rushing touchdown. The Fuel’s defense also seemed to be firing on all cylinders holding the River Runners to two field goals and forcing two interceptions and one fumble, which was returned for a touchdown. The Fuel will be on the road next week to face the Ottawa Cavalry.


Ottawa Cavalry
(▲ 1)
10 points in the 4th quarter helped the Ottawa Cavalry to a very tight 17-13 victory on the road against the winless San Jose Flight. Running back Kevin Seay came up clutch for the travelling team, adding his score to the seven-pointer scored by tight end, Rupert Westcleod, way back in the first 15 minutes of the game. In this defensive battle, QB Scar Patterson played efficiently, throwing no interceptions and hitting his receivers over 74% of the time. The aforementioned Seay was largely subdued, yet showed flashes, but wide receiver Deuce Fenech was the man keeping Ottawa on the horse, catching the ball 8 times for over 100 yards, including a long 44-yard grab. The entirety of the defensive unit played a solid game, limiting San Jose to 13 points, Mike Scott and Emmanuel Blackman playing especially well against the pass. Tomorrow, the Cavalry take on the Birmingham Fuel (the only team above them in this week's power rankings). The Fuel are coming off a confidence boosting 42-8 victory over Memphis. Ottawa will need to show that they can score more points if they hope to topple the Fuel from the #1 spot.


Maddison Lynx
(▲ 2)
The Maddison Lynx move up to 3rd in the power rankings this week, after outlasting the Tacoma Grizzlies 37-31, in what was possibly the most entertaining game of the week. The game was largely a tale of two halves for the Lynx, who decimated Tacoma out of the gate, building up what proved to be an unassailable 30-3 lead. The major worry for Maddison is the way they let Tacoma come back in the second half, being outscored 28-10 in the final 30 minutes. Safety, Ray Leanart III did take the ball away from the Grizzlies once, and Dan Tritz invaded the backfield for a nice sack, but other than that, Madison allowed over 400 yards of offense. On the other side of the ball, it was all about three star players. Charles Biletsky had a monster game, rushing for nearly 150 yards and 1 TD, while the connection between QB Eric Price and Kae Marion was a strong one, Marion hauling in 6 catches for 151 yards and 2 TDs. Other than a couple of picks by Price, the Lynx had some bite on offense. Week 4 is a bye week for Madison, giving them a chance to rest up and progress, ready for Week 5's opposition.
Salt Lake City Rustlers
(▲ 3)
Salt Lake City rustled up a win this week at home against the first-ranked Annapolis Navigators. Ultimately, it was a defensive battle, with the lowest posted total score of the week, but a win is a win at the end of the day - over the top ranked team in the league? Victory is even sweeter. Tommy Utah was able to find the promised land twice in the second quarter, with a touchdown pass to both tight end Lauren Percoco and running back Brooke Beissel. While that was enough to put them over the top against Annapolis, it was still a tense affair as they were not able to get anything going on offense throughout the remaining three quarters of the game. Again, however, a win is a win, no matter how rough-and-tumble the path to victory might have been, and now the Rustlers sit atop the Navigators by a place in the rankings. Will Salt Lake City be able to rustle up a win this week against the Albuquerque Atoms in New Mexico? If they can keep playing effective defense, they could be riding this cattle trail into the postseason.
Annapolis Navigators
(▼ 4)
CHOPPY WATERS AHEAD! After taking the lead in power rankings last week, the Annapolis Navigators dropped one on the road (the sea?) against the Salt Lake City Rustlers in the lowest-scoring affair of the week. Unfortunately for them, in a league with only nine teams and as many weeks to play, their loss has dropped them almost entirely halfway down the list. Stranger even that they had more first downs and time of possession than their competitors, and their longest rush of the night came from quarterback Spencer Gordon with a 14 yard gain. On the flip slide, Gordon also tossed and interception and lost a fumble, both easily contributing to the beaching of the Navigator's winning streak . Defensively, Annapolis were able to grab their own INT, but it was not enough to turn the tide (so to speak) against the Rustlers. The Navigators continue their away journey this week with a trip up the ol' Mississip to take on the Memphis River Runners in what can only be described as #BoatBowl. When the smoke clears, will Annapolis be sailing ahead, or taking on water going into the halfway point of the season?
Albuquerque Atoms
(▼ 2)
After a mixed 1-1 start to the season, the Atoms enjoyed a BYE week, only moving down the power rankings because of solid performances by Salt Lake City and Madison. Speaking of the Rustlers, Salt Lake City will be Albuquerque's opponents tomorrow. The Atoms will want to make a statement to the rest of the SFLm with a big home win against a team that defeated Annapolis last week and ran the undefeated Birmingham Fuel very close in Week 2. There is no doubt that this will be one of the toughest games of the season for the Atoms. No better time, then, to claim victory and cement a playoff campaign.
Memphis River Runners
(▼ 1)
The 6th ranked (1-1) Memphis River Runners travelled to Birmingham to play the 2nd ranked (2-0) Fuel. Even though quarterback OJ Bruin had a descent day completing 22 passes for 243 yards, the River Runners just could not put together a drive that would result in a touchdown. Instead, they had to settle for two field goals and a safety. Watching the game, one would have to wonder whether someone forgot to the tell the Memphis defense to get off the boat. The defense would give up five touchdowns, and the offense would cough up a fumble that would be taken to the house for a touchdown. The final score was 42-8. The River Runners will host the Annapolis Navigators next week. They will have to find a way to score touchdowns, work on the turnovers, and shore up their defense if they want to compete with the (2-1) Navigators.
Tacoma Grizzlies
(▲ 1)
Despite sitting near the bottom of the power rankings with an 0-2 record, the newly-formed Tacoma Grizzlies move up one spot this week, after nearly staging the best comeback in SFL history at home to the defending champions. Tacoma's young group gave the Lynx everything they could handle in the second half, scoring 28 of their 31 points with a nicely balanced attack on the ground and through the air. Looking at how effective this offense can be, it's a shame to see that they were fighting out of a deep hole, at one point being down 30-3 versus the Lynx. Other than Blake Prine, who picked off Eric Price 2 times during the game, Taacoma's D looked paper thin, conceding nearly 40 points and over 400 yards across the 4 quarters. Offensively, Johnny Reno lit up the stat sheet with 3 TD's, giving Jae Moss and TE Ziggy Hronec chances in the endzone, whilst also finding his favorite target Chris Lee for 10 catches and 127 yards. The second half effort was a valiant one, but in the end, the Grizzlies couldn't quite hang with the consensus #1 team in the SFLm at the start of the season. Week 4 brings with it a home game against the San Jose Flight. If the Grizzlies are going to have any hope of reaching the post-season, they must win this game.
San Jose Flight
(▼ 1)
After another heartbreaking loss by less than one score, San Jose once again find themselves at the foot of the power rankings. Personally, I think they are a much better team than their record suggests, but 0-3 is 0-3: #9 is the only spot that the Flight can land. In Week 3's loss at home to Ottawa, the story largely remained the same. This experience group did a good job of holding the opposition to under 20 points, giving Colin Pierce and his offense a chance. They just couldn't get it done, scoring only once in the second half - and that was a field goal. Pierce played a so-so game, hitting tight end Will Todd for a nice first half score without much more success to follow. Jimmy Hazzard looked impressive on the ground, hitting Ottawa in the mouth for over 100 yards and 4.4 YPC, but again, the endzone proved elusive. Defensively, the experience told. Gary Clem and Devin King proved to be the best LB pairing in the SFLm, whilst young safety Monte Wyatt showed flashes that he could be picked early in the SFL draft. Week 4 sees the Flight travel to Tacoma, in what may prove a crucial game between these two winless teams. If San Jose can get the offense firing, their season could take off.