Written by Ethan Kye, Rae Colston, Ray Bentley and Matthew Slinn

Images by JR Lawless



Annapolis Navigators
(▲ 2)
The #3 ranked (3-2) Annapolis Navigators hosted the #1 ranked (5-1) Birmingham Fuel in a must win game to keep their playoff hopes alive. Quarterback Spencer Gordon completed 27 of 46 passes for 204 yards. 117 of those yards were to his favorite target, WR Josh Gill, who had one TD catch on the night. The number one HB in the league, Baylee O’Shaughnessy, did not disappoint with his 123 rushing yards averaging 7.0 yards per carry and one TD. Although the offense moved the chains all evening, they had issues reaching the end zone and had to settle for 4 field goals. The defense held the Fuel’s high-flying offense to 2 touchdowns and one field goal. The Navigators would defeat the Fuel 26-23 and join the other 4-2 teams in the playoff race. The Navigators will be on the road next week to face the (4-2) Albuquerque Atoms.


Birmingham Fuel
(▼ 1)
The #1 ranked (5-1) Birmingham Fuel travelled to Annapolis to play the #3 ranked (3-2) Navigators. Christian Brown completed 24 of his 34 passing attempts and finished the night with 244 yards that included a 6-yard touchdown pass to his WR Tucker Warner. Wide Receivers Tucker Warner and Stephen Walker both had around 100 receiving yards each. Randy Squarebush finished the night with 81 rushing yards averaging 3.6 yards per carry. ILB Jerry Franzy led the defense with his 7 tackles including 2 tackles for loss. Despite the impressive numbers put up by the offense, the Navigators would defeat the Fuel 23-26. The Fuel have a bye Week 8 and will then host the Albuquerque Atoms Week 9. They will have to find a way to win at home Week 9 to hold on to the best record in the SFLm.


Maddison Lynx
(▼ 1)
The defending champion Madison Lynx notched a win in their column this week through improbable circumstances, as a hardware error forced the end of their game against the out-matched San Jose Flight with 7:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. Madison held a score of 26 and were making progress in the Flight's territory when the error occurred, but more than likely would have cakewalked out of the stadium with a win regardless. They had two-and two-thirds the amount of total yards (419 to 157) of their opponents, touchdowns through both the air and the ground, and even turned the ball over twice with little regard to the result. The Lynx now own the second best record in the league (alone with three other teams, but... shhh) with a 4-2 on the season, and are primed to make a push into the postseason to defend their title. These final two weeks will be the test of champions (literally) for them as they take on the Ottawa Cavalry and the Salt Lake City Rustlers in a bid for a top seed. They won't be able to count on hardware errors to help deliver the win for them, but considering how lights-out they were playing before the lights actually.. went out, there's little doubt that Madison will be a tough nut to crack for anyone looking to unseat the first-ever SFLm champs.
Albuquerque Atoms
The Albuquerque Atoms stay solid at #4 in our rankings after a thrilling 26-23 OT victory over the Tacoma Grizzlies in Week 7. A FG in the final knockings of the game sealed the victory for the Atoms, who probably feel like they should have won in regulation after holding the ball for more than 5 minutes more than their opposition and winning the first down battle by 7. However, costly turnovers in the passing game (4 in total) and a distinct lack of running attack allowed the Grizzlies to stay in the game until the last and a big 10-point 4th quarter was needed just to send the game to OT. PJ Slaughter had a mixed game, throwing 4 picks but also finding his receiver - Nate Ritters - in the endzone on multiple occasions. Ritters played a hell of a game, with over 170 yards to tack on to his 2 scores. Defensively, decent performances all around culminated in the typical good Atoms defense that we see week to week. No one player sings on the stat sheet, but as a whole, they are more than the sum of their parts. Week 8 sees the Atoms host the red hot Annapolis Navigators. Someone needs to turn the Navvies in a losing direction. Will the Atoms be the ones to do it?
Memphis River Runners
(▲ 1)
The Memphis River Runners pull off a win against the Salt Lake Rustlers in their match up. QB
Joseph Green would complete 25 of his 30 passes for 223 yards and connecting for 2 passing
touchdowns. RB G.P. Wells had 20 carries for 62 yards. TE Jason France had 6 receptions for
69 yards and a touchdown. TE Jason France is proving to be a threat for teams. On defense SS
Mike Ryan had 7 tackles 1 assisted tackle and an interception. LB Maverick Hughes had a
pretty good day as he also had 7 tackles 6 assisted tackles 1 tackle for loss and 2 pass
deflections. CB Alden Bleeker had 6 tackles and 1 assisted. The River Runners head down the
river to face off against the Flight. Can the Flight get their first win or will they fall to the River Runners.
Salt Lake City Rustlers
(▼ 1)
Salt Lake City put up a heck of a game against Memphis. They fell just short of the win but look
for them to rebound after this week. QB Tommy Utah would complete 38 of his 49 passes for
294 yards 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. RB Brooke Beissel had 14 carries for 32 yards,
but made up for it with 6 receptions for 21 yards and a receiving touchdown. WR Kelsey Brown
had a day with 11 receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown. WR Kingston Ellington also had a
pretty good day as he had 8 receptions for 70 yards. Defensively the stand outs are SS
Kristopher Magle had 6 tackles 1 assisted 1 tackle for loss and 1 pass deflection. FS Peanut
Seay had 6 tackles and an assist. I would look for Salt Lake Rustlers to come back from this
and try to pull off the win. The Rustlers face off against the Grizzlies next. Will the Rustlers rustle
their way to victory or will the grizzlies prove to be to much.
Ottawa Cavalry
The Ottawa Cavalry maintain their #7 position in these rankings after no team did anything to deserve a promotion above them or a demotion below. The Cavalry are near the bottom of our rankings but still have a 3-2 record, putting them in prime place to catapult themselves into the playoff picture with a win in Week 8. The biggest problem with that? They have to travel to the previous champs, the Madison Lynx. The Lynx are unbeaten at home this season and seem to be very strong contenders once again. Ottawa have been sketchy on the road, last time falling to the Salt Lake City Rustlers, 27-34, although they have the talent to aim to cause what would be somewhat of an upset. It will mostly rest on Kevin Seay's shoulders. The second-year running back has been powerful this season and a week's rest should only serve to see him come back with renewed vigour. Ottawa need this victory. They must go out an grab it with two hands.
Tacoma Grizzlies
The Tacoma Grizzlies are so much better than their record suggests, and Week 7 more than proved that fact. The Grizzlies went down in OT to the Albuquerque Atoms, 26-23, despite forcing 4 turnovers on the day and hitting the strong Atoms defence for nearly 350 yards. First lets take a look at that all-action defense. A total of four different players managed to pick off PJ Slaughter, returning the quadruplet of turnovers for a total of 41 yards. Cody Griffin and Blake Prine has especially good games, with linebacker Keenan Samuels also playing well versus the Atoms' rushing attack. Offensively, they couldn't quite do enough to turn those gimmes into a winning amount of points. Jonny Reno played efficient ball, tossing 2 TDs to only 1 interception (with over 300 yards to boot) but on the ground things looked bleak. Brad Jones was limited to just 1.4 yards per carry with a long of only 7 yards. This lack of rushing game led to shorter possessions and Albuquerque dominating the possession statistics. In Week 8, Tacoma travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Rustlers. It will be a tough game against a team fighting for their playoff lives. Tacoma will want the defense to stay hungry for those turnovers.
San Jose Flight
With 7:50 remaining in the fourth quarter in the battle between the San Jose Flight and Madison Lynx, the unthinkable happened - a hardware error forced the early end of the game, the first-ever (and hopefully only) game ending due to physical error. This was, more than likely, the best outcome for the Flight, who were having to try and stop the near-unstoppable Lynx already in their territory again. San Jose now owns the only perfect record in the league, at 0-7, and there's little comfort to the team going into their final game against the Memphis River Runners next week. There are a few bright spots, with their ground game breaking the plane against the Lynx, as well as their kicker drilling a 45-yard field goal, but this late in the season is a bit beyond 'too little, too late.' At this point the best hope for the Flight would be to eke out a single win against Memphis, which would tie them with the Tacoma Grizzlies for the season. Otherwise, it's basically back to the drawing board for coach Brian Craven and his crew.