Written By Rachelle Colston, Ethan Kye, Ray Bentley and Matthew Slinn

Images basedo n those created by J.R Lawless



Albuquerque Atoms
This game has got to be the matchup of the season. What are these 5-2 teams playing for? That would be the number one seed in the playoff bracket. It is win and you are in with homefield advantage. The Albuquerque Atoms travelled to Birmingham and defeated the Fuel 24-14. QB P.J. Slaughter was 23 of 36 for 245 yards and two touchdown passes. WR Nate Rivers had six receptions for 113 yards. WR Kyle Finnamore had three receptions for 70 yards and one touchdown. Douglas Brown had 24 carries for 95 yards and one rushing touchdown. The defense showed up for this game. They held the Fuel’s high-flying offense to 0 points in the first half. CB Adam Leach picked off QB Christian Brown twice in the red zone and had 4 pass deflections. CB Marco Swift joined the interception party with one of his own. Linebackers, Syrok Black and Ryan Ray, were all over the field and were the leading tacklers. The number one seeded Atoms will host the Salt Lake City Rustlers in the first round of the playoffs. The Atoms defeated the Rustlers 26-16 in Week 4.


Birmingham Fuel
The (5-2) Birmingham Fuel hosted the (5-2) Albuquerque Atoms with the number one play-off seed on the line. QB Christian Brown was 29 of 51 for 349 passing yards and two touchdowns. Wide receivers Tucker Warner and Riley Quintero had 192 and 98 yards, respectively. Both receivers each caught a touchdown pass. Running back Randy Squarebush had 14 carries for only 11 yards. The defense was led by FS Eric Gugger who had 9 tackles and one interception. The first half of the game was a defensive battle with the score of 0-0 heading into halftime. The Fuel’s offense was able to move the ball down the field all night; however, it was the 3 costly interceptions, 2 in the red zone, that did the Fuel in. The Atoms would defeat the Fuel 24-14. Despite losing the game, the Fuel will host the Memphis River Runners in round one of the playoffs. Birmingham defeated Memphis 42-8 in Week three of the regular season.


Memphis River Runners
(▲ 3)
The River Runners sailed into the postseason this week with their offensively balanced 20-13 win over the hosting Ottawa Cavalry. Both of Memphis' quarterbacks, Joseph Green and OJ Bruin, took to the field, with each of them throwing their own pick, but it was Green who found tight end Jason France in the waning minutes of the first half to even the score up before halftime. Another touchdown by running back GP Wells in the fourth would put the game away, but their two field goals certainly didn't hurt matters much. While none of the defensive stars were able to get their own takeaway, they were stout in their own right, allowing Ottawa into the promised land only once, and forcing them to kick two field goals down the stretch of the fourth. Memphis will be matched up against the formerly-first seeded Birmingham Fuel for a chance to punch their ticket to the 2nd SFLm Championship game - and with a strong win as the away team this week, they could very well be rollin' on down the river towards glory.
Salt Lake City Rustlers
(▲ 3)
If Week 9 proved one thing, it's that the smallest chance can sometimes be all that you need to succeed. This rang true for the Salt Lake City Rustlers, a team that looked dead and buried going into the last week of the regular season, sitting at 3-4. The Rustlers needed to take care of business at home vs the Madison Lynx, hope that Memphis won on the road in Ottawa and pray that the Grizzlies pulled off the upset vs Annapolis. Miraculously, all of these things happened, catapulting Salt Lake City into the playoffs and 4th place in our Power Rankings (their joint highest position this season). It all started with the Rustlers' 21-34 victory over the Lynx, in what is possibly their best performance of the season. Tommy Utah lead masterfully from the pocket, hitting his receivers over 80% of the time, getting into the end zone 3 times and smashing through personal records with 412 yards. Utah, Kelsey Brown and Kingston Ellington had more chemistry than a Science teacher, with Brown and Ellington both going for over 100 yards, the latter scoring twice to help put the game beyond doubt. Madison forged a late resurgence in garbage time, but by that point, the damage had been done. Defence wasn't really needed urgently, but Kris Magle had another stellar performance, picking off Eric Price, whilst also being 'Jonny on he Spot' to recover a fumble forced my linebacker, Jonel Ritter. Now, the celebrations can't last too long for the Rustlers as they head to the #1 Albuquerque Atoms tomorrow. The Atoms came out on top in the regular season meeting, but Salt Lake City will be riding high after such a strong showing. If they can put it all together, another miracle may well yet happen.
Annapolis Navigators
(▼ 2)
Annapolis Navigators had a tough battle ahead of them it was a win and you're in, lose and you are out. Well, unfortunately the Navigators struggled to hold off the Tacoma Grizzlies who were out for blood and to topple the play off hopes of the Navigators. QB LA Reaux completed 24 of 37vpasses for 204 yards throwing a interception. Reaux couldn't get comfortable in the pocket as he was sacked 6 times. RB Baylee O'Shaughnessy had 24 carries for 83 yards. WR Josh Gill had 9 receptions for 83 yards and TE Guy Clawson had 5 receptions for 72 yards. The defense didn't do a bad job holding off the Grizzlies. FS Josh Rowe had 9 tackles 2 assisted tackles and a tackle for loss. SS David Leathers Debuted this game and didn't do to bad for his first game as he has 5 tackles and 2 assisted tackles. The Navigators fate came down to a field to them in the end.
Ottawa Cavalry
(▼ 2)
Ottawa's season comes to a close with a heart-breaking home loss to the Memphis River Runners, 20-13. Unable to find any receivers able to cross Hollywood Boulevard, it was quarterback Scar Peterson who said "I'LL DO IT LIVE!" and ran it in himself in the second quarter of the game. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be enough for the Canadian Cavalry, as they were stymied for the remainder of the game offensively. They did happen to pick off both of Memphis' quarterbacks once apiece, with the INTs coming from cornerback Andrew Roush and strong safety Harry Huskey, but the only scoring they were able to do post-Peterson were two field goals - too little, too late. Ottawa ends the season with a perfectly even 4-4 record, which isn't enough to make it into the dance but isn't a sign of huge changes that need to be made. With a little luck and some elbow grease, come the SFLm's 3rd season, people could very well be shouting THE CAVALRY IS COMING!
Maddison Lynx
(▼ 2)
The players and staff of the Madison Lynx must be feeling extremely disappointed with how this season has ended. Sitting pretty at 4-2 two weeks ago, one more win would have all but secured a spot in the playoffs and a chance to retain the SFLm crown, but 2 losses in the final 2 weeks (the first a poor loss at home to Ottawa) has seen them succumb to a 4-4 record and a post-season rest. It was a pressurised 'win and in' situation for Madison, and granted, Salt Lake City is a tough place to go and win, but they just never going. 14 of the 21 points the Lynx mustered up came in a garbage time 4th quarter, when all hopes of victory were gone. Eric Price didn't have a bad game against a strong Rustlers secondary, throwing 2 TD passes to a single turnover, and Charles Biletsky rumbled for over 110 yards and a score. The solid offensive output just couldn't make up for the leaky defensive performance. No one player really stood out on defense, and it shows in the amount of passing yards they gave up - 412 in total. The Lynx D just couldn't live with Salt Lake's high octane passing attack and in the end, Madison head into next season with a whimper. A far cry away to Week 1 dreams of repeating a title.
Tacoma Grizzlies
Tacoma Grizzlies are a team to watch out for going into season 3 next season i thing the have things finally figured out but just a tad to late in the season. QB Johnny Reno would go 16 of 22 completed for 165 yards and a touchdown. RB Brad Jones had 21 carries for 53 yards. TE Ziggy Hronec had 5 receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown. WR Chris Lee had 4 receptions for 52 yards. On defense safties RD Smith and Blake Prine would combine for 12 tackles 3 assisted tackles. Smith would also add on a pass deflection and an interception. DT Exodus O'Brannon had 3 tackles 2 assisted but had a night meeting the QB with 2.5 sacks and 3 tackle for losses. The Grizzlies put down the Navigators and sunk the Navigators play-off hopes.
San Jose Flight
Well, there isn't too much to say about the San Jose Flight this week. Week 8 saw them end on a high with a big road victory against Memphis, the BYE week giving them the chance to watch the rest of the SFLm fight it out for those precious playoff places. As much as I'm sure San Jose would have loved to be in the thick of the action, focus now turns to the draft. The success of this team may not be measured by how many wins they totalled, but by the amount of players drafted into the SFL. By all accounts, this team is a great producer of SFL talent, so if I were an SFL GM, I would look past the numbers and focus on the brain under the helmet. I can see many a San Jose player being drafted this season, ready for their debut in the big leagues.