June 23, 2021
The SFLm’s third season culminated in a Championship win for visiting Salt Lake City, in Los Angeles to top the San Jose Flight, 20-12. Both teams made their first title game and San Jose capped a miraculous turnaround from a 1-7 Season 2 campaign, making it past Tacoma in the semifinals and all the way to a finals appearance.
Wide receiver Ace Sharpe went off in the second half, racking up 174 yards on 7 receptions plus a touchdown. A 3-0 San Jose midway through the third was cut down by that score, sparking the Rustlers’ 20-point second half spirt. San Jose totaled 278 yards of offense but often stalled in Salt Lake territory and had to settle for field goals.
Cornerback Jahrad Brodie had 11 tackles and an interception to lead the defensive effort for the Rustlers. The Los Angeles Lycans’ Full Moon Coliseum hosted the game, with San Jose as the home team, being the closest SFL pro stadium to San Jose.
The Simulation Football League’s minor league, or SFLm, kicked off its third season of competition in April and over the course of the season grew to 130 players looking for a shot in the pros when Season 17 begins July 2021. New this season was the Lexington Miners, while the Annapolis Navigators took a season off and were out of rotation. Eight other teams return to competition: founding teams Ottawa Cavalry, Madison Lynx, Albuquerque Atoms, San Jose Flight and Birmingham Fuel, along with three newer teams from last season: the Tacoma Grizzlies, Memphis River Runners and Salt Lake City Rustlers.
Salt Lake defeated unbeaten Albuquerque in the semifinal to advance to the Championship in a major upset. The Atoms were the first team to finish the regular season undefeated in SFLm history.
The off-season culminates with the Season 17 Rookie Draft, which will air Saturday June 26-Sunday June 27 at 6 pm ET on Twitch.