Written by Baylee O’Shaugnessey, Josh Farnzy, Stefaun Forge, Rae Colston and Matthew Slinn
Images by Axel Raven and Hubba Kimbrel
The Vultures staying atop their perch at 8-0 after a 58-34 decisive victory over London is starting to beg the question… When it comes to the regular season, can we start comparing them to the all-time greats? Save for an overtime win against Portland, Baltimore has systematically taken apart teams on one – and sometimes both – sides of the ball. They boast a league-best +176 point differential, which means after eight games, they are winning by an average margin of victory of 22 points. For reference, the team in second in this category – Mexico City – is at +77. Yikes. Defensive tackle SyrRon Yates IV leads the league in sacks by nearly double the amount of second place. Yates and Al Walker are 1-2 in tackles for loss. Giovanni Bolt leads the league in interceptions – five ahead of second place. Their quarterback Jack Wigmore leads the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns. Wide receiver Ivory Ervin leads the SFL in touchdown receptions, and he is joined by teammate Mac Chimah as two of the top three in receiving yards. I could keep going, but I think you get the point. They may just be the most dominant regular season team in SFL history. Let us appreciate their amazing play for what it has been so far. Jacksonville will be fortunate enough to see that play up close and personal this weekend as the Vultures try for 9-0.
About the time Florida registered a last-minute sack to salt away a 24-20 win over Queen City, the Storm was able to remind the SFL of one important fact: they are still a dangerous, top threat to be holding the trophy at season’s end. The Storm came out on top during a back-and-forth contest on the strength of a stout defense. Florida limited the Queen City offensive attack to 286 yards total. De’Ante Stoneville had two-and-a-half sacks, four tackles for loss and an infinite motor this past weekend to disrupt the Corsairs. Andrew Francis had 11 tackles and an interception from the secondary. In a rare showing of inaccuracy, Florida had to overcome four Ron Cockren interceptions. Charlie “The Bullet” Biletsky made the most of his 12 carries on the day – racking up 140 yards, including a 64-yard dash in the second quarter. The Storm faces a streaking Predator team, where a win for Florida would give them a two-game cushion in the Atlantic Division with only three games to play.