Sioux Falls Storm 54 Iowa Barnstormers 47
The Sioux Falls Storm officially finalize the IFL playoff picture in the eastern conference, beating the Iowa Barnstormers 54-47. After scoring first, the Storm never trailed in this game, but could not put away the barnstormers until the very end. Sioux Falls quarterback Lorenzo Brown Jr. was the player of the game, passing for 133, rushing for 23, and scoring 5 total touchdowns. Donnie Corley Jr. came up big in the receiving department, with 4 catches, 55 yards, and a touchdown. Defensively, Clifton Duck was all over the place with 6 total tackles and an interception.
Despite the loss, Barnstormer’s quarterback Daniel Smith continues his string of strong performances. This time, his 219 yards passing and 3 touchdowns kept the barnstormers in this game right up until the end. Running back Antonio Winbush added 2 touchdowns on the ground, and 87 yards receiving. Dom Mcneil was Smith’s favorite target this game, adding 92 yards and a touchdown to his season totals.
After the win, the Sioux Falls Storm improve to 8-6 on the season, officially eliminating the Green Bay Blizzard from playoff contention. They host the Massachusetts Pirates Saturday, July 15th (7:05 CT). They will have a chance to end the Pirates season on a 3 game-losing streak. On the other hand, The Iowa Barnstormers fall to 3-11, despite being much improved in the second half of the season. However, the final game doesn’t get easier, Iowa hosts the league-best Frisco Fighters (Saturday at 7:05 CT).
Green Bay Blizzard 39 Quad City Steamwheelers 47
Quad City started the game with a C.J. Windham kickoff return for a touchdown on the first play, and the Steamwheelers would never trail. Steamwheelers quarterback E.J. Hilliard didn’t have his best game but he was efficient in the win. Hilliard threw for 122, ran for 58, and had one touchdown. Shane Simpson added 37 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while leading Quad City in receiving yards with 43. On defense, Quad City frustrated the Blizzard offense. They would intercept Max Meylor twice, with Vincent Shaw taking one 25 yards for a pick 6. Jaylin Swann would also tack on 2 sacks.
Coming off his week 16 player of the week performance, Max Meylor did not look comfortable. He was only 2 of 5 for 24 yards and two interceptions when he got pulled in favor of Ja’rome Johnson. Ja’rome Johnson showed flashes of his early season potential, throwing for 125 yards, rushing for 41, and scoring 3 touchdowns. Running back Terrance Smith showed his dual-threat abilities in this game, running for 19 yards, catching 2 passes for 42 yards, and 3 total TDs (2 rush,1 Pass). Marquis Irvin had Johnson’s other touchdown pass, and Shaq Curenton led all receivers with 68 yards.
As a result, the Steamwheelers improve to 8-5 on the season. They are currently number 3 in the east, but a win this week coupled with a Pirates loss could put them in a tiebreakers situation for the second seed. They will need a win this weekend, traveling to play the Tulsa Oilers (Saturday at 7:05 CT)On the other hand, the loss bumps the Green Bay Blizzard to 7-7 on the season, officially eliminated from playoff contention. However, they travel to Tucson this weekend with a chance to end the season on a high note (Saturday 8:05 CT).
Tucson Sugar Skulls 59 Duke City Gladiators 51
In a game that didn’t affect the seeding or playoff eligibility of either team, the Sugar Skulls handled their business. Tucson never trailed in this game, but the Gladiators never went away either. Tucson took a 35-19 lead into the half and managed to hold on for the victory. Skulls quarterback Ramone Atkins was the player of the game, throwing for 138 yards, rushing for 27, and 4 total touchdowns. Running back Mike Jones added 79 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Carrington Thompson and Dylan Person both had receiving touchdowns, Person on 36 yards, and Thompson led all receivers with 81 yards.
As for the Gladiators, quarterback Charles McCullum was the player of the game in a losing effort. On 16 of 21 passing, he threw for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was the catalyst of an offense that kept this game entertaining right up until the very end. Running back Demry Croft had almost as many touchdowns as rushing yards, managing 3 scores on only 8 yards rushing. Wide receivers Troy Evans and Xavier Amey caught the bulk of McCullums passes. Evans had 77 yards receiving on 7 catches and 2 scores, Amey with 69 and a touchdown on 6 catches.
The Tucson Sugar Skulls improve to 8-6 on the season. That puts them in 3rd place in the IFL western conference. A win this weekend and a Panthers loss could make for a very interesting tie-breaker scenario. The Sugar Skulls host the Green Bay Blizzard this weekend, and very much need a win for a possibility of a two-seed. The Green Bay Blizzard, who’ve been officially eliminated will be looking for a win to build on for next season.
Conversely, the Gladiators fall to 5-9 on the season and have been eliminated from playoff contention. Duke City seemed to have lost momentum early in the season after trading Nate Davis and was never able to gain it back. They will have a shot to end the season on a win, however, it won’t be easy. They host the Bay Area Panthers this Sunday(4:05 CT).
Massachusetts Pirates 32 Northern Arizona Wranglers 37
A week after coming off a loss to the Arizona Rattlers, and the fallout from the fight in the stands. The Massachusetts Pirates drop a 2nd straight game, this time to the defending champs. The Wranglers took a commanding 37-14 lead into the half and held on despite an 18-point rally by the Pirates. Northern Arizona started Nick Watson this game, and he played quite well against the number 2 seed in the east. On 14 of 27 passing, he threw for 109 and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception. Watson and running back Jarrod Ware Jr. made the bulk of the Wrangler’s 145 rushing yards.
Ware had 63 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, with Watson adding 35 on the same 10 carries and a rushing touchdown. Ryan Wisniewski led the Wrangler’s receiver corps with 5 receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. On defense, JaQuan Artis was an absolute monster, coming up with a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, a safety, and a forced fumble.
It was a rough outing for the otherwise steady Anthony Russo. The Pirates quarterback is benched in the 4th quarter after going only 6 for 14 for 70 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Ale Bennefield helped fuel the comeback, coming in the 4th quarter to throw for 62 yards and 2 touchdowns to make this a game again. Jimmie Robinson also had a rough outing, managing 20 yards and a touchdown on only 5 carries. Isaac Zito managed an impressive outing hauling in 5 passes for 69 yards, 2 of them for touchdowns.
The win improves the defending champions to 7-7 on the season, locking up the last playoff spot in the west. They’ve struggled at times this season, but have managed to do enough to put them in a spot for a potential playoff run. They have one more game left on the season to gain some momentum for the postseason, traveling to play the Arizona Rattlers (Saturday 8:05 CT). Arizona needs to win this game to secure the number-one seed in the postseason.
Massachusetts falls to 9-5 on the season, in a lock with the Quad City Steamwheelers with the number 2 seed. The two-game skid near the end of the season may have been enough to take away a first-round home game. Since Quad City takes on the Oilers this weekend, Massachusetts will likely need a win this weekend at Sioux Falls (Saturday 7:05 CT) to force a tiebreaker.
San Diego Strike Force 40 Bay Area Panthers 75
This game was even worse than the score appears if that is possible. The Panthers took a 35-19 lead into the half and continued to pour it on. The 75 points scored tonight set a Panthers record for points in a game. Dalton Sneed continues to bolster his MVP resume on the season, the Panther’s signal caller was near perfect tonight. Completing 14 of his 16 passes, Sneed threw for 173, rushed for 53, and scored 4 total touchdowns.
Running back Justin Rankin was part of a three-headed rushing monster this game, rushing for 44 yards and 3 touchdowns. Wide receiver J.T. Stokes did his best impersonation of Deebo Samuel, rushing for 44 yards, 42 yards receiving, and 5 total touchdowns. it remains to be seen, but he made a strong case for IFL player of the week.
As good as the Panther’s offense was, the defense was probably better. Against Nate Davis, one of the best in the IFL, they intercepted him 4 times and forced a fumble. Trae Meadows made his case for defensive player of the week, with 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions, and a touchdown. Marquis Bridges also came down with 2 interceptions in the blowout.
On the other hand, the Strike Force looked completely outmatched. The usually great Nate Davis was only 21 of 37 for 242 yards. He did manage 3 touchdowns, but he was intercepted 4 times. Running back Edward Vander was one of the few bright spots in this game. the dual-purpose back found the endzone 4 times, twice on 25 yards rushing, and another 2 on his 103-yard receiving (9 catches). Kentrez Bell wasn’t quite as involved as normal but still came up with 50 yards receiving and a touchdown.
The Panthers improve to 9-5 on the season, one game ahead of the Tucson Sugar Skulls for the second seed in the IFL west. They will need a win or a Skulls loss this weekend to ensure a home playoff game for last year’s worst team in the league. They will travel to Albuquerque to take on the Duke City Gladiators (Sunday 4:05 CT).
San Diego falls to 5-9 on the season, a disappointing one to be sure. However, there seems to be much for them to build on. Nate Davis continues to shine as one of the league’s best passers, and Kentrez Bell made his case for wide receiver of the year. They finish off the season hosting the Vegas Knight Hawks (Saturday 8:05 CT), a win ensuring they won’t end as the worst team in the division.