By Christopher Mabry
We are two weeks until the start of the 2018 AFL Playoffs. As it stands right now, here are the current standings heading into Week 12:
Current AFL Standings
Games this week
Albany At Washington
Baltimore at Philadelphia
Now that you know how the teams are positioned, here is how the playoff format works:
By Tonya Swim
The Sioux City Bandits will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico to take on the Duke City Gladiators in the Champions Indoor Football Baymont Champions Bowl on Saturday, June 30.
Statistics are only part of the story as many fans know well. On paper, the Bandits will come away with the victory, but if you take in the 15 hour bus ride, and the Duke City home field advantage, that is just what it says an advantage.
Sioux City looks to be a more well-rounded team with a rushing and passing game, whereas Duke City is more of a passing team. The defense would come into play with those and Duke City allows very few rushing yards overall, but is fairly even with the amount of passing yards allowed.
Keep an eye on Gladiators Dello Davis who is number one on the leader board for yards per game received and touchdowns as well as Brett Bowers who is leading the league in sacks.
On the Bandits side, watch for Darrian to continue to rack up the rushing yards to stay number one in the league.
The game will be televised at 7pm on Pluto TV Channel 221.
Monday night in the CIF, the South Conference Championship the Texas Revolution went down to New Mexico to take on the Duke City Gladiators. The winner will advance to the Champions Bowl this Saturday. If the Gladiators won, then they host the title game. But, if the Revolution win, then the game will be played in Salina, Kansas against the Salina Liberty.
By the end of the first quarter, the Texas Revolution were down 15-0. Then, starting in the second quarter, Revolution quarterback Andrew Jackson threw a 45-yard dart to LaDon Hudson for the touchdown along with the extra point. The score is now 15-7.
In the third quarter, the Texas Revolution quickly caught up when they got a touchdown almost one minute into the quarter. Thanks to Quarterback Andrew Jackson, the mobile quarterback scrambled for a touchdown and a 2-point conversion. The score is now tied 15-15.
Next, it was the Duke City Gladiators turn to score. On a first and ten from the Revolution 17-yard line, The Gladiators quarterback Caleb Holbrook threw a 17-yard pass to Dello Davis for a touchdown giving the lead to the Gladiators the lead 22-15.
Scoring would not continue in the third quarter but would resume in the fourth. In the fourth quarter, with time running out on the Texas Revolution season, it seemed like all the work that Texas had put into would go down the drain. On the Revolution 1 yard line, running back Juwan Lewis rush into the endzone for a one yard run. The score is now 28-15. It would have been 29-15, but the Gladiators missed the extra point.
For the Revolution to go back to the Champions Bowl once again, they must catch up to the Gladiators with a come from behind victory. The only problem is that they have to do it in 12 minutes and while on defense.
During the Gladiators drive, Duke city took four plays that would lead up to another touchdown that nearly ran out the clock. On that fifth play that basically eliminated the Revolutions season. It happened on the Texas Revolution’s 10-yard line. It was a 2nd and goal. Gladiators receiver Jared Elmore caught the pass from Caleb Holbrook for a 10-yard touchdown along with the extra point. Even though the Revolution have lost the game they did score two touchdowns making the score 35-28.
Now, the Gladiators host the Sioux City Bandits in the CIF Championship game. The game is this Saturday starting at 7pm central on Pluto TV
Suspiciously absent from the Pirates roster on Saturday’s win over the Steelhawks was wide receiver London Crawford. Three days before game day, Crawford posted in the National Arena League News Facebook group: "In life a lot of decisions are made biased (sic) off of emotions and feelings all of my decisions are made off of what’s best for me and my family today I asked for my release from the mass pirates. I want to thank all of the fans that supported me and all of my teammates I grew relationships with will miss each and everyone of you. Every situation doesn’t call for a response when you grow as a player and a man professionalism shows on a high level. Looking forward to my next journey for whatever team I sign for so stay tuned.”
Obviously this unsolicited and ominous post was a surprise to Pirate Nation and the NAL community. Following that statement were several well wishes from fans and players. Among these was a comment that Crawford sat the bench when he should be playing. Other comments made inferences to what uniform Crawford would wear next: Sharks, maybe? At the time of this article, we just don't know.
What we do know is London Crawford played in just 5 games in the 2018 season, had 13 receptions for a total of 74 yards. With these catches Crawford tallied one rushing and one receiving touchdown. Unimpressive numbers for the 6’3” University of Arkansas alumni, but one would argue Pirates coaches had receivers like Devonn Brown, Levon Pearson and Mardy Gilyard to play in his stead.
Exclusive to Arena Football Talk was the official statement from the Massachusetts Pirates front office about London Crawford’s departure: “It was a pleasure having London on the team, his veteran presence and work ethic was an asset to our ball club. Mutually we felt it was best to release London from his contract, and we wish the best for him moving forward.”
By Tonya Swim
Salina, Kansas-The Northern Conference championship game did not disappoint in entertainment, but like all games, one must come away with the loss.
Sioux City's Greg Conry kickoff was taken by Salina's Dominique Carson and the Liberty will start their first possession on their own 13 yard line.
Derrick Bernard hands off to Carson for an eight yard gain then keeps the ball to get up to the Sioux City 24. A hand off to Rashad Pargo added four more, but an incomplete pass brought up third and two. A pitch to Carson lost one yard then pressure from the Bandits defense had Bernard scrambling unable to complete a pass and at 11:33 in the first, the Bandits get the ball on a turnover of downs on their own 18.
Liam Nadler hands off to Darrian Miller when he was stopped by Ricky Wyatt for a one yard gain. Salina got an offside flag giving the Bandits and extra five yards to the Bandits 24 then an illegal procedure brought up second and nine and put the ball back to the Bandits 19. Two incomplete passes and a field goal that was no good will give the Liberty the ball on their own five yard line.
Bernard faked a hand off then ran up to their own 12 but again, the defense put him under pressure and he threw the ball into the stands. A toss to Carson would get them the first and 10 on their own 16. Using Carson again will gain seven then Bernard will run after being flushed out for one more yard. A keeper then a pass to Julian Stafford will get the ball up to the Bandits nine and give the Liberty a new run of downs. An incomplete pass will bring up second and 10, then Benard faked a pump and with Carson blocking ran the ball for a gain of three. Bernard's next pass is tipped by Delvin Batiste and it incomplete and brought out Jimmy Allen to get three on the board with a field goal with 1:55 left in the first.
The next kickoff would start the Bandits out on their own 21. A hand off to Miller and two incomplete passes would bring up three and 10, but an illegal contact on Salina would move the ball up five. Another hand off would move the ball and end the first quarter.
Second quarter would start with two hand offs to Miller to get the ball up to the Salina 12. Nadler's next pass is intercepted, but a flag on Salina would negate the interception and give the Bandits the replay of the down and moved the ball up to the Liberty's seven. Two hand offs to Miller would put the ball on the three then Nadler Superman-ed into the end zone for a touchdown. A bad snap had Conry picking up and throwing the ball, which was an incomplete pass and the Bandit are on the board Salina 3 Sioux City 6.
Salina's next possession was short and sweet thanks to Carson's kickoff return. However another bad snap would keep the extra points unattainable. 11:37 left in the half, Salina 9 Sioux City 6.
Miller took the kickoff out to midfield. Nadler found Andre London to get it to the Salina 11 but a hand off to Miller would be stopped by Wyatt for no gain. Finding Brandon Shepherd will gain three then a hand off to Frederick Bruno would bring up fourth and two on the Salina four. Conry came out for the field goal attempt, but a high snap threw off the timing and it was no good. 8:44 left in the half, Salina 9 Sioux City 9.
The next kickoff was, again taken by Carson. He chased it around the end zone then grabbed it and headed out towards the opposite end zone avoiding and getting out of every potential tackle for a touchdown. Allen's PAT was good and Salina takes the lead 16, Sioux City 9.
Allen kicked off and Miller took it up to the Salina 17.
Nadler faked to Bruno and tossed it to Miller for no gain then pressure caused an incomplete pass. The next pass was to London for a touchdown. London's ninth touchdown of the season. The PAT was no good, Salina 16 Sioux City 15.
Tracy Brooks took the kickoff out to the Bandit's 17 then Bernard found Stafford for a six yard gain. Time out, Salina.
A near fumble on the hand off to Rashad Pargo added four yards then Bernard scrambles down to the Bandit's 13 bringing up fourth and six. Allen's 30 yard field goal attempt was good and with 3:56 left in the half, Salina 19 Sioux City 15.
A short kickoff by Allen was picked up by Devin Groenhagen out to the Salina 19. Nadler pitched to Bruno, no gain, then a pass to London who was stopped by Trey Dudley-Giles bringing up third and long. Another pass to London got the ball to the Salina one and first and goal. A hand off to Miller would see a flag for illegal defense, repeat of the down and put the ball on the half hash. Handing off to Miller would put six on the board and the extra point was good. 78 seconds left in the half, Salina 19 Sioux City 22.
Conry's kickoff touches the wall giving Salina the ball on their own 10 yard line. 55 seconds left in the half, Bernard threw an incomplete pass, but a pass interference would move the up up to the Salina 15. A keeper would add five, and incomplete pass then a pressured run would be fumbled and picked out of the air by Stafford for a 13 yard gain. Faking a pitch would give Pargo the ball and for the 13th time this season he found the end zone. The extra point was no good, with six seconds left in the half, Salina 25 Sioux City 22.
The next kickoff would be taken by Miller, but it would also end the half.
The second half would see Miller fumble the kickoff and Sioux City's Batiste recover it on their own 17.
Nadler's first pass would be incomplete in part due to the coverage of Isiah Barfield. A hand off to Bruno would gain seven then a hand off to Miller would bring up first and 10 on the Salina 23. The next incomplete pass would also see a flag for the replay of the down and put the ball on the Liberty 17. Nadler pitched to Bruno, incomplete pass then another pitch, this time to Miller would bring up third and goal on the Salina five. An offsid flag on Salina would help with the bad exchange putting the ball half the distance at the two and a half. Nadler found Miller for a touchdown and a flag for hands to the face against Jacob Lattimer. Conry's extra point was no good and 9:57 left in the third, Salina 25 Sioux City 28.
Carson took the kickoff out to their own four. A pitch to Carson would be for no gain, then a long pass to Stafford will give the six. Allen's extra point was good and Salina goes up 31, Sioux City 28.
Miller took the kickoff out to the Bandit's 20 then Nadler's pass to London put the ball on the Salina eight. A pitch to Daryl Virgies would have no gain and second and goal. Time out Sioux City. A slant pass to London would gain five but Nadler was sacked by Lattimer for a loss of three on the next play and brought up fourth and goal and the field goal team. The attempt was good, Salina 32 Sioux City 31.
A short kickoff would be taken by Brooks out to the Sioux City 15. The pass to Batiste was dropped, the next pass was incomplete then Bernard goes back to pass, drops the snap and it rolls out to the Salina 22 before Sioux City recovers it.
Nadler used one pass to find Bruno and put six on the board. The two point conversion was stopped by Wyatt and with 3:11 left in the third quarter, Salina 32 Sioux City 37.
Conry's kickoff skipped out of bounds and Salina starts on their own five.
Bernard hands off to Carson for the six yard gain then runs the ball out to their own 20. An incomplete pass then a hand off to Carson got the ball midfield but Bernard was flushed out of the pocket and ran down to the Sioux City five, but a flag will back them back to their own 15 bringing up third and 15 along with the end of the third quarter.
Bernard's pass was incomplete but a flag against the Bandits gave the five yards needed for the first and 10. Bernard uses a fake to run up inside the five, but an unsportsmanlike on Danna Harris Jr. backed Salina up to the Bandit's 17 yard line. Carson got the pitch and ran the ball up and an illegal defense on the Bandits gave them the ball on the Sioux City 12. Bernard used a shotgun to Carson for a gain of six then again for a gain of two. An incomplete pass stalled the possession then a hand off to Carson resulted in a touchdown, or did it? The challenge flag came out as the referee ruled Carson down at the one. The ruling on the field stands bringing up fourth and one. Bernard ran a pass option to Donovan Rasberry for the touchdown. PAT is good, Salina 39 Sioux City 37.
Miller takes the next kickoff but is stopped by Lattimer and Dudley-Giles on the Sioux City 14.
Nadler's pass was incomplete then a pass out to Miller gained six. A hand off to Shepard was a loss of one then the field goal attempt was no good. 9:06 left in the game, Salina 39 Sioux City 37.
Salina will start with the ball on their own five.
Bernard's keeper was stopped at the line of scrimmage, a hand off to Carson but and illegal proceedure would back them up to their own two and a half yard line. Bernard was flushed out and stopped hard by Groenhagen at his own five yard line than threw an incomplete pass to bring up fourth and 10. Allen punted out of bounds giving the Bandits possession midfield.
Nadler's hand off to Miller gained five then an option to Miller got the ball to the Salina six. A hand off to Bruno gained one then another hand off to Miller put the ball on the two. Nadler gave the ball to Miller for the touchdown, but a flag for holding voided the touchdown and backed the Bandits to the Salina 12. Nadler found Bruno in the end zone for a touchdown, but a high snap throws off Conry and the PAT goes left. A hands to the face on Lattimer gave the Bandits a replay and a hand off to Miller is a good two-point conversion. 3:10 left in the game, Salina 39 Sioux City 45.
The kickoff rolled along the top of the wall before falling into the crowd at the Salina 11.
Bernard passed to Carson for a gain of six. An incomplete pass then a pump fake and pass to Carson got the ball to the Bandits 24. A screen out to Carson gained two then the one minute warning sounded.
Bernard found Brooks to bring the first and 10 on the Bandits 11 then ran out for a one yard gain. A fake pitch yielded an incomplete pass then Bernard found Brooks and brought up the first and goal on the one yard with 22 seconds left. Time out, Salina.
Bernard kept the ball to get to the half hash then a timeout was called.
Bernard scrambles but stopped at the two. The ball kept rolling backwards as the referees chased it and the time kept going. Bernard spiked the ball with one second left and the timekeeper added two seconds. The next and final pass was incomplete and Sioux City wins the Northern Division Championship.
Not being able to capitalize when you're so close to scoring is a disappointment. “We had it and let it slip away at the end.” reflected Salina's Julian Stafford and sums up the Liberty's season.
The Bandits, however will meet the winner of Monday night's game between the Texas Revolution and Duke City Gladiators.
“We played Bandit football! Went into a hostile environment and played our game and came out successful. It's a tribute to our defense. The last series was huge! We prepare for things like that in practice and that's why we preach, practice like it's a game, because our defense gives us the best look and vice versa.” stated Andre London.
Photo By Wendy S. Ohl
Worcester, MA- Entering the home stretch of the 2018 National Arena League season, the Massachusetts Pirates have become the best. The Pirates secured their supreme status last night after the combination win over the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks and a Carolina Cobras loss to the Lions. In spectacular fashion, the Columbus Lions were able to nudge out a win in Greensboro, NC over the number one team.
Those of us on the blue turf in Pirate Nation: fans and players, watched the closing seconds of that game on our cell phones during the autograph session. When the game ended Pirate wide receiver, Mardy Gilyard began shouting the rhetorical question “We’re number one? We’re number one?” He then took a celebratory lap through the crowd of fans with high fives for everyone. It was truly a memorable moment. It hasn’t been since the beginning of the season that the Pirates claimed bragging rights at the top spot, but the electricity in the air was well worth the wait.
Last night, the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks proved to many a negative arena-football-fan that they can compete in the NAL. By leading the entire first quarter and much of the first half, their offense is as good as any who play indoor football. But, it was the minor mistakes by the metallic birds from Pennsylvania that gave the Pirates the opportunity to take the lead and keep it.
Coming to the end of the season the Pirates have to contend with an angry, vendetta-driven, Columbus Lions who fought a contentious Pirate battle last week; and a tough Jacksonville Sharks who have built strong momentum after a rough start to the season. Sprinkle in a couple more games with Lehigh Valley and that’ll seal the deal for the scurvy dogs!
Next week, the Pirates travel to Columbus, Georgia for a face off against the Lions and the Steelhawks return home to meet with the Jacksonville Sharks. Tune into NAL Youtube channel at 7pm for all the action!
By Tonya Swim
The Sioux City Bandits will make the trek once again to the Tony's Pizza Event Center and face the Salina Liberty for the second round playoff game and Northern Conference championship.
The last meeting between two teams saw Salina win by two points, but both teams are coming in with a 10-3 record. “Last time we played these guys, we were in the middle of trying to find our selves as an offense. We didn't play well as an offense and put the ball on the turf to much. Even with a poor showing by our offense will still had a chance to win the game in the final second, but didn't capitalize.” said Andre London, wide receiver for the Bandits. “I don't think the travel will be an issue because it's not that far of a trip and we know what's at stake. We have a chance to right our wrongs from the last meeting with these guys! The only thing that we have been doing any differently for this game than any other is our focus is a bit more on playing Bandit football, everyone doing their job for 60 minutes on all phases of the game, Offense, Defense and Special Teams.”
The Liberty are not concerned about playing against the Bandits and aren't changing a thing. “One thing on our mind is winning. Nothing else is changing.” stated Liberty Linebacker Ricky Wyatt.
The game will begin at 6:30 CST and will be broadcast on Pluto TV channel 221.
By Tonya Swim
Amarillo, Texas-Every jigsaw puzzle needs all of it's pieces to become whole. When going into a playoff game, the same is needed for a team to be able to compete at the level necessary to move to the next round. Unfortunately, the Amarillo Venom did not have all their pieces out of the box and ready to be put in place.
Key players Jer'yl Christian, Louvan Green and Steve Fluker were noticeably absent throughout the game, especially when Bernard Flores and Richard Mitchell both left the game with injuries that kept them from returning.
The Texas Revolution received the ball first and Joe Adams took the kickoff out to their own 20 yard line before being stopped by Terrious Triplett.
Andrew Jackson starts the game off with a running play, handing off to Jordan Brown for a gain of two. His next three passes are incomplete and the Venom get to take over the ball on the Revs 22.
Nate Davis finds Xavier Amey for a gain of 19, putting the ball on the Revs three yard line then finds Alex Watson in the end zone for the touchdown. A flag for illegal defense on was declined and Jacob Felton's point after was good. 11:41 in the first quarter, Revolution 0 Venom 7.
The short kick off was taken out by Frankie Solomon Jr. out the the Venom 20.
Jackson handed off to Brown for a gain of four, and two incomplete passes brought up third and six. An off side on Desmond Raiford got a replay of the down and the ball moved up five yards to the Venom 11. Another hand off to Brown and the Revolution went on the board. Brad Dunavant came out for the one and at 9:36 in the first quarter, Revolution 7 Venom 7.
Raymond Johnson Jr. took the kick off out to the the Venom 10.
Davis started with an incomplete pass before finding R. Johnson Jr. to get out the the Venom 19. Davis found Amey and an offside on Meshak Williams got the ball up to the Revolution 17 giving the first and 10. After another incomplete pass, Davis found Amey to bring up the first and goal with the ball on the Revolution six. Next play, Davis threw the ball away under pressure, then his next pass attempt to Jordan DeCorte was tipped by Tre Harlan to bring up third and goal with the ball on the three. A hand off to Jah'son Patterson would complete the possession with the touchdown but a high left snap threw the timing off for Felton and his extra point missed the mark. 3:43 left in the first, Revolution 7 Venom 13.
Kick off was taken out by Adams, but was stopped by Richard Mitchell on their own 17.
Jackson handed off to Brown and was stopped by Mitchell for no gain then Jackson was pressured and taken down by Eric Banford pushed the ball back to their own 15 bringing up third and 12. A complete pass to LaDon Hudson gave them the first and 10 on the Venom 20.
Time out Revolution. Jackson throws deep, but couldn't connect then a hand off to Brown is stopped by Raiford for a gain of two and ending the first quarter.
Jackson threw a pass to Adams, but the coverage by Jeff Branch negated that one bringing up fourth and eight on the Venom 18. A deep pass to Clinton Solomon into the end zone. The extra point was no good and with 14:12 left in the half, Revolution 13 Venom 13.
Cashmin Thomas took the kick off out to the Venom 17.
Davis used Patterson twice to get the ball up to the Revolution 18 and get the first and 10. A fake hand off didn't get the desired complete pass nor did the next two pass attempts. Felton came out for the 33 yard field goal attempt and added the three to the board. Revolution 13 Venom 16.
Felton's kickoff was out of bounds giving the Revolution the ball on their own five yard line.
Jackson was under pressure by Nashawn Lewis disallowing a complete pass, but found Adams with his next pass that put them on the board with a touchdown. Dunavant put the ball through the uprights and with 8:50 left in the half, Revolution 20 Venom 16.
Patterson took the kickoff down to the Revolution 17.
Davis' pass to Amey bought up the first and goal with the ball on the Revolution four. Next pass was batted down by Harlan, then a hand off to Patterson lost two yards. Pressure put on Davis caused him to use a shovel pass to R. Johnson Jr, who was in the end zone, and with Felton's extra point, the Venom go up again with 6:18 left in the half Revolution 20 Venom 23.
Harlan took off with the next kickoff, but with the holding call against the Revolution, the Revs are backed up to their own 21.
Jackson came out and used two plays to find Travarres Williams for a 10 yard gain then fakes a hand off, but Demario Donnell was there to make sure it didn't find the intended target. The defense pass rushed Jackson the next play causing him to scramble and throw away the ball creating a turnover on downs and giving the Venom the ball on the own 21.
Davis found Amey for an 11 yard gain then a touchdown pass. The PAT from Felton was good and with 2:18 left in the half, Revolution 20 Venom 30.
Adams took the kickoff out to their own 19 then Jackson handed off to Brown for a two yard gain. An incomplete pass heard the one minute warning and then an incomplete pass followed that, but a pass interference call on Triplett gave the Revolution the first and 10 on the Venom 14. Jackson passed to Brown, who was stopped by Mitchell for a loss of two then a pass to Brown was complete, but Jeff Branch put a huge hit on him only allowing a one yard gain. The Refs reset the clock to 23 seconds then Jackson threw another incomplete pass bringing up fourth and eight. With 18.7 seconds left in the half, Jackson found Hudson for the touchdown. The extra point was good making the score Revolution 27 Venom 30.
Thomas took the kickoff, but an illegal block in the put the Venom back to their own seven.
Davis' pass was intercepted by Jerico Nelson and the Revolution get the ball on their own 13.
Jackson finished up the half with an incomplete pass and a score of Revolution 27 Venom 30.
The third quarter saw the kickoff go out of bounds and the Venom start on their own five yard line. An incomplete then a pass to R. Johnson Jr. got the ball out to the Venom 12 but another incomplete pass brought up fourth and three. Davis tried to run, but was short the first down and the Revolution get the ball on the Venom 13.
Jackson faked a hand off and the pass to Hudson found it's mark for a two yard gain. A hand off to Brown got the ball on the Venom 10, but the Venom's Mitchell was down and would not return to the game. Jackson's next pass was picked off by Thomas, the an illegal defense on Banford gave the ball back to the Revolution on the Venom five. Jackson handed off to Brown for a gain of one then used a keeper to get the first down. A hand off to Brown would put more points on the board, but only six as the PAT was no good. 9:19 in the third, Revolution 33 Venom 30.
Next kickoff was taken by Patterson out to the Revolution 15.
Davis handed off to Patterson for a gain of three, but Venom player Bernard Flores went down and did not return to the game. Davis' pass was incomplete, the the next one was tipped then knocked down by Hudson bringing up fourth and seven along with the field goal team for a 27 yard attempt. Good. 7:02 in the third Revolution 33 Venom 33.
Felton's kickoff hops over the wall and the Revolution start out on their own five.
Jackson fakes a hand off then throws deep but doesn't complete. The defense had him scrambling next play, but he finds Brett Reece Jr. for the completion and the first and 10 on their own 16. Two more incomplete passes, then a flag for delay of game will back the Revolution to their own 11. Jackson finds C. Solomon and an illegal defense on Raiford would put the ball on the Venom 24. Jackson completes the next pass, but two holding flags move them back to their own 16. Banford and Raiford sack Jackson for a loss of one but he finds Hudson again for a touchdown. Flags flew for interference on the Revolution voiding the touchdown and taking the ball to the Revolution seven bringing up second and 28. Jackson's pass was incomplete then his deep pass was intercepted by Donnell. Flags flew for an unsportsmanlike on Lewis and Raiford, but it was after the play so Venom got to keep the ball, half the distance to the goal on their own six.
Davis completed a pass to Watson that brings up the first and 10 and ends the third quarter.
Fourth quarter started out with a Revolution time out, but Coach didn't call it.
Davis tried twice to find Amey before hitting his target bringing up forth and two on their own 24. Another incomplete pass will give the Revolution the ball on downs 12:36 in the forth quarter.
Jackson pitched to Brown, but was stopped with a one yard gain by Bryce Cross. A keeper will move them to the Venom 19 then a pitch to Brown will give them a touchdown. The extra point drew flags for an illegal snap and moved the Revolution out to the seven, but is didn't distract Dunavant and he adds his one at 11:01 in the fourth. Revolution 40 Venom 33.
Kickoff was taken by Ricardo Johnson out to the Venom 23 yard line.
Two handoffs to Patterson will move them to the Revolution 22, then a pass to Watson but the Venom in the end zone. A high snap caused Felton to try and get a pass off, but was tipped and was recovered by the Revolution as Felton tackles. 9:18 left in the game, Revolution 40 Venom 39.
A onside kick was picked up by F. Solomon Jr. and ran in for a touchdown. Flags came out, but the offside was declined. The two point conversion attempt was thwarted by Lewis bringing out the challenge flag by the Revolution coach. The ruling on the field stands, Revs lose a time out and with 9:16 left in the game, Revolution 46 Venom 39.
R. Johnson takes the kickoff out to the Venom 23. Flags, offside Revolution and the ball is moved up to the Revolution eight.
Davis hands off to Patterson to get the ball up to the Revolution two then another hand off to Patterson didn't gain any yards. Davis kept the ball and ran in for the touchdown. Felton's PAT was blocked by Malik Jenkins and with 7:48 left in the game, Revolution 46 Venom 45.
Kickoff taken by Adams but was stopped by R. Johnson on the Revolution 20.
Jackson pitched to Brown for a four yard gain then passed to C. Solomon to bring up the first and 10 and the ball on the Venom 15. Another hand off to Brown and a two point conversion and the Revolution increase their lead to 54, Venom 45 with 5:05 left in the game.
Thomas took the kickoff, but an illegal block in the back by Triplett put the ball half the distance to the goal on their own four yard line.
A bad snap had Davis scrambling and recover, but it was in the end zone giving the Revolution a safety. Revolution 56 Venom 45.
Felton's kick was taken out by Adams, but he was stopped by Donnell. A late hit penalty from DeWayne Autrey on the safety put the ball half the distance to the goal on their own five.
Jackson pitched to Brown for a gain of six then fumbled the next hand off, but Brown recovers on the Revolution 21. Time out Venom.
Jackson hands off to Brown for no gain then another hand off to Brown was stopped for a one yard gain by DeCorte. An incomplete pass brings up fourth and 10 and the Venom call another time out.
Jackson had to scramble to get the ball off but it fell short and the Venom take over on downs with two minutes left in the game on the Revolution 22.
Davis found R. Johnson Jr. to get the ball up to the Revolution one yard line. The next play, the snap went way out, Davis covered but it popped out, F. Solomon Jr. recovered and made a touchdown. The Venom challenge flag comes out. The ruling on the field took the touchdown away, but gave the Revolution the ball on their own 20 and the one minute warning sounds.
Jackson hands the ball to Brown for a two yard gain. Time out Venom. Another hand off puts the ball midfield, then to end the game, Jackson used Brown again and the buzzer sounded.
Texas Revolution 56 Amarillo Venom 45.
The season for the Venom has ended, but the Revolution will travel to Albuquerque to play Duke City in the second round on Monday, June 25th.
Photo by Scott Adamson
By Tonya Swim
Albuquerque, New Mexico-The Wichita Force(4-8) came into the home of the Gladiators(10-2) with the determination to move on to the next round, and until the last three and a half minutes in the game, it seemed that they would walk away with the win.
The Force received the ball first.
Edward Smith Jr takes the ball out and up to the Duke City 19.
Rocky Hinds steps up but the play starts out with an offside against Duke City and the Force get the ball on the Duke City 14. Hinds finds D.A. Allen with a pass putting the ball on the Duke City 11 then an incomplete pass brings up third and one and a half yards. A false start on the Force puts the ball back to the Duke City 16 and another incomplete pass brings up the forth and seven along with the field goal team. Brett Mathis attempts the 36 yarder and is successful. The Force strike first, 11:52 in the first quarter, Force 3 Duke City 0.
Mathis kickoff taken by Dello Davis and out to their own 15 before being taken down by Marcus Carter.
Caleb Holbrook passes to Juwan Lewis putting the ball on their own 21 then a pass to Davis gave them first and 10 and the ball midfield. Holbrook tried a reverse to Sedrick Johnson, but brought up a loss of two. An incomplete pass brought up third and long, but then a penalty against the Force gave them the ball on the Force 23. Two more incomplete passes and the Force took over on down on their own 23.
Hinds first pass was tipped, batted, tipped again then batted down by Charles Johnson. A pass to C. Johnson then Jarrell Kelley got the ball up to the Duke City 14. Finding C. Johnson again, brought up first and goal with the ball on the eight. Hinds took off and with Allen blocking ran into the end zone. Mathis' extra point was good and the Force went up 10 Duke City 0 with 5:01 left in the first quarter.
Kickoff was taken by Davis up to the Force 22. Holbrook handed off to Clifton Rhodes for a three yard gain than a pass to Rhodes was complete for the touchdown. Duke City was on the board 4:07 in the first. James Nachu point after was good. Force 10 Duke City 7.
The kickoff was touched by Joe Hubener and the Force start out on their own 20.
Hinds' pass was tipped by Matt Moss then he handed off but flags flew for a holding against the Force pushing them back to their own 10. Hinds finds Allen for a gain of eight then C. Johnson for the 32 yard pass and run touchdown combo. Mathis hit the uprights for the one, flags on the play, against Duke City. Declined and with 1:57 left in the first quarter, Force 17 Duke City 7.
Rhodes took the kickoff, fumbled then recovered the ball.
Holbrook found Rhodes to get the ball up to midfield. A pass to Jared Elmore then to Lewis brought Duke City within three points. Holbrook called a timeout before the PAT, but Nachu put the ball up and through. Force 17 Duke City 14 with seconds left in the first quarter.
Nachu's kickoff was taken by Kelley up to the Wichita nine yard line.
Hinds pass was incomplete due to coverage by Fred Griggs. Pass to C. Johnson gained three then a pass to Maurice Young brought up the fourth and two with the ball on the Force 17. Mathis attempted a 45 yard field goal, but it went way left and Duke City got the ball on their own five.
Holbrook starts with a deep pass but it misses Davis. Holbrook had another incomplete pass then used a pump fake to run with the ball. Evan Ray was there for the coverage of another pass and the Force get the turnover on downs on the Duke City 12 with 10:51 left in the half.
First play of the possession and Hinds called a timeout. First pass was intercepted by Griggs and Duke City starts on their own nine.
Holbrook is sacked by Keenan Gibbs for a loss of nine, a pass to Elmore gained one and a hand off to Lewis put the ball on the Duke City 21 for the first and 10. A pass to Davis and hand off to Rhodes put the ball on the Force 14. An incomplete pass brought up second and 10, and a scramble forced the keeper for a gain of two. A pass to S. Johnson got the ball up to the Force seven, bringing up fourth and second. As Holbrook scrambled looking for a receiver, he was grabbed by Marcus Carter, but fires it off to S. Johnson in the end zone for the touchdown. Nachu added the one and Duke City goes up 21, Force 17 with 4:46 left in the half.
Kickoff skimmed the sideline, but was touched by Kelley. A false start on the Force backs them up to their own five. Hinds finds C. Johnson twice but an incomplete pass brought up second and 10. Two passes to Allen and the Force was back to first and 10 with the ball on the Duke City 18. An incomplete pass then a pass to Smith Jr. gained nine. Time out, Wichita. Hinds found C. Johnson then Young and got the ball to the Duke City one. Hinds then uses his 335 pound man, James McCartney to bowl through the Duke City defense for a touchdown. The extra point was no good and with 18 seconds left in the first quarter, Force 23 Duke City 21.
Lewis took the kickoff up to the Force 20.
Holbrook's first pass was intercepted by Kendrick Harper and the Force start on their own 15.
Hinds nearly mirrored Holbrook when his pass slipped through the hands of Paul Robinson. A false start pushed them back to the 10 then to end the half, Hinds fumbled the ball, but also recovered it.
Starting the second half, Rhodes took the kickoff up to the Force 20.
Holbrook had an incomplete pass then a run was stopped on the Force 15 by Gibbs bringing up the third and six. Time out Duke City.
Pass is incomplete, but flags for illegal defense moved the ball to the Force 11, a run didn't gain, but another flag for illegal defense moved the ball five more to the Force six. Two incomplete passes and a pass batted down by Carter brought up fourth and goal and the field goal team. Nachu made the 19 yard field goal and at 10:19 in the third, Force 23 Duke City 24.
Nachu's kick goes right out of the field of play giving the Force the ball midfield.
Hinds found Allen for a six yard gain then a pass to C. Johnson got the ball on the Duke City 15. Duke City put the pressure to Hinds as he scrambles but finds Smith Jr. for a 12 yard pickup to the Duke City four.
The next play was nearly comical. Hinds handed off to McCarty, but flags came out and the defense thought the play was called dead. McCarty walked into the end zone for the touchdown and because the flag was for illegal defense, it was declined in lieu of the six. Mathis added the one and with 7:32 left, Force 30 Duke City 24.
Kickoff was taken out, but Davis fumbled and it was recovered by Elmore. A dead ball foul against the Force gave Duke City the ball on the Force 19.
Holbrook found Lewis and Davis to get the ball up to the Force four, but the next hand off to Lewis was stopped on the one yard line by Evan Ray. Holbrook again handed off to Lewis, Lewis fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Dontrell Johnson keeping the ball with Duke City. Holbrook snuck into the end zone and after a late call it was confirmed a touchdown. Nachu remained perfect and Duke City went ahead 31, Force 30 at 4:41 in the third.
Kickoff flies out of the field of play giving the Force the ball midfield.
Hinds passes to Joe Hubener for a five yard gain, then three incomplete passes brings out Mathis for a 33 yard field goal attempt. The kick was good and at 2:05 left in the third quarter, Force 33 Duke City 31.
Davis took off with the next kickoff up to the Duke City 21.
Holbrook handed off to Davis for a 13 yard gain then a fumbled hand off was recovered by Force's Evan Ray and the Force start on their own 15.
Hinds' first pass was incomplete, but a pass interference call and an unsportsmanlike on the Duke City coach put the ball on the Duke City eight. Another incomplete pass, but another flag put the ball half the distance to the goal on the Duke City 5 when the third quarter ended.
Hinds hands off to McCartney, but he's tripped up at the Duke City two. McCartney again for the hand off, but was stopped for no gain. Coverage by Elmore created an incomplete pass bringing out Mathis for a field goal attempt. 12:49 left in the game, Force 36 Duke City 31.
The next kickoff went off of a Duke City player putting the ball back to their own five.
Holbrook starts out with an incomplete pass then a pass to Elmore, who was stopped by Ray on the Force 23. A fake then hand off to Lewis for for a small gain thanks to Chris Hemphill then an incomplete pass brought up third and seven. Another pass, but tipped by Carter and another incomplete pass gave the Force the ball on downs on their own 20 with 9:01 left in the forth quarter.
Hinds finds Allen for a gain of nine then keeps the ball for the one gain and the first and 10 on the Duke City 20. Hinds spiked the ball on the next play as flags came out on the Brett Bowers off sides. C. Johnson took the next pass and got the ball to the Duke City nine. Bowers connected with Hinds for a sack and loss of six. Time out Duke City. Hinds scrambles then tries a shovel pass, but it was incomplete and nearly intercepted by Jayson Serda. Hinds finds Smith Jr. but doesn't get the first down bringing out Mathis for a 20 yard field goal attempt. 4:30 left in the fourth and the Force 39 Duke City 31.
Davis takes the kickoff out to the Duke City 10 yard line.
Holbrook has an incomplete pass then a long, deep pass to Davis for a 40 yard touchdown pass.
Duke City attempts the two point conversion, but it was incomplete, penalty for roughing the passer put the ball half the distance to the goal and a replay of the conversion. Holbrook hands off to Lewis but he's stopped on the one yard line. 3:29 left in the game, Force 39 Duke City 37.
Nachu does an onside kick, Elmore gets the ball and Duke City start again on their own 13.
Holbrook hands off to Davis for a one yard gain then a deep pass to Elmore is complete for the touchdown. The extra point is good and with 2:30 left in the game, Force 39 Duke City 44.
C. Johnson takes the kickoff up to the Duke City 23.
Hinds passes to Allen for a gain of nine then a pump fake runs the ball for a loss of one. Hinds finds Hubener to the the ball to the Duke City 10. Two incomplete passes bring up third and goal, A false start on Darren Marquez pushes them back five then the next pass was tipped by Serda then Little before landing in the hands of Donnie Duncan giving Duke City a chance with the ball with 23 seconds left in the game and the ball on the Duke City 16.
Time out Duke City.
Holbrook kept the ball to get it up to their own 17. Time out Force. Two more keepers brings up fourth and nine, but a sideline warning on Duke City puts the ball back to their own 12. Nachu comes out, but essentially needs to kick the ball over the wall, not through the uprights to give the Force the ball on their own five. He misses the field goal, as per decided and with 3.4 seconds left, the Force comes out for one last chance. Force 39 Duke City 44.
The Force fumbles the snap, Terrale Johnson recovers it then hops rolls into the end zone for a touchdown to end the game. Force 39 Duke City 50.
"It was a tough loss.The way we lost made it worse." said Force player D.A. Allen. "I'm proud of the fellas. We went out and battled from beginning to the end. Duke City's a good team, hats off to them.
Duke City will host the winner of the Monday night game between the Amarillo Venom and the Texas Revolution.
The 0-7 Lehigh Valley Steelhawks went to Portland to play the 1-7 Maine Mammoths in a battle to keep their playoff hopes alive. The opening kick was returned by Maine to the Lehigh Valley six. On first and goal Jonathan Bane hit Devin Wilson for the Maine touchdown. Raining NAL special teams player of the week Henry Neil nailed the extra point making the score 7-0.
The Steelhawks opening drive started on their own nineteen. Lehigh Valley methodically worked their way down the field capping the drive off with a Caleb Walton to Seth Higgins. Spencer Hotaling nailed the extra point, tying the game at seven.
The Mammoths offense worked it way inside the Steelhawks five before sputtering out where they failed to punch the ball in from one yard out on fourth and goal. The next play turned the tide of the game where botched snap lead to a safety giving the Mammoths the lead 9-7.
Lehigh Valley’s next drive was well executed as they worked their way down the field as but had to settle for a field goal making the score 10-9 Steelhawks. The next drive for Maine lasted a short two plays as that was all Bane needed to find Devin Wilson for an easy touchdown. Henry Neil’s extra point went through the uprights making the score 16-10 Maine.
On the Steelhawks next drive, they attempted to fix something that wasn’t broken when they brought out Matt Foltz to take over at quarterback. On a second and six, Foltz could handle the snap and the Mammoths recovered. Walton would later come back into the game but by the end of the first half it was clear that the Steelhawks couldn’t keep up with Maine’s high powered offense as they trailed 30-16.
The Steelhawks began the third quarter how they left off, making constant mistakes as they botched another snap on an extra point attempt that they got to re-attempt due to a roughing the passer call on the play. The Steelhawks were able to kick the extra point on the second attempt where the Steelhawks converted, closing the gap to seven. The score now read 23-30 with the Mammoths still clinging to the lead.
Maine, realizing their lead had been cut to seven responded in a one play strike from Jonathan Bane to Devin Wilson and Henry Neil hit another easy extra point making the score 37-23 Maine. On the next drive the Steelhawks once again, a center-quarterback exchange lead to another turnover.
From then on out the Steelhawks were only able to put up thirteen more points as the Mammoths continued to run up the scoreboard up until the final seconds of the contest. By the time the final whistle sounded the Mammoths had score the most points they had all season with sixty-two. Lehigh Valley was only able to muster up thirty-six. The game didn't reflect its final score of 62-36. Maine definitely played their best game and gave the crowd a great first home victory, but many of the points they got were off of Steelhawks miscues.
Lehigh Valley needs to fix their quarterback-center exchange if they are to have a shot at the NAL Playoffs, and the Mammoths have to show up like they did last night if they want to be taken as a top three team. The only positives the Steelhawks can take away from last night is that they found out they need a new center and the massacre in Maine is over.