Category Archives: Arizona Rattlers

  • 0

Neal, Chapman, Thomas named 2019 LWOS IFL Players of the Year

As part of the 2019 LWOS Indoor Football League Awards, we gave out an overall MVP as well as our players of the year on each side of the ball on top of special teams.

This season, Iowa’s Daquan Neal, Arizona’s Allen Chapman, and Nebraska’s Eric Thomas were each honored.
Neal, Chapman, Thomas named 2019 LWOS IFL Players of the Year
 

LWOS IFL Offensive Player of the Year: Daquan Neal, QB – Iowa Barnstormers

Daquan Neal secured our Offensive Player of the Year spot with his superb play in his rookie season with the Iowa Barnstormers.

 

 

Neal led Iowa to a 12-3 record while leading the IFL in passing touchdowns (59) and finishing second in the league in rushing scores (24).

If it hadn’t been for an injury that he suffered with just under 11 minutes to play in the United Conference championship game, Neal might have led the Barnstormers to a second straight United Bowl.

 

LWOS IFL Defensive Player of the Year: Allen Chapman, DB – Arizona Rattlers

Allen Chapman earned his spot as our Defensive Player of the Year as the top, lock-down defensive back in lead.

With six interceptions, Chapman tied two others at the top of the charts for the most in the IFL this season. On top of it, he added 41 solo tackles and a plethora of pass break-ups.

Chapman also helped lead the Rattlers to their first undefeated season in franchise history, as well as their second United Bowl in three seasons – coming up on July 13.

 

LWOS IFL Special Teams Player of the Year: Eric Thomas, KR – Nebraska Danger

Earning the Special Teams Player of the Year award was Eric Thomas, despite not being the only kick returner that the Danger have used in a majority of games this season.

Despite not getting a ton of returns, Thomas led the IFL in yards per return, running 21.4 yards during each chance.

Thomas was the only player in the league to earn three returns for touchdowns and helped Nebraska to get back to the IFL semi-finals as well as a winning record.

Click below for a full list of all of the LWOS IFL Awards:

Coach of the Year: Corey Roberson
Most Valuable Player: Ryan Balentine
Players of the Year: Daquan Neal, Allen Chapman, & Eric Thomas
Honorable Mentions: Lorenzo Brown Jr., Marques Rodgers, & E.J. Hilliard
LWOS First and Second All-IFL TeamsThe post Neal, Chapman, Thomas named 2019 LWOS IFL Players of the Year appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


  • 0

2019 LWOS All-IFL Teams Announced

With the Indoor Football League’s (IFL) semifinal playoff games wrapped up and in the books, it’s time again for Last Word On Sports annual awards announcement.
Our department is proud to be celebrating our third annual selection announcement for the IFL.
We’re keeping it simple for this week and putting out our All-IFL teams today before releasing our Individual Awards such as MVP, Coach of the Year, etc. on Wednesday morning.
As always, thanks for following along to our coverage this season.

2019 LWOS All-IFL Teams Announced
The Arizona Rattlers finished the 2019 regular season with an unblemished, 14-0 record. Rightfully so, they lead all teams in the IFL with seven players on our all-league rosters.
The Iowa Barnstormers put seven players on all-league rosters as well, with a league-leading five making the first team.

All 10 IFL teams had at least one representative earn LWOS’ all-league honors. All but two teams had multiple players selected.
2019 LWOS All-IFL Teams
First Team
Offense
Quarterback | Daquan Neal, Iowa
Running Back | Mike Jones, Tucson
Wide Receiver | Ryan Balentine, Iowa
Wide Receiver | Quinton Pedroza, Quad City
Wide Receiver | Brandon Shepherd, Sioux Falls
Offensive Line | Steven Gurrola, Arizona
Offensive Line | Forrestal Hickman, Sioux Falls
Offensive Line | Oliver Lumpkin, Iowa

Defense
Defensive Line | Chris Martin, Nebraska
Defensive Line | Nikolaus D’Avanzo, Arizona
Defensive Line | Claude Davis, Sioux Falls
Linebacker | Treyvon Williams, Iowa
Defensive Back | Tyrell Pearson, Iowa
Defensive Back | Allen Chapman, Arizona
Defensive Back | Brandon Roe, Nebraska
Defensive Back | Bakari Triggs, Green Bay

Special Teams
Kick Returner | Eric Thomas, Nebraska
Kicker | Jimmy Camacho, Arizona

 
Second Team
Offense
Quarterback | E.J. Hilliard, Quad City
Running back | Davonte Sapp-Lynch, Nebraska
Wide Receiver | Marques Rodgers, San Diego
Wide Receiver | Keyvan Rudd, Quad City
Wide Receiver | Jazeric Peterson, Iowa
Offensive Line | Lamar Mady, Arizona
Offensive Line | Kyle Saxelid, Cedar Rapids
Offensive Line | D.J. Loving, Iowa

Defense
Defensive Line | Deldrick Canty, Green Bay
Defensive Line | Silverberry Mouhon, Green Bay
Defensive Line | LaTreze Mushatt, Bismarck
Linebacker | Zach Allen, Tucson
Defensive Back | Davontae Merriweather, Arizona
Defensive Back | Danzel McDaniel, Quad City
Defensive Back | Marquez Gollman, Green Bay
Defensive Back | Omar Cook, San Diego

Special Teams
Kick Returner | Jarrod Harrington, Arizona
Kicker | Jacob Stytz, Quad CityThe post 2019 LWOS All-IFL Teams Announced appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


  • 0

IFL: Arizona Rattlers announce Dates, Arena Change for IFL Playoffs

The Arizona Rattlers announced late Monday afternoon that the site of their semi-final playoff game will not be at Talking Stick Resort Arena – where the team played its regular season games.

Instead, the remaining playoff games will be hosted by Gila River Arena.

Due to updates happening to Talking Stick Resort Arena, the Rattlers are looking for a new home to play their home games for next season, as well.

The Rattlers confirmed, however, that this does not mean Gila River Arena will be their new home for 2020.
IFL: Arizona Rattlers announce Dates, Arena Change for IFL Playoffs
“We will certainly miss the friendly confines of Talking Stick Resort Arena”, team president, Chris Presson said in a Press Release. “We are thankful for the opportunity to try and win our seventh championship at another first class facility in Gila River Arena.”

The release confirmed that the Rattlers semi-final game will be played on Saturday June, 29 at 8:00 p.m. CDT with the broadcast being on YouTube as usual.

If the Rattlers were to win that game and advance with home field advantage to host the 2019 United Bowl, it would be played in Arizona, again at Gila River Arena, on Saturday, July 13 at 8:00 p.m. CDT.

“We are thrilled to be hosting the Arizona Rattlers at Gila River Arena as they compete for their seventh world-championship,” Dale Adams, General Manager of Gila River Arena, said in the release. “Rattlers’ fans will truly enjoy this great arena located in the best entertainment district in Arizona.”

For more information about the rest of the season and the 2019 United Bowl, Arizona Rattlers fans can visit azrattlers.com.

For more Indoor Football news and updates, consider following Last Word On Sports’ Indoor Football department on Twitter and Instagram at @LWOS_IndoorFB.

Indoor Football League Standings

Position
Team
Record
Games behind

1
Arizona
12-0

2
Iowa
11-1
1

3
Sioux Falls
10-2
2

4
Green Bay
7-5
5

5
Tucson
6-6
6

6
Quad City
5-7
7

Playoff Cutoff

7
Nebraska
5-7
7

8
Bismarck
2-10
10

9
San Diego
1-11
11

10
Cedar Rapids
1-11
11

Arizona Rattlers announce dates.The post IFL: Arizona Rattlers announce Dates, Arena Change for IFL Playoffs appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


  • 0

Rattlers on the Move

On Friday an email was sent out to Arizona Rattlers season ticket holders stating.

“As you may have heard we will be relocating for the next two seasons, however, we are confident with the pricing changes and benefits we put in place you will be  very happy.”

This seemed to come at a shock to some Rattlers fans who were not expecting this move to happen, however it seemed likely due to the Phoenix City Council approving a $230 million renovation to the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The renovation will take place in the Suns off-season, which is the Rattlers and WNBA club Phoenix Mercury’s regular season, meaning both teams will need to move to a new facility for two seasons (2020/2021).

LWOS did reach out to the Arizona Rattlers for comment and as of publishing this piece we have not received comment from the club. So that brings us to speculation of where they could play for the next two years.

To strike out one place immediately is ASU’s Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, the facility is large enough but is expected to start renovations on the main arena and building an adjacent 5,000 seat hockey arena this fall.

The Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum is the first real option for the Rattlers, it’s fairly close (compared to other options) to downtown Phoenix and their current home. It also holds a good amount with a capacity of 13,730.

It comes with some massive drawbacks, however. First off it is massively outdated, being built in the 60’s and not truly renovated. The other is it hasn’t held a full time sports team (of this level) since the Phoenix Mustangs left after the 2000-01 season.

Grand Canyon University Arena was also mentioned by fans in their discussion about this, however that isn’t a realistic option as it only seats 7,000 for basketball and would require the removal of around 1,500 seats (similar to the CFE Arena when Orlando played a season there). This would mean only having 5,500 seats for a team that routinely draws double that.

Lastly is Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ. While it is not close to where the Rattlers currently play, and the Coyotes have issues with the building due to it’s location and want to leave it, this is the most possible option of where the Rattlers end up.

It has a high capacity (17,125 for hockey), is a newer arena, and also has experience hosting the Rattlers as they played ArenaBowl XXIX there.

We’ll keep you updated at LWOS on more details as this story progresses.The post Rattlers on the Move appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


  • 0

Ferguson: A mid-season chat with IFL Commissioner Mike Allshouse

We’re nine weeks into the 2019 Indoor Football League Season schedule, and with each team now having completed the first half of their 14-game slates, I took some time to talk to IFL commissioner Mike Allshouse about what the season has brought and where the league is going from here.
Ferguson: A mid-season chat with IFL Commissioner Mike Allshouse
The IFL currently sits at 10 teams, making it the biggest of the four indoor football leagues we cover at LWOS. The year has had its hiccups, like any, but overall it is in some of the best shape its been in, all things considered.

“I think it’s the most solid ground [we’ve been on] foundationally as a league. I’m very excited about the stability that our ownership groups bring to their teams,” Allshouse said. “If you just look at the roster of depth of not only good quality teams but good-quality ownership groups, I think it’s second-to-none.”

Allshouse referenced the Arizona Rattlers eclipsing 25 years of football and other organizations in the league like Iowa, Green Bay, and Sioux Falls approaching 20 years, too.

He added the history of the Quad City Steamwheelers as well as what Roy Choi has done – re-launching Cedar Rapids and expanding to San Diego – as great things going for the league right now.

“It’s kind of a melting pot of different owners with different backgrounds, but they’re all coming together under the common goal, under the IFL umbrella to make this league the best that it can be,” Allhouse said. “That’s exciting as a commissioner to work for individuals like that and to help guide the ship as we progress with the league.”

That doesn’t mean Allshouse and the IFL are content with where they are now. Not by any means.

He knows that being comfortable is a recipe for disaster when it comes to the sport.

“We all know that these things are cyclical, unfortunately, at the level of professional indoor football,” Allshouse said. “We’re not resting on our royals or satisfied in any way, shape, or form. We’re out working and trying to continue to improve on our business model. Again, it’s good to have a little bit of momentum and have some positives vibes in the league – and we’re certainly excited about that – but there’s a whole lot of work to do and we’re sure as hell excited to get to [it].”

One of the biggest questions that we get at LWOS and around indoor football in general is expansion.

The biggest spot on the rumor mill and maybe the only solid lead through the regular season has been a pop-up article from Oakland News Now calling for the aforementioned Choi to take ownership of a third IFL expansion team in the Oakland area.

Nothing has been confirmed on this and the potential deal is far from done, though that doesn’t stop rapid speculation.

“We’re always talking about explaining our business model and expanding our league,” Allshouse said. “I’ll reserve comment until we have something official to say from the league’s stand point. We are working on different markets in the West and the Midwest for teams that fit our geographical footprint. We’re really excited about the progress that we’ve made.”

Ryan Balentine celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the Iowa Barnstormers semi-final victory against the Nebraska Danger. Photo by Connor Ferguson

Allshouse went on to say that the league feels really good about the direction that they are heading in – and rightfully so.

It doesn’t take more than a look or two at one of the F.A.N. Show’s Top 10 plays of the week to see that the action on the field is something to be proud of for the IFL.

Not to mention, through the first half of the year, each of the league’s 10 teams have at least one win – something that wasn’t true even two weeks ago.

There’s something to say about the parity in the league this season.

“I think that it’s obviously very important to have competitive games on the field,” Allshouse said. “Sometimes the competitive nature of our games doesn’t reflect on the standings at the end of the day. Indoor football is such a wild and crazy sport. Games can be close, back-and-forth battles and come down to a team getting a lucky bounce at the end of the game to get the win. I think that’s happened for a few of our teams that are a little lower on the standings where they’ve been right in there [and still lost] a couple of games.”

In fact, that happened during the first week of the season.

Sioux Falls (6-1) and Cedar Rapids (1-7) squared off in the U.S. Cellular Center and played a game separated by a slim three points.

The difference came down to a missed field goal on the River Kings’ side and a made kick for the Storm.

“The standings, obviously, are the judge there when it comes to who has the best winning percentage, but when I look at parity, I’m a different judge,” Allshouse said. “When you’re at a game and can feel the excitement in the building and you can see the back and forth nature of a one-score game, that’s what I consider parity. I think we’ve had a number of games this year that reflect that, and I think we’ll have a number of games coming up [that consist of that] as well.”

Among the matchups this weekend is one between the pair of teams at the top of the IFL standings as Arizona and Sioux Falls are set to do battle for the second and final time this season.

The first game ended with the Rattlers pulling away in the second half, though with this meeting being in Sioux Falls, it’s sure to be a good fight.

On the other side of things, the Iowa Barnstormers will travel to Tucson to take on a Sugar Skulls staff that in majority was with the team during their 2018 United Bowl championship run.

The weekend is critical for both teams – Iowa can’t afford another loss or they will risk the possibility of losing home field advantage for the playoffs.

Since they don’t play each other in the regular season and Arizona won’t face another opponent with an above .500 record this season, this could be the last shot the Rattlers have at losing baring a big upset.

“Unfortunately, it just didn’t work this year to get Iowa and Arizona against each other either at home or away or even in a [home-and-home],” Allshouse said. “I know both of those teams are a little disappointed, but I have a feeling it’s a good possibility we’ll see them in a playoff game this year. I’m disappointed the math didn’t work and hopefully we don’t have any instances like that in future seasons.”

The schedule is another one of those hard-hitting topics.

It’s what the league makes the priority of each off-season as they come and go.

“We try to make our schedule the number one priority every off-season,” Allshouse said. Obviously, you’re establishing your roster of teams and things of that nature, but the [biggest] thing going into the next season is getting the schedule out. You’re trying to make it as balanced as possible while also attributing travel factors.”

Although, sometimes arena dates get in the way of making the schedule even better than what it is year-by-year.

“Really, we’re at the mercy of our arena availability dates,” Allshouse said. “We’re not like the NFL or NHL where they own their buildings and can dictate the dates. We’re sharing buildings with hockey, lacrosse, and basketball teams.”

It’s what led to back-to-back matchups for Green Bay and Quad City a few weeks ago and again with the Blizzard and Nebraska in the past two weekend slates.

Sometimes, it just happens to pay off.

Not only did the back-to-back games bring unpredictable action, but they also sparked a run by this year’s breakout team in the Green Bay Blizzard.

The team from title town is 5-3 in what has been their best start since 2012 this season. They were seven points away from winning their fifth straight game this season the last time they played.

“It’s great,” Allshouse said. “I love the ownership group out there. Larry and Kathy are great owners. They’re very important and prominent people in this league. They’ve had a couple of years where it hasn’t really reflected on the standings how well that team has played. Fortunately for Green Bay this year, it’s starting to go there way a little bit.”

Thanks to a favorable coach and some new stars up north, the Blizzard could be on their way to their first playoff appearance since that 2012 season.

“It’s outstanding to see the growth that Corey has had as a young coach after being named interim coach next year and proving his worth,” Allshouse said. “Larry and Kathy named him the full-time head coach and I think he’s proving them right thus far. They’ve got a young exciting quarterback which is great to see in our league, and the defense is playing very well too. It’s really exciting to see Green Bay [this year].”

Overall, in a variety of different ways of looking at it, the league is on the up and up.

Whether it’s the growing from six to 10 teams in a critical off-season, growing parity and action on the field, the IFL is headed in a strong direction.

One last example – YouTube viewership for the league is up from last season.

“We’re up about 15-20% on our viewership average per game,” Allshouse said. “That’s very exciting in a world and in an industry that sometimes struggles for faces to show, I still feel like we’re a very reputable league that is trying to do things the right way. We’re really proud of the [professionalism] from our entire league.”

The league is in its third year as a partner of YouTube, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

There’s no telling what the year will hold – or even the next two months. You’re just going to want to hang on for the ride.

“We’re excited for what the rest of the season holds for us,” Allshouse said. “We’re going to be chasing a championship with the teams that are vying for a United Bowl championship this year, and we’re certainly excited for things that we are working towards for the 2020 season and beyond.”The post Ferguson: A mid-season chat with IFL Commissioner Mike Allshouse appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


  • 0

IFL: ’18 MVP Drew Powell signs with Arizona Rattlers

The Indoor Football League’s 2018 MVP is returning to the league after we just past the midway point of the season, though he isn’t with the same team.

The Arizona Rattlers have signed quarterback Drew Powell for the remainder of the 2019 season, despite starting 7-0 under current snap-taker Jeff Ziemba.

Powell comes to Arizona not a year removed from winning the United Bowl with the Iowa Barnstormers.
IFL: ’18 MVP Drew Powell signs with Arizona Rattlers
The former Livingstone College quarterback started the 2019 year with the Atlantic City Blackjacks of the Arena Football League.

On Friday, Powell was placed on “Recallable Reassignment.” It didn’t take very long for the Rattlers to pick him up.

What’s this mean for the team’s current starter in Ziemba?

Well, the Rattlers didn’t pick up Powell for no reason. This move will limit his playing time. The bigger question is by how much.

For now, there’s not much information, but this spruces up the coming weeks of the IFL season which already promised to be action packed.

Powell and the Rattlers next game comes on the road Saturday at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in South Dakota where his new team will be taking on the Sioux Falls Storm.

He’ll be quite familiar with the look Sioux Falls will give him – as he beat the Storm in that championship game in 2018.

LWOS will continue to have extensive coverage of the situation from around the IFL as well as the other indoor leagues on Instagram and Twitter as well as right here on the site. Thanks for following along.

2019 Indoor Football League Standings

Position
Team
Record
GB

1
Arizona
7-0

2
Sioux Falls
6-1
1

3
Iowa
6-1
1

4
Green Bay
5-3
2.5

5
Nebraska
4-4
3.5

6
Quad City
3-4
4

Playoff Cutoff

7
Tucson
3-4
4

8
Bismarck
1-6
6

9
San Diego
1-7
6.5

10
Cedar Rapids
1-7
6.5

Week 10 Schedule
Friday, April 26
7:05pm CT | Cedar Rapids @ Nebraska
Saturday, April 27
7:05pm CT | Arizona @ Sioux Falls
8:00pm CT | Iowa @ Tucson
Sunday, April 28
2:05pm CT | Quad City @ BismarckThe post IFL: ’18 MVP Drew Powell signs with Arizona Rattlers appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


  • 0

IFL: Rattlers rout San Diego to end hectic Week 9 in IFL

The San Diego Strike Force took a 14-7 lead after a big, over-the-boards touchdown grab from Victor Dean early in the second quarter in Monday’s Week 9 finale in the Indoor Football League.

From then on, it was all Arizona Rattlers as the 2017 league champions propelled themselves to their seventh win of the season.
Rattlers rout San Diego to end hectic Week 9 in IFL
Arizona scored 45 unanswered points to prove that the Strike Force (1-7) were no match for themselves.

Roland Genesy Jr. went off for 75 yards and three touchdowns while filling in for the injured Jabre Lolley at running back.

On the defensive side, Dillion Winfrey took home two interceptions, including a pick-six to bring the win home for the Rattlers.

It put a bow on a wild Week 9 in the league that saw four teams losing games they were expected to win as the season makes the turn to the back end of the regular season stretch.
A week to be remembered
Aside from Monday’s blowout, it was anyone’s game in the other four bouts.

The Sioux Falls Storm took down the Iowa Barnstormers with a tipped-ball touchdown with one second remaining on the clock to avenge their 2018 United Bowl loss.

The result knocked the Barnstormers from the top of the standings.

In a rematch from just a week before, Nebraska managed to get past the Green Bay Blizzard, giving this year’s surprise team its first loss since March 9.

The win kept the Danger in the playoffs in what has become a tight race for the last two spots – all are separated by half a game.

Two of the teams in that race battled on Saturday as well, when Quad City picked up its first win since March 15, beating the Tucson Sugar Skulls in Moline.

For now, that result is the difference between a playoff spot.

The pair of teams will face off again in the season finale on June 15.

To top it all off, the Bismarck Bucks defeated the Cedar Rapids River Kings to earn their first win of the season – becoming the second team to accomplish the feat after San Diego did it a week ago, as well.

Luckily for Cedar Rapids, it can’t happen again as the result ensured no teams will finish the 2019 season without a win.

Below is a visual look at the league’s current standings.

2019 Indoor Football League Standings

Position
Team
Record
GB

1
Arizona
7-0

2
Sioux Falls
6-1
1

3
Iowa
6-1
1

4
Green Bay
5-3
2.5

5
Nebraska
4-4
3.5

6
Quad City
3-4
4

Playoff Cutoff

7
Tucson
3-4
4

8
Bismarck
1-6
6

9
San Diego
1-7
6.5

10
Cedar Rapids
1-7
6.5

 
More Intrigue Ahead
Who’s to say that the unpredictability stops there?

Week 10 promises to be action packed with a four-game slate headlined by Arizona and Sioux Falls facing off in the Denny Sanford Premier Center.

Add on a hungry Bismarck team trying to keep things rolling as well as a Cedar Rapids team that’s in need of a big win, and the standings could be shook up even more this week.

Week 10 Schedule
Friday, April 26
7:05pm CT | Cedar Rapids @ Nebraska
Saturday, April 27
7:05pm CT | Arizona @ Sioux Falls
8:00pm CT | Iowa @ Tucson
Sunday, April 28
2:05pm CT | Quad City @ Bismarck

Stay informed and up to date on all of the latest indoor football happenings by following LWOS Indoor Football on Instagram and Twitter.The post IFL: Rattlers rout San Diego to end hectic Week 9 in IFL appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


Categories

w88