Category Archives: Indoor Football

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Norling: IFW – Green Bay win highlighted the weekend

The Games (Home in Bold)

Champions Indoor Football:
Omaha Beef 44, Wichita Force 22
Duke City Gladiators 72, Oklahoma Flying Aces 6
Texas Revolution 61, Amarillo Venom 46

Indoor Football League:
Green Bay Blizzard 60, Nebraska Danger 50
Iowa Barnstormers 55, Bismarck Bucks 16
Arizona Rattlers 55, Tucson Sugar Skulls 41
San Diego Strike Force 40, Cedar Rapids River Kings 34

National Arena League
Carolina Cobras 54, Massachusetts Pirates 22
New York Streets 52, Jacksonville Sharks 41
Orlando Predators 42, Columbus Lions 40
Norling: IFW – Green Bay win highlighted the weekend
Last week I raved about the competitiveness of the CIF over the IFL. Well, the football gods showed no mercy and made me eat those words when Duke City murdered Oklahoma 72-6.

On a lesser extent to the ass-kickings in the CIF last week Omaha crushed Wichita by 22 points. Texas also kept themselves unbeaten with a 15 point win over Amarillo at home.

The Indoor Football League continued to show some great – and with some teams god awful – football.

Green Bay, who’s been one of the worst teams in all of indoor football the last few years, took a 10-point win over Nebraska at home to extend their winning streak to 4 games.

Unsurprisingly, Iowa pummeled Bismarck, and unless a f*cking miracle happens the Bucks WILL go winless this season.

Tucson was actually much more competitive against Arizona than I expected, losing by just 14. For being an expansion team playing Arizona 4 times I am pleasantly surprised by the Sugar Skulls.

Wrapping up the week was the Battle of Woes between 0-6 San Diego and 1-5 Cedar Rapids. The game started out really well for the worst two teams in the league playing each other with seven straight drives ending in touchdowns.

The Strike Force would open up the lead with a 45 yard TD pass to end the first half with a 34-21 lead. The River Kings would not be able to get back in the game as San Diego would hit two more field goals in the 3rd quarter bringing the lead to 40-21.

Cedar Rapids would score two unanswered touchdowns, one late in the 3rd and the other late in the 4th to finish the game with a 40-34 score.

Week 1 of the third season of the NAL was actually really surprising as the New York Streets handily beat Jacksonville on the road 52-41 in their inaugural game, a score and result I did not expect coming in.

Another upset saw the Orlando Predators, in front of a very very sparse unannounced number of people, take down the Columbus Lions 42-40 at Amway Center in Orlando.

Orlando using three different sets of graphics bugged the sh*t out of me. The current logo, which is a modified version of their 1998-2000 logo on their uniforms, the turf using their 2001-2010 style, and the transition logo on the broadcast is the black one from 2011-2016.

I can totally understand the turf as that is hard to switch but seriously get your shit straight on the rest of it. Lastly the defending champion Carolina Cobras got a great start with a heavy 32 point win over the Massachusetts Pirates.
The “News”
My biggest criticism of the IFL currently is San Diego and their attendance. I understand that this isn’t the Mid-2000’s anymore and we won’t see 8,000+ crowds anymore, but the Strike Force’s numbers are just embarrassing.

The numbers say they’ve drawn 3,248 to their first game against Tucson. Game 2 against Green Bay saw a reported 1,817 people enter the building and in Game 3 it got worse with only 1,603 coming in.

Yes, the Strike Force were set up late but an average attendance of 2,222.67 is just awful when the Gulls have 5,709 and the Seals NLL lacrosse team, who are also in their first season, have 8,063 fans coming through the gates.

Sadly unless something changes and soon I don’t see the Strike Force surviving in San Diego past the end of the 2019 season.

 The post Norling: IFW – Green Bay win highlighted the weekend appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

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NAL: Sharks in High Hopes to Break History in Columbus

The Jacksonville Sharks (0-1) travel to Columbus, GA to take on the Columbus Lions (0-1) in a National Arena League Week Two matchup. Both teams are coming off of heartbreaking losses to expansion teams, but only one will be able to redeem themselves this week. The Sharks have some bad history in Columbus that they will look to try to erase this week.
Sharks in High Hopes to Break History This Week
Who: Jacksonville Sharks @ Columbus Lions
When: Friday, April 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm (E.T.)
Where: Columbus Civic Center, Columbus, GA

The Sharks and Lions both enter this week with 0-1 records. Some good news is that one of these teams will walk out with a win or a very rare tie. The Sharks, however, don’t have history on their side. They have not won a single game in Columbus since the inaugural 2017 NAL season. That was when the Sharks defeated the Lions on March 17, 2017 with a 56-41 score.

Both teams have changed dramatically since that date, so that small statistic doesn’t really mean anything at the moment. To be fair, the Lions technically haven’t beat the Sharks in Jacksonville a single time in franchise history. That’s beside the point because this game is not in Jacksonville.

Both teams have some powerfull offenses, but who ranks the best when it comes to the offense?
Top Receivers at Full-Strength
Like mentioned in last week’s preview, the Sharks have the top three receivers from the NAL last season. That didn’t seem to phase the Streets, as they nearly shut down all receivers except Devin Wilson.

Wilson finished with 140 yards and one touchdown on 11 receptions. Former Lions receiver, Jarmon Fortson, looked great in the first drive for Jacksonville, catching both passes that were in his direction, one of which he took to cash in some points.

Other former Lions receiver Durron Neal suffered an injury and did not play, but he should be good to play this week against his old team. Neal led the league in receiving yards last season and he should be hungry for revenge on his old team for letting him go.

With all of this said, there can only be one receiver targeted per play and there are only so many offensive plays in a game, so these receivers aren’t all going to see all-star numbers this week or every week.

One or two players might see great numbers, but definitely not all three, especially when there are other receivers such as Chris Gilchrist and Cody Saul taking reps. Gilchrist actually led the Sharks in receiving touchdowns last week with two.
Sluggish Defense but still forcing turnovers?
For the Sharks defense, their Defensive Backs looked a tad bit tired on the field ast week, but were still able to force two turnovers. Saul at Linebacker also caught a controvercial interception last week, as he caught the ball but didn’t maintain possession before the ball popped out. The officials ruled the play as a fumble and the game continued, crediting Saul with an interception.

Defensive Lineman Keith Bowers looks to make his return debut with the Sharks after suffering an injury in training camp, less than two weeks before the home-opener. With him back in the swing of things, the Sharks defense should be back to normal with their high-powered sack machines. Nick Woodman also came down with a sack last week, the Sharks’ only last against the Streets.
Touchdown Galore Lions Offense
Last week, the Lions offense had a field day against the Orlando Predators defense. One player alone scored five touchdowns. That player was Wide Receiver Bones Bagaunte. Bagaunte previously played for the Massachusetts Pirates and totaled 54 receptions for 524 yards and 14 touchdowns in nine games.

After making the move to the Lions, he showed that he was willing to be their top guy. Their quarterback, Luke Collis, may be far from Mason Espinosa, but he has tons of arena football experience, starting with the Spokane Shock in 2012. Losing Fortson and Neal to the Sharks didn’t seem to phase the Lions at all, as they were just two points short of the Predators.

They looked strong all game, but didn’t have a kicker to boot the ball through the uprights. This forced Columbus to attempt a 2-point conversion after every single touchdown. After a while, this can be very predictable and can put the opponents at an advantage.
Same-ish Defense from Last Year
The Lions lost a key member of the defense from last year when Defensive Back Chris Pickett. He was named First Team All-NAL selection in 2018. That won’t slow the Lions down this season because they almost have the same exact defense as last year.

Other key players to stay with the Lions this season include Defensive Lineman Kendrick Washington, Defensive Backs Shattle Fenteg, Martay Mattox, and Kyle Griswould.

There is no saying that this defense will be unstoppable after what happened last season in the championship game (Carolina beat the Lions 66-8), but this defense is pretty close to being an unstoppable force.

It will be interesting to see if they will be able to keep up with this fast-paced Jacksonville offense or if they will be one step ahead and win the third and fourth down game.
Conclusion and Closing Thoughts
This game will be tough to pick a winner because nobody really knows what to expect from either team. Both teams are really good and they have shown that, but there are obviously some bumps in the road so far.

For Jacksonville to win this game, they must target more receivers than just one. Last week, they started off great by getting the ball to multiple receivers to start the game. That resulted in points on the board. Once the ball consistently got to Wilson, things got very predictable and that is where Jacksonville fell apart.

For Columbus to win, they must shut down the Sharks offense and get past the offensive line to get to the Quarterback. When the QB has no time to think about what he is going to do, mistakes will happen. That is exactly what Columbus has to do in order to win.

When it comes down to it, both teams have learned each other more since last week. Both teams also have what it takes to win. They say defense wins championships and right now, Columbus has the scariest looking defense.

Jacksonville only got to the QB once last week and forced two of the three turnovers in “garbage” time. Unless the Jacksonville defense can turn things around, this Lions team will make Columbus real proud.

As always, don’t forget to follow us in Instagram and Twitter for all updates on arena and indoor football throughout the country.The post NAL: Sharks in High Hopes to Break History in Columbus appeared first on Last Word on Sports.

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Cody Barber signs with Green Bay Blizzard

Cody Barber was one of the best kickers in the Indoor Football League (IFL) last season.

After going 10-18 in field goals during the year, Barber finished the season as the second-best producers of field goals in the league, statistically.

Barber started the season in Iowa before jumping to a number of teams and eventually finishing the season out with the Green Bay Blizzard.

Now, Barber is taking his talents back to Wisconsin.
Cody Barber signs with Green Bay Blizzard
Barber is a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and said he is excited to be back in his native state.

“I’m very excited to kick in Green Bay,” Barber said. “I’ve wanted to kick for the home town team for a while. I have all my family an friends right there as I’m from Wisconsin, [and] it’s going to be fun to play a season so close to them.”

The Barber signing gives Green Bay fans, who haven’t seen a winning season in six years, a glimpse of hope.

The Blizzard have finished below .500 each year since 2012 after qualifying for the playoffs for the previous eight straight years.

Along with the Barber signing, the team made an addition by promoting interim coach Corey Roberson to head coach for the 2019 campaign.

“As for the losing seasons, Coach Roberson is the right guy to get things turned around,” Barber said. “In my eyes he showed it when he took over the interim coaching position [this year]. He will get the right coaches an players An here an we will turn it around an hopefully bring a championship to Green Bay.”

The Blizzard will begin their 2019 season in February on a date to be determined. The IFL is holding it’s annual league meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada this week and will produce a schedule to be released later this year.The post Cody Barber signs with Green Bay Blizzard appeared first on Last Word on Sports.