Category Archives: Indoor Football League

  • 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

Green Bay’s Corey Roberson named LWOS IFL Coach of the Year

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 kept it simple for this week and put out our All-IFL teams on Tuesday before releasing our Individual Awards such as MVP, Coach of the Year, etc. this morning.
As always, thanks for following along to our coverage this season.

Green Bay’s Corey Roberson named LWOS IFL Coach of the Year
This season in the IFL, a certain head coach led his team to a 15-0, undefeated season and never failed to score more than 50 points in each game his squad played in.

Another led his squad to its 10th straight championship game in the league.

We could even throw in a third that helped his team to the league semifinals for a third season in a row – a first in the franchise’s history.

However, accross the board, nothing was more impressive than the turnaround job that Corey Roberson has done for the Green Bay Blizzard.

Before Roberson was permanently named head coach of the team last August, the Blizzard had not been to the Indoor Football League playoffs since the 2012 season. It was the longest drought among any active team coming into the 2019 season.

The Blizzard started off the year losing two of their first three games, including a 41-3 wallop against Iowa.

That’s when Roberson and co. kicked it into high gear.

Green Bay finished the season with an 8-3 record in their final 11 games, winning their final three to streak into the playoffs and nearly take down Nebraska.

In fact, if it hadn’t been for a fluke fumble, it would have been the Blizzard traveling to Arizona in the semifinal round of the playoffs.

That’s a spot that has been largely filled by Nebraska over the past few seasons.

No matter if Green Bay can keep this going – and they certainly can – in the future, 2019 was the year of Corey Roberson and the Blizzard, and it was spectacular to finally see it.

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 Green Bay’s Corey Roberson named LWOS IFL Coach of the Year appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


  • 0

Ryan Balentine named 2019 LWOS IFL MVP

Ryan Balentine ended his 2018 Indoor Football League season with a three-touchdown game in the United Bowl, winning the MVP for the championship game.

He picked up right where he left off in 2019.
Ryan Balentine named 2019 LWOS IFL MVP
With the departure of fellow veteran wideout Brady Roland and a new quarterback in Daquan Neal for this season, the pressure was heating up for Balentine to step up.

Coach Dixie Wooten chose to roll with a young squad for the 2019 campaign, meaning the few players returning from last season’s roster would be vastly important to Iowa’s success this year.

Balentine did more than come through.

The former Southern Mississippi star averaged two touchdowns per game, this year. Including his all-purpose scores, Balentine ended the year with 30 trips to the end zone.

Not only was his 28 receiving touchdowns the best mark in the IFL, Balentine also recorded a league high 1,084 yards through receptions, beating the next highest wideout by 159 yards.

His 89 receptions were more than anyone else in the league had by 19.

Balentine’s play helped the Barnstormers advance to the league semifinals for the third straight season – a first in the franchise’s history that dates back to 1995.

Iowa finished the season with a 12-3 record, and were an injury to Neal away from heading to a second-straight championship game.

The No. 1 dominated play no matter where he went whether it was Sioux Falls, Green Bay, or in Des Moines – a place he has called home longer than any other in his long career in the IFL.

All of this helped us select Balentine as our 2019 Last Word On Sports IFL Most Valuable Player as well as an All-IFL First Team selection at wide receiver.

LWOS announced its 2019 All-IFL teams yesterday and has also announced its 2019 Players of the Year as well as honorable mentions.

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 Ryan Balentine named 2019 LWOS IFL MVP 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

The IFL’s two hottest teams do battle in Green Bay

For the first game of the 2019 Indoor Football League Playoffs, the bracket goes to the north to see arguably the two hottest teams in the league face off in Green Bay.

The Blizzard are rolling into the playoffs with a three-game win streak that earned them their best overall record – at 9-5 – since the 2012 season.

They’ll welcome in the Nebraska Danger, who finished up their season by upsetting the No. 2 seeded Iowa Barnstormers at Wells Fargo Arena.

No matter who’s able to pull away on Friday night, there is going to be fireworks.
The IFL’s two hottest teams do battle in Green Bay
The most intriguing part of this matchup might be the offense that the Nebraska Danger have been able to put together as the season has come to a close.

Former Nebraska Cornhusker Tommy Armstrong Jr. seems to have a great grasp on the offense thanks to the aid of running back Davonte Sapp-Lynch and a group of the IFL’s best veteran receivers.

Armstrong Jr. is currently the league leader in rushing touchdowns and sits in the top five in rushing yards, passing yards, and passing touchdowns.

To go with it, Sapp-Lynch is third in the IFL in rushing touchdowns, giving the Danger offense a one-two punch.

The offense was impressive before the team added wideout Mike Tatum, but his pair of touchdowns last week against Iowa helped the Danger cement their biggest win of the season.

With Greg Dent and Eric Thomas in the same unit, there is no reason not to think that the Danger can put up big numbers on the scoreboard throughout the postseason.

Nebraska Danger players celebrate as they clinch a playoff spot after knocking off the Iowa Barnstormers at Wells Fargo Arena. Photo by Connor Ferguson.

That’s when Green Bay’s defense will come into play.

Marquez Gollman returned to the field late in the season after an injury and finished with 42 tackles and a pair of interceptions.

Him and Bakari Triggs, the IFL’s interception leader, will be leading the secondary.

It’s clear to see, that when Green Bay is on defense in this game, a lot of big names will be on the field.

On the flip side, the Green Bay offense is led by quarterback Lenorris Footman, who has come in as a rookie and taken the roster spot with some swagger.

Footman is third in the league in rushing yards per game – right behind Armstrong Jr. – with 50.6 yards per game.

Him and the Nebraska gun slinger play very comparable games, but Footman might toss the football a little bit more, racking up 140.6 yards per game through the air.

The rookie is joined by veteran wide receiver and IFL Hall of Famer B.J. Hill who returned from injury late in the season, like Gollman.

On a team with a plethora of players that weren’t with the Blizzard during the streak of playoff misses from 2013 to 2018, it’s valuable to have a veteran, especially one of Hill’s caliber.

Hill is the IFL’s single best kick returner in the history of the league. He came into the season with the most return yards and most return touchdowns anyone has seen in the league, and only built on his leads in both categories.

He can still ball, too.

Hill gathered 772 yards on returns during the season and has caught seven receiving touchdowns on the year.

When a team has someone as smart as him on roster where he is still putting up numbers, it’s a good mix. We’ll see if it pays off in a playoff game.

Green Bay and Nebraska will face off in the first round of the playoffs on Friday at the Resch Center with a 7:00 p.m. CT kickoff. The game will – per usual – be livestreamed on YouTube.

The winner of the game will go on to face the No. 1 seeded Arizona Rattlers in the second round if the Sioux Falls Storm hold off Tucson on Sunday. If Tucson pulls off the upset, though, then the winner will be headed to Des Moines to face No. 2 Iowa.

It all goes down this weekend and @LWOS_IndoorFB will have full coverage on both Twitter and Instagram.The post The IFL’s two hottest teams do battle in Green Bay appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


  • 0

IFL announces 2019 Hall of Fame Class

The Indoor Football League (IFL) announced its 2019 Hall of Fame class on Monday afternoon, inducting Javicz Jones, Bryan Pray, and Myniya Smith into the exclusive group that has now reached 18 players.

The Hall of Fame has inducted three players in each year since 2014 when it inducted its first trio of former players and executives.
IFL announces 2019 Hall of Fame Class
Jones spent most of his career in Des Moines with the Iowa Barnstormers – where he climbed the league’s tackle chart.

In three and a half seasons of play, Jones managed to finish third all-time in tackles.
 “First and foremost, I’d like to thank God for keeping me able to play this game,” Jones said on a release. “I’d also like to thank my family and friends, specifically my mom, dad and grandma for always being in my corner! They made some huge sacrifices to watch me over the years.”
Jones added, “The Hall of Fame means the world to me because it shows that all the hard work and sacrifice has really paid off! I wanted to make an impact where I was and most definitely be remembered as one of the greats.”
Pray on the other hand spent time with six different IFL teams during his eight-year career in the league.

When there was a veteran receiver needed, Pray was the one who got the call.
 “It’s a gift and a blessing and I am very thankful and honored for this Hall of Fame selection. To know people see me as one of the best to ever play this game is a great feeling,” Pray said in the release. “I want to thank all of the coaches I played for, teammates I played with, fans who came and supported my teams, and the communities who welcomed me over the years. I also want to thank my wife for allowing me to chase this dream, without her support none of this is even possible.
“I also want to thank the IFL for providing me the platform and giving me the opportunity to play a game I came to love,” Pray said.
The pair each become the Iowa Barnstormers first inductions to the Hall of Fame, and Pray becomes the first inductee to play for West Michigan and Spokane as well.

Smith was inducted as the lone Sioux Falls Storm inductee this year – a streak unmatched by any other team in the league.

The Storm have had at least one player inducted in every year the Hall of Fame has been active since it started in 2014.

The ceremony for this year’s Hall of Fame class will take place at half time of the 2019 United Bowl which will be played on the weekend of July 6.

The Indoor Football League regular season concludes after the final slate of games this Saturday.The post IFL announces 2019 Hall of Fame Class appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


  • 0

Barnstomers beat Sioux Falls, clinch No. 2 seed

The Iowa Barnstormers beat Sioux Falls on Saturday evening and might have looked as sharp as they have all season while doing it.

Thanks to big nights from Ryan Balentine and Daquan Neal, the Barnstormers offense thrived against the Storm and helped the Barnstormers to a big 55-43 win at Wells Fargo Arena.
Barnstomers beat Sioux Falls, clinch No. 2 seed
The victory means a couple of things for Iowa.

The Barnstormers now cannot finish worse than second place in the league, even if they lose to Nebraska next Saturday in the regular season finale.

Though, Iowa could still capture first place if Arizona (13-0) loses to San Diego (1-12) next week and they take down Nebraska – even if it’s unlikely.

The Rattlers escaped Tucson on Saturday with an overtime win – showing that anything can happen.

Iowa’s victory also gives the team some reassurance on some extra rest coming up for them.

A top-two seed means a first-round bye for the Barnstormers that will give the players an extra week of rest and potentially help in the aid of defensive back Jourdan Wickliffe, who has been off the field with an injury.

Though if the offense plays like it did Saturday, Iowa may not need a defense.

Neal was money throughout the night, completing 17 of his 23 passes good for six touchdowns on the night.

Jazeric Peterson, Connor Hollenbeck, and Balentine each scored two a piece while Balentine led the way with 123 yards through receptions.

It helped the Barnstormers win their 14th straight game at home, and they don’t have to wait long to try for 15.

The team will return to the field for their regular season finale on Saturday June 15 to take on the Nebraska Danger once again at Wells Fargo Arena. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen live on YouTube, Mediacom, and also heard on live radio 1040AM WHO.

IFL Standings

Position
Team
Record
Games behind

1
Arizona
13-0

2
Iowa
12-1
1

3
Sioux Falls
10-3
3

4
Green Bay
8-5
5

5
Tucson
6-7
7

6
Quad City
6-7
7

Playoff Cutoff

7
Nebraska
6-7
7

8
Bismarck
2-11
11

9
San Diego
1-12
12

10
Cedar Rapids
1-12
12

The post Barnstomers beat Sioux Falls, clinch No. 2 seed appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


  • 0

Barnstormers set to play for First Round Bye against Sioux Falls

The second biggest game in franchise history, at least for right now.

Dixie Wooten is never one to circle games on the calendar. Week after week, no matter the opponent, Wooten and co. treat every game the same.

The philosophy is that if his team has a mindset that they are playing a championship game every Saturday night, then they won’t be playing down to any of their opponents’ levels.
Barnstormers set to play for First Round Bye
But, when the Sioux Falls Storm come to Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday night, it’s got the ramifications to be a major one.

“This is the second most important game in [franchise] history,” Wooten said. “We want to beat Sioux Falls this week so we can get that first round bye. At the end of the day, that bye is huge.”

The Iowa Barnstormers (11-1) will welcome Sioux Falls (10-2) this weekend in a game that will decide who has the rights to the No. 2 seed and final first round bye in the 2019 IFL Playoffs.

Because Sioux Falls took down Iowa in the teams’ first meeting, if the Storm beat Iowa and win next week against Bismarck, they will have the No. 2 seed no matter what.

It’s created a unique situation.

Saturday’s game is winner take all. The team that doesn’t win this one will have to play a play-in game before traveling to the home of who they lose to Saturday, in the second round.

“We’ve practiced hard,” Wooten said. “My guys have put in the work to be successful.”

This is the first game between the two teams at “The Well” since they faced off in the 2018 United Bowl.

Since then, Wooten has brought a young team to Des Moines and turned them into winners. Iowa’s 11-1 record would be the best in the league if Arizona hadn’t rattled off what looks to be a perfect season.

That’s part of why Wooten was nominated for the IFL Hall of Fame for the third straight year, earlier this week.

“We’re young,” Wooten said. “We can’t look down on teams a lot. We can only focus on what’s in front of us, and this week that’s Sioux Falls.”

The game will kick off at 7:00 p.m. from Wells Fargo Arena live on YouTube.The post Barnstormers set to play for First Round Bye against Sioux Falls 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

IFL: Blizzard One Game Away from securing Home Playoff date

They’re just one game away from a home playoff date.

After a 6-5 mark through their first 11 games of the season, the Green Bay Blizzard were tied in the standings with Tucson for the No. 4 seed in the Indoor Football League (IFL) Playoffs.

With the way that the IFL Playoffs are set up this season, the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds each host a Quarterfinals game, where the winners will advance to play the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds (whom will come off of bye weeks) in the Semifinals.

Thanks to a Tucson loss last week and Green Bay’s 41-10 blowout of Bismarck, the Blizzard are one game away from clinching a spot to host a playoff game for the first time since 2012.
IFL: Blizzard One Game Away from securing Home Playoff date
With the win over Bismarck, Green Bay improves to 7-5 on the season with two games to play – that’s one game ahead the Sugar Skulls who still have to play the undefeated Arizona Rattlers once more.

Next week, with either a win against 1-11 Cedar Rapids or a loss from Tucson, the Blizzard will have clinched their home spot and the No. 4 seed.

It’s already been a historic season for the team. Their seventh victory marks the most since 2012 and also the first winning record they will finish with.

The surge has come from the help of quarterback Lenorris Footman. He’s fourth in the IFL in passing yards per game and also leads the league in rushing yards.

He’s not the first quarterback to do that in the IFL, but it has given the Blizzard a much needed spark that has seemed to push this team over the hump.

On the defensive side of the ball, Footman has been aided by the duo of Marquez Gollman and Bakari Triggs. The two have combined for seven of the Blizzard’s forced turnovers, with six of those being interceptions.

Gollman has been sidelined for a few weeks due to an injury, but the Blizzard expect to have him back for their regular season finale on June 15.

It can’t get much better for Green Bay the way things are going right now. Let’s see how far they can take this thing.

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

IFL Standings

Position
Team
Record
Games behind

1
Arizona
12-0

2
Iowa
11-1
1.0

3
Sioux Falls
10-2
2.0

4
Green Bay
7-5
5.0

5
Tucson
6-6
6.0

6
Quad City
5-7
7.0

7
Nebraska
5-7
7.0

8
Bismarck
2-10
10.0

9
San Diego
1-11
11.0

10
Cedar Rapids
1-11
11.0

Week 15 Scores
*LWOS will update scores and standings as games finish throughout the night.
FINAL: Green Bay 41, Bismarck 10
FINAL: Arizona 56, Cedar Rapids 0
FINAL: Sioux Falls 60, San Diego 7The post IFL: Blizzard One Game Away from securing Home Playoff date appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


Categories

w88