Category Archives: Indoor Football League

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Norling: IFW – Playoff Races are Coming to a close

Playoff races are coming to a close all over indoor football – and as usual, Ashle Norling has the wrapup on everything you need to know for this weekend.
IFW – Playoff Races are Coming to a close
Games (Home Team in Bold)
Champions Indoor Football:
Salina Liberty 57, Sioux City Bandits 54
Omaha Beef 71, Oklahoma Flying Aces 51
Duke City Gladiators 123, North Texas Savages 6

Three games, well two real ones, took place this past week in Champions Indoor Football as teams hunt for a playoff spot. If the CIF had decent streaming or archival services I would definitely say to watch the Salina/Sioux City game, but they don’t. With a first quarter that saw a combined 36 points the next two combined only saw the teams manage a total of 40. The final frame saw Salina complete the comeback win at home to push them into 2nd in the North. If the season ended today Sioux City would miss the playoffs for the first time in CIF history and their first time overall since 2010, the last season they played in the IFL.

Omaha was, minus for one quarter, a car wreck for Oklahoma. Outside of the Flying Aces scoring 24 points in the 2nd Quarter they were outscored 54-27. The end result is the only thing that mattered as the Omaha win sealed Oklahoma’s fate on missing the playoffs. Amarillo and Duke City have officially made the playoffs in the Southern Division and will just battle to decide who plays at home. Speaking of Duke City they took a giant dukey on their replacement opponent the North Texas Savages. In the end the game doesn’t matter as they were officially given a forfeit win over the now defunct Texas Revs and only played to make sure they had a home game for their fans.

Indoor Football League:
Iowa Barnstormers 65, Bismarck Bucks 35
Quad City Steamwheelers 43, Nebraska Danger 37
Arizona Rattlers 62, Tucson Sugar Skulls 47

Two of the three games really weren’t surprises. Iowa kicked the living s*** out of Bismarck for most of the game in Des Moines on Friday night. Though Bismarck did actually hold a lead for part of the game. On Saturday Arizona did the same to Tucson, with the Sugar Skulls only putting up a fight in the final quarter. I would not be surprised if we see Arizona host Iowa in the United Bowl this July.

On the other hand the Nebraska/Quad City game was a fight to the death. Every quarter, every play, every second was a f*****g battle. The game itself was a war from the opening kick to the final whistle. Do yourself a favor and watch the damn game! I absolutely can’t do it justice and as of now this is far and away the Indoor Football Game of the Year.

National Arena League:
Orlando Predators 74, Carolina Cobras 69
Massachusetts Pirates 70, New York Streets 51

When the schedule came out for the season only one game (Carolina/Orlando) was scheduled for this week. Well after the Streets were unsurprisingly not able to play at MSG they moved their game to Memorial Day in Westchester. Both games were a what in the f*** just happened as two of the best teams in the league hosted the two worst. Orlando was coming in off a 60-7 ass kicking by Jacksonville the previous week while the Pirates just suck. Well they shut me up by winning on the road in one of the toughest (Carolina) and dumbest (NY) arenas in the NAL.
News
Holy sh*t there is actual news for the first time in a few weeks to report! OMFG! As a background, last week, an um “altercation” (according to the CIF) took place during the Omaha-Oklahoma game which resulted in play being stopped for an extended period of time.

The end result was a blanket unsportsmanlike conduct penalty being placed on both teams, which resulted in three Beef players being disqualified for their second penalty. Needless to say fans were not happy about the debacle.

Yesterday the CIF released a statement (which you can read here) that said the players who were ejected will not be suspended and just adds to the clusterf*ck.

I don’t see a reason for the blanket penalties being issued and this just makes the CIF looks more unprofessional. Especially waiting until damn near game day to issue a statement on the ensuing week.The post Norling: IFW – Playoff Races are Coming to a close appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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Norling: IFW – The Hunt for the Playoffs really begins

The Games (Home Team in Bold)
Champions Indoor Football:
Omaha Beef 70, Wichita Force 33
Sioux City Bandits 79, Amarillo Venom 71

Only two actual games took place this week since the Texas Revs folded earlier this month, that resulted in Oklahoma taking their first win in franchise history via forfeit. Odd way to take a W but they’ll take, even though they have no shot at the playoffs.

Wichita was shocked by the Beef at home this past weekend. Omaha came out with a hot start scoring 22 unanswered points before Wichita could even manage a score. While the second quarter was a bit closer the 3rd would see more of the same from the first with Omaha leading 63-20 after 3 frames. Both teams slowed down in the 4th which had Omaha finish the beating with a 70-33 win on the road to move to 6-1.

On the other hand the Bandits/Venom game was an old school, high scoring, fight to the finish kind of game. The teams quite literally traded scores almost the entire game with each team getting a single stop in each half of play along with Sioux City holding Amarillo to a FG on a drive in the first half and the reverse happening in the second. The end result was Sioux City taking a 79-71 win at home over the Southern Division leading Venom.

Indoor Football League:
Quad City Steamwheelers 48, Cedar Rapids River Kings 29
Tucson Sugar Skulls 52, Bismarck Bucks 40
Sioux Falls Storm 57, Nebraska Danger 56
Iowa Barnstomers 56, Green Bay Blizzard 49
Arizona Rattlers 84, San Diego Strike Force 63

A battle between Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois opened the weekend as Quad City hosted the Cedar Rapids River Kings. The ‘Wheelers managed a nice 27-9 halftime lead but Cedar Rapids would score two unanswered touchdowns to make it a respectable game in the third. E.J. Hillard would lead the Steamwheelers on a scoring spree in the final quarter, leading the team with a passing TD and rushing TD himself to finish out the game.

Bismarck would host Tucson in the second game of the weekend, the visiting Sugar Skulls would kick off the game with a 14-3 lead after 15’. Between the second and third quarter Tucson attempted to give away the game to Bismarck being outscored 34-26 by 4 seconds into the fourth quarter. The Sugar Skulls barely managed to come back and win, holding off the Bucks to keep them out of the playoff hunt.

Sioux Falls/Nebraska is a game where I’d recommend to go and re-watch (which you can catch here) as a recap doesn’t do this game justice. After swapping scores for pretty much the entire game Nebraska was called for pass interference with no time left on the clock. Since the penalty was in the endzone the ball was placed on the 2 yard line which allowed Brandon Sheperd to run the ball in for a Storm TD to end the game.

Green Bay/Iowa was another game with teams swapping scores for practically the entire game, and another I’d recommend to re-watch (which you can watch here). Iowa just like Sioux Falls would win with little time remaining when Daquan Neal hit Jazeric Peterson on a 26 yard pass with 30 seconds left for the Barnstormers to sneak out of Green Bay with a win. Arizona that night was not as nice as they pounded the hosting San Diego Strike Force all night long. This one ended with Jabre Lolley running in an unnecessary touchdown for the Rattlers to take an 84-63 win on the road.

National Arena League:
Carolina Cobras 60, Columbus Lions 32
Jacksonville Sharks 61, Orlando Predators 7

Both games in the NAL last week were absolute and complete slaughters. On Friday in Greensboro “The Snake Pit” was lethal for the Lions as Carolina led 21-6 after one quarter and never looked back. “The Shark Tank” in Jacksonville was even more deadly for the Predators as their only score of the game came on a 27 yard pass from Bryan Hicks to Rob Brown in the middle of the second quarter.
The Hunt for the Playoffs really begins
The CIF will have, technically speaking, three games this weekend though one of them is in name only. Salina takes on Sioux City in what is a huge game for the second place in the Northern Division, the winner of this game will take the lead in the standings for a shot against Omaha in the playoffs. Also in the North, the division and league leading Beef host the hapless Oklahoma Flying Aces. Oklahoma absolutely has to win this game or they will be effectively eliminated from playoff contention on the back of a tiebreaker with Duke City. Duke City on the other hand in name only will host the North Texas Savages as a replacement for the Texas Revolution, though they will officially be awarded a forfeit win over the Revs for standings purposes.

6 teams are in action this weekend in the Indoor Football League as on Friday night Iowa hosts Bismarck and Nebraska hosts Quad City. Saturday night sees Tucson host Arizona. While all three have playoff implications (as Bismarck has not been mathematically eliminated) only the Danger/Steamwheelers game holds major significance. Iowa and Arizona have both clinched their playoff spots and are expected to win their games handily. Grand Island plays host to two teams on the edge of the playoff race. Our own Connor Ferguson has done a great look in on the IFL playoff races, which you can check out here for more detail.

Carolina hosts Orlando in the only National Arena League game this weekend. The Cobras and Predators are coming in off opposite sides of two different blowout games last weekend. The Preds look to win in Greensboro in an attempt to right the ship while the Cobras look to continue their dominance in the NAL.The post Norling: IFW – The Hunt for the Playoffs really begins appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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Ferguson: IFL Playoff Races to Watch

The 2019 Indoor Football League season is closing in on the home stretch. Games are getting closer. Teams are trying to reach their peaks at the right time. It’s all coming together for what could be the most intriguing playoff race the league has seen in the last few seasons.

The reason for the intrigue?

The expansion to 10 teams is giving the IFL multiple playoff races to look at in the last four weeks. I broke all of the races down right here.
IFL Playoff Races to Watch

The part of the standings with the most question marks is the one that surrounds the final two spots in the playoffs.

Tucson (6-5), Nebraska (5-6), and Quad City (4-7) are all within two games of each other with three left to play in each of the teams’ seasons.

To make things more dramatic, the team at the top of that group in Tucson will finish the season with back-to-back games against the undefeated Arizona Rattlers before a finale against fellow playoff hopeful Quad City.

Remaining Schedules

Tucson (6-5)
Nebraska (5-6)
Quad City (4-7)

Week 14
AZ (10-0)
Week 14
QC (4-7)
Week 14
@ NEB (5-6)

Week 15
Bye
Week 15
Bye
Week 15
Bye

Week 16
@ AZ (10-0)
Week 16
@ SD (1-10)
Week 16
BIS (2-8)

Week 17
QC
Week 17
@ IA(10-1)
Week 17
@ TUC (6-5)

 

The biggest game of those nine above, however, comes this weekend with Quad City taking on Nebraska.

The Danger have been a sneaky good team this season, but will need to be good enough to stop the league’s most dangerous offense in the Steamwheelers on Friday night.
Will Iowa win out and see an Arizona loss?
If so, that would mean the Barnstormers will earn home field advantage and the top seed in the IFL playoffs.

The tiebreaker after head-to-head in the IFL to determine playoff spots is Strength of Schedule and because the two teams never played each other in the regular season, it will go to Iowa.

The only issue with that is Arizona may not lose this season, and they’ll be favored to win big in each of their remaining games. The team still plays Tucson twice – a team they beat by 35 and 14 points in the first two matchups.

Besides that pair of games, Arizona faces both of the one-win teams, as well.

So, even if Iowa can get past Sioux Falls at home, it’s going to take a lot to see home-field advantage leave Phoenix.

Not to mention, Sioux Falls still controls its own destiny to getting a bye in the first round. If they win out and beat Iowa for a second time, they’ll move to No. 2 and would host a playoff game in the second round.
Green Bay still trying to secure No. 4 spot
The Green Bay Blizzard are the only other team I haven’t brought up that could see their spot move.

Green Bay takes on Bismarck next week after sitting out Week 14 for a bye before two straight games against Cedar Rapids to finish things off.

Unless an upset or two happens, expect to see the Blizzard host a playoff game for the first time since 2012.

LWOS will have complete coverage of every IFL game this weekend as well as the other three leagues we cover. Keep up with the action by following us on both Twitter and Instagram at @LWOS_IndoorFB.The post Ferguson: IFL Playoff Races to Watch appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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Norling: IFW – Teams on the move, possibly to the Graveyard

This week in indoor football saw the news of a pair of teams on the move, spanning multiple leagues.
The Games (Home Team in Bold)
Champions Indoor Football:
Sioux City Bandits 70, Wichita Force 30
Salina Liberty 29, Duke City Gladiators 22
Omaha Beef 42, Oklahoma Flying Aces 23

Champions Indoor Football is in quite a fix right now, but we’ll touch on that a little later.The league did surprise us on field as well in two separate games. In Sioux City the hometown Bandits took the ball out of the air and ran with it against Wichita. The Bandit defense allowed no more than 10 points in a quarter and scored two pick sixes two rouges. The offense also had a great night scoring double digits in three of four frames.

In Salina with the Liberty hosting the Gladiators, Duke City came out hot and had a 22-7 lead over the Liberty with 10 minutes left in the third. After holding Salina scoreless for 28:54 the Liberty would go on a roll for the rest of the game scoring 22 unanswered points to win at home.

The Oklahoma/Omaha game was very similar as the Beef started the game with 5 unanswered points and kept that into halftime. In the second half they fell flat and allowed the Flying Aces to take off with 23 unanswered point, Omaha would score once more to end the game and hang on to a 42-23 win.

Indoor Football League:
Arizona Rattlers 56, Nebraska Danger 46
Green Bay Blizzard 48, Bismarck Bucks 39
Iowa Barnstormers 43, Cedar Rapids River Kings 18
Sioux Falls Storm 59, Quad City Steamwheelers 46
Tucson Sugar Skulls 54, San Diego Strike Force 34

After a scoreless first quarter the Rattlers offense went into high gear taking a lead of 42-26 over Nebraska after 45 minutes of play. The Danger attempted a comeback but fell just short losing by 10 in Phoenix.

At Green Bay’s Resch Center another game was closer than expected as the Blizzard hosted the Bucks. Bismarck held a 20-13 lead in the 2nd Quarter before giving up 28 unanswered point to Green Bay. The Bucks stopped that streak and scored 19 straight of their own before Green Bay scored a final TD to cap off the game.

My words deceived me again this past week. Last week, I touted the close games that Iowa and Cedar Rapids have played this year. Well that was not the case this past Saturday night.

The Barnstormers struggled to start losing the ball on the opening kick return but held Cedar Rapids and then proceeded to pummel the River Kings.

Daquan Neal led the Barnstormers offensive attack with 186 passing yards, 43 rushing yards, and 5 touchdown’s (4 passing, 1 rushing). Ben Wilkerson struggled against the Barnstomers defense going 8-20 with 93 yards throwing 1 TD and 3 INT’s.

The $2 Beers weren’t needed as much as I thought they would be as the Steamwheelers played a tight game against Sioux Falls. Quad City’s defense never really was able to stop the Lorenzo Brown led offense as he went 20-26 with 294 yards passing.

Quad City’s offense was no slouch either as QB E.J. Hillard went 13-24 with 186 yards and five players combined for 58 rushing yards. The lack of defense is what kept tQC from winning and pushing them up in the playoff hunt.

Tucson hosted San Diego in another closer game with a really unsurprising result. The Sugar Skulls dominated most of the game against the Strike Force. San Diego had some spurts but weren’t able to pull off the W, In fact I doubt they win again this year.

Columbus Lions 63, Orlando Predators 22
Jacksonville Sharks 55, Massachusetts Pirates 36
Carolina Cobras 48, New York Streets 33

On the NAL side our own Brandon Russell did a great recap of this weekends games you can check out here.
The “News” – Teams on the move
On a lighter note as we reported earlier this week that the Arizona Rattlers will be moving for the next two seasons due to arena renovations.

It’s about time they renovate that place, hopefully it’ll be better for Indoor Football when they’re done with it but I doubt it. Besides, only the New York Streets absolutely need a new arena.

On more of a dark side the Texas Revolution have one foot in the grave and one on a banana peel. As we reported here yesterday the Revs are no longer playing at the Ford Center and are likely to either fold or become a travel only team.

This is the second straight year this has happened in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the CIF. At this point the CIF is on f****** life support and probably won’t make it into next year unless they pull a miracle out of their ass like the IFL.

Duke City has had ownership controversy and may have issues financially based on what was reported before the season. Oklahoma is awful on field and plays in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma so who knows if they’ll be back.

Salina always seems to be a coin flip if they’ll come back, while their Kansas rival Wichita also has been reported to have financial issues.

Sioux City, last year, was also said to be folding if Omaha went to the IFL. My understanding is there is still a personal rivalry between the Sioux Falls and Sioux City ownership.

That really only leaves Amarillo and Omaha as stable franchises both of which, if possible, should join the IFL. Omaha would be natural with the Midwestern teams in the league while Amarillo would be a good fit in the IFL’s Southern/Western expansion.

So, CIF fans man the lifeboats and prepare to abandon ship or be ready to pull of a miracle like we’ve never seen.The post Norling: IFW – Teams on the move, possibly to the Graveyard appeared first on Last Word on Sports.


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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.


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