The Good, The Bad and Well… Some UGLY In Arena Football
Welcome to another edition of LockedIN on Arena Football, and this week there is a TON to talk about. Playoffs in the American Arena League, Someone Finally beat the Albany Empire and did the Sharks continue their winning ways…. all this and more as we kick off the week.
There is SOMETHING about Football that is unlike every other sport. Football gets your pulse racing. The Hard hitting, fast paced action gets your heart running at full speed and you dont get that anywhere else. And this week there were a slew of games, and just a few BLOW OUTS!
First off, lets talk PLAYOFFS! The American Arena League kicked off the play off run over the weekend and the Carolina Energy will start their 2019 AAL playoffs with a controversial bye. One that smells of CORRUPTION!
The Energy play in the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte and at the time the playoffs were set the Arena was booked for High SChool Graduations and for the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, part of the Carolina Hurricanes. Since the Checkers were in their playoffs, the Coliseum in Charlotte was booked, leaving the Energy without an arena.
According to AAL Commissioner Tony Zefiretto, this was the approved format and that all four division winners were able to take the bye and that the Carolina Energy decided weeks ago that they would take it.
The other three divisional leaders according to the league, decided to play games with West Michigan and West Virginia hosting their opponents on Saturday night, while the Carolina Havoc had to move their game to Tuesday due to arena scheduling.
Some people are crying foul, and complaining that the Cats are OUT of the playoffs, but our question is.. DID THEY REALLY DESERVE to be there?
Not only did that Cats lose 90-0 to the Energy earlier this season, and the team WALKED OFF the field when they were down 30-0 to non-league opponent, the Southern Steam. The Team ALSO Voted against taking a ROAD GAME due to them worrying about getting BLOWN OUT AGAIN.
The ONLY way to keep this league going is to make the RULES EARLY.. and to stick by them.
The West Michigan Ironmen continued to play hard hitting football as they hosted the INDIANAPOLIS ENFORCERS in ROund one of the 2019 playoffs and the Ironmen showed why they are contenders for the Championship taking down the Enforcers 71-0.
The West Virginia Roughriders(11-0) took care of the Jersey Flight on Saturday 57-13 to advance to the Northern Conference Championship. Kickoff from Wheeling West Virginia is set for 7pm.
The Carolina Havoc host the Jersey Flight Tuesday Night in the last first round playoff game!
Over in the Arena Football League,
The Baltimore Brigade (4-3) handed the Albany Empire (6-1) their first loss the season, 42-41, Saturday night at Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. Brigade quarterback Shane Boyd was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, throwing for 261 yards and six touchdowns, tying a season high set in Week 1.
The Columbus Destroyers defeated the Atlantic City Blackjacks, 54-50, in front of 6,029 fans at Nationwide Arena on Friday night. With the win, the Destroyers improve to 1-6 on the season. Quarterback Grant Russell completed 16 of his 27 passes for 217 yards and six touchdowns in the win, while five different players found the end zone in the win. Wide receivers Paul Browning and Kenny Cook both caught two touchdowns on the night, with Cook catching the game-winner, a 13-yarder with 12 seconds left to seal the victory.
The Washington Valor (4-3) topped the Philadelphia Soul (3-4), 48-41, Sunday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Valor scored three times in the fourth quarter, including a one-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Arvell Nelson with 20 seconds remaining to seal the victory. With the win, Washington is now tied with Baltimore for the second-best record in the league.
Over in the National Arena League.
With a 52-41 win versus the NY Streets it not only took the Carolina Cobras to 6-2 on the year, it took Coach Billy Back to 100 overall wins as a head coach (100-36 0.735 5 Championships). The Cobras are proud to take a look at the 100 wins, as it is a huge milestone for coaching. For example in the NFL there are only 46 coaches with 100+ wins in their 100 year history. For a closer example, in the AFL only six coaches have broken that mark in their 32-year history.
Coach Back got his start as a head coach with the Cincinnati Commandos in 2010, and what a start it was. His first season as a coach he went 9-1 in the regular season and won both playoff games to finish the season at 11-1 and get crowned CIFL Champions. Then in 2011 he one upped himself, this time leading Cincinnati to a 10-0 regular season record and again won both playoff games to go 12-0 and repeat as CIFL Champions. In 2012, the Commandos moved to the UIFL, yet the results were the same, that year they went 10-2 in the regular season and won both playoff games, to finish 12-2 and become UIFL Champions, his third title in three years. Not a bad start at all. After a one year stop in Texas with the Revolution of the IFL where he went 5-9 (his only losing season in 10 seasons), he moved to Nashville and coached the Venom for two years. In 2014 they went 10-2 in the regular season and won both playoff games to win the PIFL Championship, finishing the season 12-2. He made it to 50 wins in only 64 games. In 2015 with the Venom they went 7-4 in the regular season but lost their opening playoff game to finish the season 7-5. His next move was to Wichita Falls (TX) Nighthawks, going 11-5 in the 2016 regular season and after a loss in the playoffs finished at 11-6, then the next season went 12-4. That next move was to the NAL and the Carolina Cobras, where last year the Cobras went 10-5 in the regular season, won both playoff games and won the NAL Championship, finishing 12-5 for the season.
The Jacksonville Sharks (6-1) continue their win streak after defeating NAL rival, the Columbus Lions (2-5) 49-41 in Jacksonville. This victory puts the Sharks in the first place of the League. Tonight’s win completes the sweep on the Columbus Lions for the 2019 regular season.
Quarterback Jonathan Bane ended the night throwing 19-of-41 for 228 yards and four touchdowns. Jarmon Fortson had an incredible game against his former team, totaling seven catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns. Wide Receiver Devin Wilson had six receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown. Defensive Back, Seth Ellis earned the Defensive Player of the Game with a season-high two interceptions tonight against the Lions. Zack Brown also had a standout performance scoring three times tonight, two rushing and one reception for a touchdown. Brown also had two tackles for a loss on defense.
More FUN starts tomorrow in Florence….. and LockedIN Magazine will see you there!!