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UIFL Update

March 16, 2013 - Ultimate Indoor Football League (UIFL)

Monsters Sign UK DB Randall Burden

The Missouri Monsters professional indoor football team wasted no time making roster changes after a loss on opening night with the signing of defensive back/wide receiver Randall Burden.

Last year he signed with the Arizona Cardinals and attended their rookie mini-camp.

Burden was a three-year starter at cornerback for the University of Kentucky. During his career at UK he started 38 consecutive games. While there he had 6 interceptions, and 18 pass breakups.

After Friday night's loss, we went right back to work to make sure that the next game we play has a better result. We have two goals as an organization, win games, and entertain fans. With the addition of Burden, and some of the other new players we plan to bring in this week, I am positive that our next game will have a much better result!" Said Missouri Monsters Owner Andrew Haines.

During the 2011 (senior) season he had 3 interceptions, with 41 total tackles. He was the primary punt returner for the Wildcats. His Junior season he led the team in pass breakups with six and recorded 36 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss, and an interception. 2009 was his sophomore season he finished with 36 tackles, two interceptions with one being returned for a 50-yard touchdown. Burden played high school football at LaGrange (Ga.) High School.

Monsters Name Martino Theus as Director of Player Personnel

The Monsters have a bye week, and then travel to Dalton, GA to take on the Georgia Rampage on Monday March 25th. After the road trip, the team returns home to the Family Arena on Monday April 1st to face the Windy City Hitmen.

The Missouri Monsters have hired Martino Theus as director of player personnel for the remainder of the 2013 season.

Theus played college football at Lambuth University and was 1st team all mid south conference in 1997, and 1st team honorable mention in 1998.

After Friday nights game, it was clear we needed to improve our roster before our next game. Having worked with Martino in the past, I know his great ability in recruiting players. I look forward to working with him in building a strong roster that will compete for an UIFL Championship THIS season. Said Missouri Monsters Owner Andrew Haines.

After college Theus played indoor and arena football from 2000 to 2006. After playing he joined the Bossier . Shreveport Battle Wings in the af2 as their defensive backs coach. In 2010 Theus was the defensive coordinator of the Battle Wings in the Arena Football League.

I'm Glad to be back with an owner like Andrew Haines. It's a blessing to be apart of a great organization and city. Andrew has a great product in the Missouri Monsters, and I'm looking to come in and be the best at my job. I know what Andrew wants, and that is to WIN. Said Monsters Director of Player Personnel Martino Theus.

He served as Head Coach of the Mississippi Hound Dogs, and Marion Blue Racers as well. He has started contacting players, and will be in Missouri by mid-week.

The Monsters have a bye week, then travel to Dalton, GA to take on the Georgia Rampage on Monday March 25th. After the road trip, the team returns home to the Family Arena on Monday April 1st to face the Windy City Hitmen.

Monsters Sign Former St Louis Rams Draft Pick Claude Wroten

The Missouri Monsters are pleased to announce the signing of former St. Louis Rams 3rd round draft pick Claude Wroten.

We will continue to recruit the best possible players available. Our goal is to win games, and entertain fans. Wroten will help solidify our defensive line, and will help some of the younger players we have.Said Monsters Owner Andrew Haines.

He started his college career at Mississippi Delta before transferring to LSU. While at LSU Wroten was First-team All-SEC by College Football News, and Second-Team All-SEC by the Associated Press and the SEC Coaches. He played 12 games with nine starts. He recorded 44 tackles, 12 tackles for losses, and 6 sacks.

As a senior in 2005 he was named First-Team All-American by College Football News and Second-Team All American by the Sporting News and named First-Team All-SEC by both the league's coaches and the AP. He played in 13 games with 12 starts, had 49 tackles, 10.5 tackles for losses, 6 sacks, and 26 quarterback hurries.

Wroten was drafted in the 3rd round (68th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. We played with the Rams during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. During his rookie season he played 15 games. He registered 24 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. In 2009 Wroten played for the Florida Tuskers of the UFL, where he finished with 13 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.

In 2011 he signed in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts, and in 2012 with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Raiders Silence Thunder at Home

The Lakeland Raider's starting quarterback was excused from Saturday night's game against the visiting Sarasota Thunder. He had a pretty good reason, according to temporary substitute quarterback Collin Drafts. "BJ Hall is getting married today," Drafts said after the game.

Drafts, a retired AFL quarterback who played for the Orlando Predators last year, proved to be a more than capable in relief of Hall. Drafts threw five touchdowns and spread the ball around, throwing scoring strikes to Sergio Allen, Josh Smith (2), Adrian Smith, and Tyrece Gaines. Could this be the beginning of a quarterback controversy in Lakeland? Drafts is quick to say no. "This is a one time and done. BJ Hall is the starting quarterback for Lakeland and he is very capable. He is a veteran of the AFL and the Canadian Football League. He's getting married today and they asked me to come in for this one game."

The Lakeland Raiders dominated the game from whistle to whistle in every facet. The defense scored two touchdowns and three safeties against the hopelessly outmatched Thunder. The Raiders came into the game without a kicking-specialist on the active roster and split the kickoff duties between DeAngelo Woodie and Julius McClellan. They did not attempt an extra point all night, instead opting for a 2 point conversion after each of their nine (yes, nine) touchdowns.

Each and every one of those nine attempts was successful - 4 by RB Chris Poindexter, 3 by RB Tyler Batts, and one apiece for WRs Tyrece Gaines and Josh Smith. The most spectacular 2-point play came after the Raiders second touchdown. Drafts mishandled the snap and Batts recovered the ball on the ten yard line, trapped by an oncoming horde of Sarasota players. Batts somehow evaded tackle in the backfield and crossed all the way to his right and into the end zone.

Asked if he thought scoring 4 conversions in one game would pigeon hole him as a short yardage specialist, Poindexter denied the distinction. "If they give me the ball, I'm going to try to punch it in."

DRIVE BY DRIVE RECAP:

The Raiders won the coin toss and chose to defer. The defense took the field and took control. Two plays into the game the Thunder had amassed -9 yards and were forced into a safety. Two more plays and the Raiders had scored their first touchdown of the night on a 24 yard pass from Drafts to Allen.

The Thunder gained six yards on the next series before turning the ball over on downs. It took the Raiders all of three plays to score another touchdown. On their next drive the Thunder went from 1st and 10 to 2nd and 16 to 2nd and 21 to 3rd and 21 to 3rd and 26 to the second safety of the night. With a minute left in the first quarter the score was 20-0 and the rout was on.

The Raiders took the free kick and marched down field to score the first rushing touchdown of the evening. Poindexter took a handoff up the middle and refused to go down, backing into the end zone from four yards out.

After another 2 point conversion and the kickoff, the Thunder, who did not attempt a kick all night, turned the ball over on downs after four plays and six yards. Two plays later the Raiders were once again in the end zone. This time it was an 18 yard strike from Drafts to Adrian Smith.

The subsequent Thunder drive netted negative 15 yards and another turnover on downs. The Raiders scored their fifth touchdown of the night on the first play of their next drive.

The Sarasota offense took the field with less than a minute left in the 2nd quarter. The half ended with a magnificent one-armed sack by Lakeland's big man, Munir Muwwakkil, and a lopsided score of 44-0.

The second half started with a kickoff that hit the rafters, giving the Raiders the ball on the 20 yard line. The Thunder were forced to burn a time out before the first play to avoid running a play with just 7 men on the field. The resulting drive was all Josh Smith. A pass to Smith took the Raiders to the Sarasota 18 yard line. The next play was a beautiful TD pass to Smith that was negated by a defensive penalty (the play was called dead and the penalty could not be declined). Drafts went back to Smith in the end zone again on the next play. Batts ran in the 2 point conversion to bring the score to 52-0.

The Thunder offense took over on the five yard line. The snap sailed over the QBs head and into the end zone bringing about the third safety of the night.

The only Raiders mishap of the night came on the following drive when Drafts threw the ball directly into the gut of Sarasota DB Maurice Cherry who returned the ball to the Raiders 9 yard line, setting up a first and goal. The Thunder got to within 8 feet of scoring before a combination of penalties and a sack pushed them back to the 15 yard line. Thunder QB Lee Alwan was knocked out of the game after a gang tackle. The first snap taken by his replacement Richard St. Hilaire went wide of his grasp by about 10 feet. A hard-charging Kendrick Stewart snatched up the ball on the run and returned it for a defensive touchdown. A Pointdexter 2 point conversion later the advantage was 62-0.

On a third and 13 play of the next Sarasota Drive Koreen Burch stepped in front of a St. Hilaire pass and ran untouched into the end zone. Pointdexter tacked on 2 more with his fourth conversion of the night.

Back to back to back to back QB sacks by Stewart and another Burch interception highlighted the next Thunder drive. Burch streaked into the end zone for another TD but an illegal block nullified the return to the back penalty.

No matter, Drafts hit Tyrece Gaines in the end zone on the first play of the ensuing drive for another TD. Gaines tossed the ball into the crowd, which delighted the fans but earned the ire of the officials. The resulting penalty pushed the 2 point try back to the 12 1/2 yard line. Drafts and Josh Smith connected on the attempt to set the final score of the night at 78-0.

Defensive standout Stewart effused praise for his teammates, coaches, and the fans after the game. "The crowd gives me energy. That's how I got my second wind. I'm doing it for the fans." Stewart said after the game, but noted that more serious challenges lie ahead. "We've got to take each win and build on it. Now we've got to take the bye week to heal up and get ready for the Tarpons."

The Raiders have two weeks to prepare for back to back tilts against the team that has been their toughest adversary in the UIFL, the Florida Tarpons. The team will travel to Estero to take on the Tarpons on March 24th then return to action in Lakeland for a rubber match on Saturday March 30th at 7:30. Tickets for that contest and all Raiders home games are available at the Lakeland Center box office, by calling 1-855-RAIDER1, or online at www.lakelandraiders.com.

The Missouri Monsters kicked off the season on Friday night against the Corpus Christi Fury at Family Arena in front of 4,092 fans.

The majority of the fans stayed until the end to see the Corpus Christi Fury beat the Monsters 37 to 74.

Gary Johnson caught two touchdown passes, and returned a kickoff for a touchdown, wide receiver Aric Evans, and Tavares Woodley also contributed with receiving touchdowns.

Quarterback Darrell Jackson finished the game 13 of 28 with 132 yards, and 4 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions.

The Monsters have a bye week, then travel to Dalton, GA to take on the Georgia Rampage on Monday March 25th. After the road trip, the team returns home to the Family Arena on Monday April 1st to face the Windy City Hitmen.

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Ultimate Indoor Football League Stories from March 16, 2013


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