Barracudas Off To Best Start In Franchise History
BELTON - It was no small feat for the CenTex Barracuda Professional Indoor Football team to match its best start in franchise history. But against the San Angelo Stampede Express last Saturday night at the Bell County Expo Center, the 2008 Barracudas made it look easy. As one of only three undefeated teams remaining in the Intense Football League this season, the Barracudas (2-0) dismantled winless San Angelo early, jumping out to an early lead and cruising to an impressive 52-23 victory before 3,123 enthusiastic fans - the second largest crowd in the team's three years of existence.
Although he enjoyed the win, Barracuda first-year head coach Chris Duliban did not have the luxury of basking in the celebration as he immediately began focusing on the next opponent, IFL defending champion Louisiana Swashbucklers (2-0).
"It was nice for a day, then we moved on to Louisiana," Duliban said. "Against San Angelo, we controlled the line of scrimmage, avoided the big mistakes, and forced them to make mistakes. We were patient, aggressive and pushed the tempo. But we're going to need to step it up several notches this week."
Three Barracudas who played at a notch above against San Angelo were wide receiver Kendrick Wade, linebacker J.R. Turner and defensive lineman Kevin Earvine. Wade, the Barracuda offensive player of the game, followed up his three touchdown performance against Frisco in the season opener by hauling in seven passes for 87 yards, on of which was a first quarter 45-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Bart Gloyd.
Defensive player of the game honors went to Turner after he led the team in tackles with nine, tossed San Angelo quarterback Hunter Sims for three sacks, and snagged an interception.
After his huge onside kick recovery against Frisco, Earvine had another big game on special teams against San Angelo to pick up the weekly CenTex award by making five special teams tackles, while picking up four more take downs to tie Turner with nine total tackles.
"These guys just keep getting better because they work hard," Duliban said. "But we're a young team, and we still have a long way to go."
The Barracudas will find out just how far they still need to go against the Louisiana Swashbucklers this week. Last season, the Swashbucklers swept through the IFL to a 15-1 record, knocking off two-time finalist Corpus Christi Hammerheads, 46-27, in the Intense Bowl III. By demolishing the Katy Rough Riders 89-26 last Saturday, Louisiana extended their home win streak to 15 games, dating back to their 2006 season finale, a 63-60 loss to the CenTex Barracudas.
"They are the defending champions, and they play like it," Duliban said after watching the Swashbucklers on film. "They are extremely patient and make few mistakes. They force errors and play at a high intensity level. It's going to be a great challenge."
NOTES - The defending IFL champion Louisiana Swashbucklers claimed two of the three of the league player of the week awards for their efforts in a convincing 89-26 victory over Katy last Saturday. Quarterback Alvin Bartie, in his first game as an IFL starter, lit up the Katy Ruff Riders for 215 yards and seven touchdowns without an interception to be named the IFL Offensive Player of the Week. Defensive back Damien Huren earned IFL Defensive Player of the Week honors by picking off two passes from Katy quarterback Albert Higgs, deflecting three more and tallying nine tackles.
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Intense Football League Stories from April 3, 2008
- Barracudas Off To Best Start In Franchise History - CenTex Barracudas
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