Enforcers Win First Game at Home
The Indianapolis Enforcers got their first franchise win Saturday 40-34 against the visiting Chicago Vipers at the SportZone in Indianapolis.
The win improved the Enforcers to 1-3 after a tough road start in the 2012 season.
The Game started with the Enforcers getting the opening kick off and in 5 plays, #11 Qb Ron Ricciardi tossing a 35yd TD pass to wr #5 James Sharp. (2pt conversion failed)
The Vipers took their turn, driving down to the Enforcer 8 yard line in 6 plays, but on a second down, safety #12 Karl Jones stripped Viper full back #2 Khyree Copeland and the ball was recovered in the endzone by the Enforcers LB #51 Zack Canaugh for a touchback.
Three plays later, Ricciardi hit Sharp again on a short out route, bobbled the ball, got control and scooted right to left across the entire Viper defense 42 yards for another score. (Pat blocked)
The Vipers came back down and after an 8 plays drive, TB Ricky Emery was able to score from 4 yards out to make it 12-6.
It was the last time the Vipers would see the end zone the rest of the half.
The next drive for the Enforcers, they drove to the Chicago 1 yd line, but they turned it over on downs and the Vipers took over.
But after two stuffed running plays, on 3rd down and 9, a bad snap went over Chicago QB #11 Anthony Kropps' head. A chase for the ball between DE #55 Marvin and Cavanaugh resulted in an Enforcer recovery at the Viper 2yd line.
From there, RB Donte Hart pounded the ball in and the score jumped to 19-7.
Chicago's next drive saw more Enforcer D.
From their own 19yd line, Kropp dropped to throw & was pressured by Hart and DE John Jackson (#70) and tossed a desperation pass over the middle that was batted away by DB #30 Storn Alexander and then intercepted by Jones, who returned it to midfield.
It took Ricciardi one play to drop back, set and throw a strike to WR #6 Jamie Barnes over the middle at the 10 who ran in celebrating the remaining way for another Indy TD. (Kick good 26-7)
The Next drive, from the Enforcer 22, Davis blasted through the line and hit Kropp before he could hand off the ball and knocked it loose. The ball scooted to the sideline and was recovered by Jackson.
Ricciardi took his troops out, and again, in one play, found Sharp with a perfect pass lofted down the left sideline in the endzone for yet another TD. Kick failed (32-6) after another three and out by Chicago, the halftime score was 32-6.
In the second half, Chicago would attempt to get back into the game, but another 4th quarter TD pass by Ricciardi to Sharp and a safety added by the Enforcer D would close out any chance the Vipers had. A late score by Chicago made it 40-34, but this one was over before it started.
As veteran and Chicago native, Ricciardi knew how important the first punch was in this game.
"From an offensive perspective, starting the game (9 for 10 for 118 yards and three TD's) got us off to a great start." Said Ricciardi who went 17 of 23, 220 yards and 5 td passes on the day. "We carried that momentum through all four quarters with solid offensive line play and the receivers making plays. The offense accounted for six TD drives, completing 70% of passing. Jamie Barnes and James Sharp are a dynamic receiving combo with newcomer Jeffery Mcclure making an immediate impact."
All told, Sharp is one of the leading wr's in the league with 24 catches and 11 td's. Sharp finished the day leading all recievers with 9 catches for 156 yards and franchise high 4 touchdowns. Barnes was 4 for 49 and a Td with Mcclure pitching in with a pair of grabs and looks to be a good fit.
"As a team, we are proud to earn the franchise's first win." Continued Ricciardi. "And we will use it as a building block to continue to compete in the CIFL."
"Our defense played a great game." said Cavanaugh who finished the game with 6 tackles, 3 assists and had two of the three defensive fumble recoveries. "We have always had very talented players and we are finally coming together as a team. This is a defense you better watch out for, not only on the field but in the headlines. This organization has worked extremely hard to get to where we are today. This win is tribute to that hard work and dedication. It has been a rocky road, but I think that is all about to change. We are here to show everyone what Indianapolis football can do."
The enforcers were + 5 in the turnover column for the day. All the Enforcers turnovers lead to touchdowns.
The Enforcers also were able to something else along with winning the game; they dunked thier head coach KC Carter with a ceremonial Gatorade bath and gave him the game ball.
The Enforcers will play again at the Sportzone Saturday April 7th at 3pm vs Port Huron.
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Continental Indoor Football League Stories from April 2, 2012
- Enforcers Win First Game at Home - Indianapolis Enforcers
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