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 Indoor Football League

IFL Week 10 Recap

May 21, 2024 - Indoor Football League (IFL) News Release

The second half of the 2024 IFL season is officially underway. Week 10 featured three upsets, including the biggest shocker of the week as the one-win Sugar Skulls took down the undefeated Vegas Knight Hawks in overtime.

To begin Week 10's action, the Iowa Barnstormers (2-6) visited the Quad City Steamwheelers (4-4) for their second meeting of the year. Iowa won the first matchup, but Quad City evened the series in an absolute nailbiter on Friday. In a back-and-forth matchup, Steamwheelers' kicker Kyle Kaplan nailed a 49-yard field goal as time expired to come away with a 57-55 win.

Following a win last week, Quad City makes it two wins in a row after evening the season series with Iowa in Week 10. Mike Irwin was the team's leading scorer, completing 11/20 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns, adding 34 yards and two extra touchdowns on the ground. Alongside an explosive offensive performance, Jarrod Harrington joined the team's scoring, returning a kick 51 yards for a touchdown. On the defensive side, Jaylin Swan also found the end zone for Quad City, recovering a fumble and lunging in for the score. The winning factor for Quad City was kicker Kyle Kaplan, ending the night 5/6 on field goal attempts, including a game-winner as the final seconds of the game ticked away. The Steamwheelers head into a Week 11 bye following back-to-back wins.

On the brink of a three-game winning streak, the Barnstormers fell short. A last-second field goal gave Quad City the win after Kyle King found CJ Tate for a late touchdown with nine seconds remaining in the game. Iowa's offense continued their recent uptick in scoring, putting up another 50-point performance. Quarterback Kyle King had a strong performance, completing 16/27 passes for 260 yards and five touchdowns. In a game that went back and forth until the final seconds, the Barnstormers left too much time on the clock for Kyle Kaplan and the Quad City Steamwheelers.

In a game decided by one point, the Northern Arizona Wranglers (5-3) faced off against the Massachusetts Pirates (5-3) on Saturday afternoon. The Pirates were favored by six points but lost their second straight game, 41-40.

Following a two-game losing skid, the Wranglers bounced back in Week 10 with an upset against Massachusetts. Quarterback Joshua Jones had a performance to remember, completing 21/30 passes for 215 yards and five touchdowns, as one of his touchdown passes made it on ESPN the following morning. Jones connected with Kobay White, leading him over the wall for the highlight reel touchdown reception. White finished the night as the leading receiver, hauling six receptions in for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, the Wranglers extended their lead in forced fumbles (6), as Northern Arizona finished the night with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and an interception that sealed the game with less than 20 seconds remaining. With this win, the Wranglers join the top three teams in the Western Conference, only trailing the Panthers and Knight Hawks.

After a loss the week before, the Pirates looked to bounce back into the winning column this week. However, their late-game efforts were squandered by a game-sealing interception on the final drive of the night. With just over two minutes left, Jimmie Robinson scored his fifth rushing touchdown of the game. After his touchdown run, the Pirates would miss the game-tying PAT. Their defense would force a field goal try from Northern Arizona, but that attempt would sail wide. Massachusetts had one last drive to get into field-goal range or better, but with 20 seconds remaining, backup quarterback Connor Degenhardt threw into double coverage, as Travion Banks came away with the game-ending interception. Degenhardt relieved an injured Alejandro Bennifield, but the Pirates' offense continued to rely heavily on former Offensive Rookie of the Year Jimmie Robinson. On 17 carries, Robinson rushed for 80 yards and a season-best five touchdown rushes. Following two straight losses, the Pirates look to bounce back against the Tulsa Oilers next week.

Wrapping up the afternoon action on Saturday, the Frisco Fighters (6-2) faced off against the Green Bay Blizzard (6-2) at the Resch Center. The Blizzard made it two straight wins following a 67-38 upset over Frisco in Green Bay's best offensive performance of the season.

Following a win last week against Tulsa, the Blizzard faced a 14-point deficit in the first quarter of this matchup. However, the Blizzard followed a slow first quarter with a 24-point second quarter and 22-point fourth quarter to take down one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Quarterback Max Meylor had a strong afternoon, completing 13/17 passes for 130 yards and two passing touchdowns, getting active in the rushing game as well with 36 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Running back EJ Burgess would be the team's leading rusher, as he ended the afternoon with 19 rushes for 85 yards and four rushing touchdowns. Green Bay's defense would continue their strong season, finishing this week with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and two interceptions. Along with winning the turnover battle, Olalere Oladipo came up strong, forcing a safety early in the second quarter. On special teams, kicker Andrew Mevis joined the scoring, as he added four points with his two successful deuce attempts. Green Bay looks to make it three wins in a row, as they open up Week 11 on the road against Iowa.

Entering this week as the top team in the Eastern Conference, they now share that title with Green Bay. Quarterback Larry Harrington remained the starter, with TJ Edwards still out due to injury. Green Bay made things difficult for Harrington through the air, as he ended the afternoon 4/12 for 56 yards passing. However, as a rusher, Harrington and the Fighters remained strong. On 11 rushes, Larry Harrington rushed for 76 yards and four touchdowns, while Martez Carter added 70 more yards and a score of his own. As a defensive unit, the Fighters stopped Green Bay just once, forcing a turnover on downs in the first quarter. From then on, the Fighters allowed eight touchdown drives in a row. Frisco looks to bounce back next week, as they face off against the Strike Force.

Kicking off Saturday's evening slate, the Tulsa Oilers (3-5) took on the San Antonio Gunslingers (4-4) in a hotly contested matchup. The scoreboard was locked at 7-7 following the first quarter, but a 27-point second quarter ultimately put the Gunslingers ahead for the remainder of the game.

Leading the highest-scoring offense in the IFL, quarterback Sam Castronova shined again with a nearly perfect performance against Tulsa. Castronova finished the night 20/25 for 274 yards and seven touchdowns, adding 51 yards on the ground. He now holds the top two spots in most passing yards thrown in a game this season following this week's performance (274 yards) and Week Five's performance (265 yards) against Vegas. Defensively, the Gunslingers forced two crucial turnovers with interceptions from Svante Davenport and Clifton Duck. Allowing an average of 55 points defensively, the Gunslingers kept Tulsa below that total, marking their second-lowest point total allowed this season. San Antonio looks to win their third straight next week as they hit the road to face off against Bay Area.

For Tulsa, this marks their third loss in a row. Andre Sale started as quarterback for the Oilers, finishing the night 18/35 for 160 yards and six touchdowns. The Oilers failed to establish a running game, as they ended the game with 19 yards on seven rushes against a Gunslingers defense that allows over 75 rushing yards per game on average. Tulsa looks to break a three-game skid as they face off against a Massachusetts team that has lost two straight.

Continuing a packed Saturday night, the Sioux Falls Storm (2-6) took on the Jacksonville Sharks (1-7) in a battle between win-hungry franchises. The Storm came out of the gates slow with a scoreless first quarter, but after their 28-point second quarter, Sioux Falls never gave up their lead.

Quarterback Lorenzo Brown Jr. had a strong performance in the win, completing 13/26 passes for 171 yards and six touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, Laronji Vason-McCoy hauled in both of Sioux Falls' interceptions, now leading the team in that department. The Storm have a bye week coming up, as they don't take the field until Week 12.

Following their first win of the season last week, the Sharks couldn't make it two wins in a row. Quarterback Fred Payton Jr. completed 10/16 passes for 133 yards and three passing touchdowns, adding 39 yards and a rushing touchdown on the ground. Jacksonville lost the turnover battle, failing to force a turnover throughout the entire game. Defensively, the Sharks couldn't find answers for the Storm, allowing points on eight of 11 drives. Jacksonville looks to bounce back after this loss with extra time to prepare in their Week 11 bye.

In the highest-scoring game of the week, the Bay Area Panthers (7-1) matched up against the Arizona Rattlers (4-4) in a Western Conference battle. Bay Area came in following a win last week, while the Rattlers were looking to win their fourth straight. Arizona was on top after the first quarter, but the Panthers turned up the heat from that point on, coming away with a 68-52 victory in Week 10.

Bay Area had the highest-scoring performance of the week, scoring over 60 points for the first time this season. Quarterback Daquan Neal was highly efficient in this game, completing 6/8 passes for 90 yards and three passing touchdowns, adding 75 yards and three rushing touchdowns on nine attempts. Shane Simpson continued his strong 2024 season, ending the night with 15 rushes for 74 yards and three rushing touchdowns. It was an offensive explosion from Bay Area, finishing every offensive drive with a touchdown in Week 10. Following this win, the Panthers head into a three-game home stretch, as they look to continue down the winning path.

On the other side, the Rattlers looked to win their fourth straight game, as they took on Bay Area in front of a home crowd. Unfortunately for Arizona, their winning streak ended, bringing them to .500 on the season through eight games. Quarterback Dalton Sneed returned to action, finishing the night 19/26 for just shy of 200 yards and three passing touchdowns, finding success on the ground with 60 extra yards and three rushing touchdowns. In their first loss since April 14, the Rattlers return to the drawing board as they look to start their next winning streak with a win next week against Duke City.

Wrapping up the Saturday night action, the Vegas Knight Hawks (7-1) faced off against the Tucson Sugar Skulls (2-6) in what ended up being the biggest upset of the season thus far. Heading into this game, Vegas was on a seven-game winning streak, while the Sugar Skulls were amidst a four-game losing streak. In a thrilling game that required overtime, the Sugar Skulls attempted a two-point conversion after answering Vegas' opening score in overtime. After scoring the overtime touchdown, running back Mike Jones found the end zone on the two-point conversion, giving Tucson the 51-50 victory.

In Mylik Mitchell's second game back from being sidelined due to injury, the Sugar Skulls had their second-highest-scoring performance of the season. Mitchell ended the night 8/17 for 130 yards and two passing touchdowns, adding 37 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground. Running back Mike Jones added to the scoring, finding the end zone twice, including the touchdown that set up his game-winning two-point conversion in overtime. The Sugar Skulls' defense played exceptionally well, ending the night with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and an interception. Late in the fourth quarter, MJ Harris brought back a squib kick 22 yards for a touchdown, tying the game with six-and-a-half minutes remaining in the game. Following their second win of the season, Tucson heads to the Findlay Toyota Center next week as they look to build off this win.

Dropping their first game of the season, the Knight Hawks had an uncharacteristic performance offensively in the second half. Scoring touchdowns on four of their first six drives was followed by scoring touchdowns on half of their second-half drives- including their one overtime drive. Entering this game, the Knight Hawks were the highest-scoring offense, sporting a top-five defensive unit through their first seven games. The Sugar Skulls got the best of the Knight Hawks this week, as Vegas faces defeat for the first time in 2024. Vegas goes into a Week 11 bye, not returning to the field until they face off against the Wranglers at home in Week 12.

Wrapping up Week 10, the Duke City Gladiators (0-7) took on the San Diego Strike Force (5-3), as the Gladiators were on the doorsteps of a potential upset early in this matchup. However, a second-half shutout from San Diego's defense awarded San Diego their fifth win.

Following a loss to the Knight Hawks last week, the Strike Force walked out of Week 10 with a victory. Quarterback Nate Davis completed 19/34 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns, adding an extra touchdown on the ground. Amid their stout defensive performance, four different players hauled in an interception this game, adding a fumble recovery to their turnover total. Once the second half kicked off, the Strike Force surrendered 38 total yards, featuring one of the most dominant defensive halves of football this season. San Diego faces the possibility of tying a franchise-record sixth win next week as they face off against the Fighters at home in Week 11.

Looking for their first win of the season, the Gladiators were on the brink of an upset early in this matchup. Duke City trailed by just a touchdown at the end of the first half, but a scoreless second half squandered the Gladiators' chance of victory. Quarterback Joseph Mancuso completed 16/29 passes for 123 yards and two touchdown passes, adding a touchdown on the ground. Duke City's defense came away with a fumble recovery early in the fourth quarter but lost the turnover battle four-to-one. Duke City looks for another chance at claiming their first victory of the season, as they hit the road to take on Arizona next week.

Week 11 kicks off on Friday night as the Green Bay Blizzard takes on the Iowa Barnstormers at 7:05 p.m. CT. Six games span from Friday to Sunday this week, as four teams get the week off for their bye. Be sure to catch all six games streamed live on the IFL YouTube Channel and Caffeine TV.

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Indoor Football League Stories from May 21, 2024

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