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Spartans' Homestand Opens with First-Place Extreme

April 20, 2011 - Indoor Football League (IFL) - La Crosse Spartans News Release

La Crosse, WI: The La Crosse Spartans will look to get back on the winning track this Friday night as the 3-4 Spartans return to the La Crosse Center for a two-game homestand. This Friday night's battle will feature the first meeting of the season between the Spartans and the first-place Bloomington Extreme. The Extreme are 6-1 overall and are currently riding a three-game winning streak with their only loss coming against the Green Bay Blizzard (5-1).

La Crosse is coming off a 77-10 defeat at the hands of the Sioux Falls Storm in week nine. Sioux Falls only lead 7-0 at the end of one quarter, but the IFL powerhouse quickly turned the tides in the second half en route to their sixth win of the season. The Spartans were lead offensively by runningback LaRon Council who carried the ball 16 times for 68 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 16 yards. Council leads the IFL in total carries (86) and is third in rushing yards (307).

Injuries have been the lead storyline the last couple of weeks for the Spartans and that continues to remain the same for this Friday's matchup. Defensive players Jamil Abdullah, Tommie Williams, Michael Ebanks, and Antonio O'Neil remain on the injured list along with wide receiver Antonio Overstreet who is already out for the season. On the bright side, quarterback Buddy Rivera and offensive lineman Courtney Abbott will return to the starting lineup. Both were limited with injuries the last two games, both losses for the Spartans.

With both Ebanks and O'Neil both hurt on the defensive line, the Spartans have signed Robert Franklin (6'2", 300 lbs.) from Illinois to start in their place. Franklin has a handful of experience in the indoor leagues and also spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Friday's game with the Extreme caps a three-game stretch for the Spartans against the league's elite teams. The Spartans last three opponents, Chicago, Sioux Falls, and Bloomington have a combined record of 17-3. La Crosse sits just a ½ game back of the sixth and final playoff spot in the United Conference and would keep pace with a win this Friday night and stay just two games out of first in the Great Lakes Division.

Individual game tickets for the La Crosse Spartans second season in the Indoor Football League are on sale now at the La Crosse Center box office. Tickets for all seven home games are on sale now for as little as $7 including the Spartans next home game on April 22nd against the Bloomington Extreme.

Group ticket packages and special family four-pack offers are also available by calling the Spartans ticket office at 608-782-4461. To purchase single-game tickets, stop by the La Crosse Center box office or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

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