Spartans Seek Redemption Against Blizzard
La Crosse, WI: They say to be the best, you have to beat the best. The La Crosse Spartans will attempt to do just that this Sunday when they host the Green Bay Blizzard in a rematch of their March 19th 48-12 defeat. The Blizzard currently lead the Central North Division with a record of 4-1 while the Spartans continue to fight for their first win of the season. Like last weekend, playing in front of a home crowd should provide a spark for the team, and a win will further complicate the early season playoff picture and get La Crosse back into the race.
"In the NFL they say Any Given Sunday," stated Spartans Co-Owner and General Manager Chris Kokalis. "That is the mindset we have headed into this contest against Green Bay. They took the first game of the season series between us, be we have improved tremendously since that last meeting."
The Blizzard are fresh off a 46-45 victory against the 2009 Atlantic Division Champion Maryland Maniacs last weekend after coming back from a 15 point deficit to begin the fourth quarter. They are lead by Quarterback Jake Phillips who is among the IFL leaders in many passing categories. He currently ranks second in the league in touchdown passes with 17 and is number one in passing yards with 911. His primary targets are Lawrence Bady and Arlandus Hood who have combined for over 400 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. On defense, Maurice Simpkins leads the league with 44 total tackles, and has intercepted one pass thus far.
La Crosse enters the game after a tough home loss at the hands of the Omaha Beef last weekend. The defensive unit had some successes to build off of in that game however, as they held the usually potent Beef offense to just 37 points. Linebacker Blake Freese is the unquestioned leader of this unit as shown by his team leading 35 tackles, 20 of which are solo. Offensively, the Spartans have found a sparkplug in their rushing attack with the immergence of Mark Bonds who last week ran for 76 yards and three touchdowns against the Beef. Also good news is that starting Quarterback Jimmy Sangster is back at practice, but it is not known yet whether he or Kewan Dewberry will be behind center this week. The continued progression of the offense will be crucial in this game if the Spartans want to hand the Blizzard their first division loss.
Kickoff at the La Crosse Center is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. The team will be celebrating National Cheese Fondue Day and Dandelion Day for the game as well, and will be handing out free candy to all fans who wear a cheese head or bring a dandelion to the game. The Spartans front office expects their fans to be loud, proud, and rowdy as they look to send the Blizzard back to Green Bay with a loss. Tickets for the game are still available, but are running out FAST! They can be purchased through ticketmaster.com or by visiting the La Crosse Center Box Office. Season and discounted group tickets are still available as well, and can be purchased by calling the Spartans office at 608-567-4299. For more information on tickets, or for general Spartans news, visit www.lacrossespartans.com.
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