Stampede Improve, Results Not Showing

by J.P. Matti
May 9, 2006 - American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) - Steubenville Stampede

A team that's improving never looks good when they're overmatched. That's what happened Saturday night in St John Arena. For all the changes and improvements made, they made a dent in the result.

Erie 61, Steubenville 18

Improvements at quarterback, center, and on both sides of the line didn't seem like much when you lose by 43 points. But compared to just over a month ago when Erie absolutely demolished the Stampede for 8 interceptions and a 62-6 drubbing, they've made strides to righting the ship.

Enter Josh Krapf. After playing for Syracuse earlier this year, he was inserted to the lineup last week as a backup QB to DeJoeve Platt. With that game no longer in doubt, he was entered as a change of pace and scored a TD pass to Hasan Brown. His presense was felt Saturday, but sadly not at first.

On his first pass, on the first play of their first posession, he threw into coverage and was picked up. A play later, the Stampede were trailing Goliath, 7-0.

As the game wore on, and the doubt once again being removed from the eventual outcome, the Stampede players and coaches kept fighting a very uphill battle.

Krapf scored on two touchdown runs and kicker Jerad Thomas connected on two field goals for Steubenville's 18 points.

Now, generally speaking, this was a bad loss. For the Stampede, this represented a 300% improvement from the absolute lowest--a 56 point loss to the same Erie Freeze where they scored six points.

The team has the week off to regroup before traveling to Johnstown to take on the Riverhawks. Earlier this year with what amounts to an entirely different team, the Stampede hosted the Riverhawks in week two, losing 21-14. After a 14-3 lead in the first quarter, the Stampede--then led by QB Wes Beschorner--failed to score the rest of the game.

This upcoming game should end much differently. And to everyone associated with the organization, must are hoping beyond hope that this will be the game they get the 800-pound gorilla off their back.

OTHER NEWS

-- In an ongoing issue with the league, the Stampede schedule has been slightly reworked. The Week 16 home game against Huntington has been replaced with a home game against the Florence Phantoms of the Southern Division. That game will take place on June 10th. Huntington will instead play at home on June 10th against the AIFL Ghostchasers, a traveling team created to fill the void when the Carolina Ghostriders folded midseason.

-- The Stampede were issued a forfeit for their road game against Huntington on 4/29 that could not be made up. The scheduling issue with the league resulted in the Stampede declining to travel to Huntington, for an abrupt Thursday night game, thus resulting in the forfeit. This puts the Stampede record at 0-10 with the loss to Erie.

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