Week 14 IPFL Preview

by IPFL Press Release
July 7, 2000 - Indoor Professional Football League (IPFL)

WEEK FOURTEEN IPFL PREVIEW

IPFL Press Release

July 6, 2000 - Competition reigns supreme in the Indoor Professional Football League (IPFL). Heading into week 14, four teams are just one game out of first in the loss column, while a fifth team is just two games back. With league front-runner Portland enjoying a bye, two of this week's games will directly affect who resides in second and third place in the IPFL standings.

In the battle for second, Mississippi (6-5) plays host to Louisiana (6-5) at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. Central Time. In the tangle for third, Omaha (5-5) travels to Idaho (5-5) for a 7:30 p.m. Mountain Time kickoff at the Bank of America Centre in Boise. The other game this week has Mobile (5-6) at Shreveport-Bossier (3-8) for a 7:30 p.m. game in Hirsch Coliseum.

Louisiana and Mississippi will meet for the third and final time this season. Both teams split the first two games in Louisiana: Louisiana won 50-37 in week five and Mississippi won 56-44 in week 10. Last season the two teams split their four-game season series as each team held court at home.

Currently no team in the league is as hot as the Mississippi Fire Dogs. Since the loss to Louisiana back in week five, Mississippi has gone 5-1 and risen from the cellar to second place in the league standings. The Fire Dogs have won two straight, including last week's 49-46 victory at Omaha, while Louisiana is coming off a bye week following its 54-17 win over Idaho two weeks ago. In addition to moving Mississippi into a second-place tie with Louisiana, last week's victory over Omaha made John Fourcade (15-13) the winningest head coach in league history.

Aside from serving as Mississippi's head coach and general manager, Fourcade also suits up as the team's starting quarterback. So far this season he has torched Louisiana with 11 passing touchdowns. Back in week 10, Mississippi picked up the first road victory in the series as Fourcade rushed for a score and passed for 267 yards and seven touchdowns.

Among the team statistics, Louisiana leads the league in scoring offense (43.7 points per game) and rushing offense (70.8 yards per game) and has committed a league-low total of 17 turnovers. The Rangers' major downside is that they are ranked last in scoring defense, surrendering a league-high 39.8 points per game. Mississippi, which is ranked second in both scoring offense (41.2 points per game) and total defense (surrendering 178.5 yards per game), leads the league in pass defense, yielding a league-low 114.8 yards per game.

The big dogs on Mississippi's offense are Fourcade (6-2, 225) and wide receivers Kenny Causey (6-1, 190) and Lamont Woodberry (6-3, 215). Causey leads the league in receptions (76), receiving yards (867), receiving touchdowns (14), receptions per game (6.91), receiving yards per game (78.8), kickoff return yards (829), field goal return yards (226), field goal return yard average (28.2), all purpose yards (1,922) and all purpose yards per game average (174.7). Causey's sidekick, Woodberry, has 58 receptions for 608 yards and 11 touchdowns. Fourcade, who averages 188.3 yards of total offense per game, is 205-368-20 passing for 2,032 yards and 40 touchdowns.

The task of slowing down Mississippi's explosive trio will fall primarily on the shoulders of Louisiana's top defenders: linebacker Darnell Lee (6-1, 235), and defensive backs Anthony Porter (6-0, 185) and Tremayne Evans (5-8, 175). Together they have combined for a total of 158 tackles, 16 pass break ups, nine interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

Quarterback Doug Coleman (6-2, 230), running back Byron Allen (6-0, 205) and wide receiver Jacobe Austin (5-10, 190) lead Louisiana's high-scoring offense. Coleman is 31-61-1 passing for 442 yards and nine touchdowns. Allen, the league's current all-time leading scorer, leads the league in rushing with 123 carries for 476 yards and 13 touchdowns. Austin averages 135.2 all purpose yards per game and has 32 receptions for 437 yards and five touchdowns.

Mississippi's defense is led by a secondary that features Kevin Bouis (6-0, 205), Quincy Sorrell (5-11, 190), Eugene Ridgley (6-2, 195) and Terrell Sutton (6-0, 180). Together the Fire Dogs' foursome has been responsible for a total of 197 tackles, 24 pass breaks ups and 14 interceptions. Individually, Sutton leads the league in passes defended with 18 (13 pass break ups and five interceptions).

The winner of the Omaha at Idaho game will move into third place in the league standings. Saturday's game will be the third meeting in the four-game season series. Omaha holds a 2-0 lead in the series: winning 26-12 at home in the season opener and 38-33 at Idaho in week four.

Both teams are 2-2 in their last four games. Idaho is coming off a victory in the lowest scoring game in league history, a 14-8 win over Shreveport-Bossier, while Omaha is coming off a disappointing 49-46 home loss to Mississippi.

Pacing Omaha on offense are quarterback Troy Travis (6-3, 240) and former Nebraska running backs Calvin Jones (5-11, 210) and Clinton Childs (6-1, 230). Jones averages a league-high 5.2 yards per carry and has scored five rushing touchdowns, while Childs has rushed for 207 yards and four touchdowns. Through the air Travis has passed for 866 yards and 17 touchdowns. Idaho will counter with an offensive attack led by quarterback Albert Higgs (6-1, 210) and wide receivers Antwan Wilson (5-9, 180) and Ricky Ross (6-0, 195). Higgs averages 163.2 yards of total offense per game and has passed for 1,445 yards and 23 touchdowns. Wilson averages a league-high 15.5 yards per reception and Ross racked up 190 all purpose yards in the last meeting against Omaha.

Despite being ranked at the bottom in total defense (Omaha surrenders a league-high 255.5 yards per game and Idaho gives up 207.5 yards per game), both teams feature standout defenders. Idaho linebacker Brian Smith (5-11, 225) leads the league in tackles with a total of 111 (59 unassisted and 52 assisted). Last week Smith had an IPFL record 19 tackles against Shreveport-Bossier. Furthermore, the reigning IPFL Defensive Player of the Week is on pace to easily eclipse the IPFL record for tackles in a season (the current mark is 129). Smith's importance is even more increased since linebacker Julian Yearwood (6-2, 250) and his 68 tackles were lost for the season due to a knee injury.

Both teams have strong defensive backfields. Idaho's DaWuan Miller (6-3, 195), Chris Cook (6-2, 200) and Darnell Hasson (6-1, 190) have combined for 165 tackles. Lamar O'Neal (6-2, 195) heads up the Omaha secondary, which includes Steve Lovell (5-9, 155), Thomas Williams (5-11, 185) and Shanon Yates (6-0, 210). Together the foursome has accounted for a total of 204 tackles.

Mobile can move up into a tie for fourth place with a win over Shreveport-Bossier. The Seagulls, however, have yet to win in this three-game season series. Shreveport-Bossier won back-to-back games (34-32 in week nine and 27-15 in week 10) earlier in the season. The Bombers scored 21 unanswered points, including Michael Moncrief's game-winning 25-yard fumble return for a touchdown, in the first meeting. The following week, Mobile held the Bombers to just six first downs and 74 yards of total offense; however, four interceptions cost the Seagulls the game.

Since their last confrontation, Mobile has gone 2-1, including last week's stunning 57-41 upset win at Portland, and Shreveport-Bossier has lost two straight, including last week's record-setting debacle with Idaho.

Mobile leads the league in scoring defense (surrendering 33.4 points per game), total defense (158.7 yards per game) and rushing defense (28.5 yards per game). Unfortunately for the Seagulls, the offense has committed a league-high total of 31 turnovers (20 interceptions and 11 fumbles). Shreveport-Bossier's woes are likewise on offense. The Bombers are second in the league in scoring defense (surrendering 33.5 points per game), and last in scoring offense (23.1 points per game), total offense (154.0 yards per game) and pass offense (104.2 yards per game).

Mobile's offense is led by: quarterback Kelvin Simmons (6-1, 203); running backs Antoine Flowers (5-9, 175) and Cleon Jones Jr. (5-11, 220); and wide receivers Ryan Blakely (5-11, 175) and Alex Howell (6-2, 196). Simmons averages 167.1 yards of total offense per game and has passed for 1,115 yards and 15 touchdowns. Flowers leads the league in scoring with 132 points and has rushed for 407 yards and 16 touchdowns and caught 39 passes for 332 yards and six touchdowns. Jones Jr. was named the offensive player of the week for his performance against Portland last week in which he averaged 12.0 yards per carry and scored on an IPFL record 42-yard rushing touchdown. The Seagulls' receiving tandem of Blakely and Howell have combined for a total of 81 receptions for 939 yards and seven touchdowns.

Shreveport-Bossier's individual leader is Moncrief, who has 59 tackles and leads the league in both tackles for a loss (23) and sacks (11.5). Also playing a major role are defensive backs Chris Samson (6-0, 210) and Larry Holloway (6-1, 230). Together they have combined for 143 tackles. On offense, running back Ketric Carter (5-9, 190) has rushed for 394 yards and six touchdowns, while the wide receiver tandem of Tacoma Fontaine (6-0, 190) and Terry Savannah (6-2, 200) has amassed a total of 86 receptions for 859 yards and eight touchdowns.

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