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Week 16 IPFL preview

by IPFL Press Release
July 20, 2000 - Indoor Professional Football League (IPFL)


IPFL Press Release

July 20, 2000 - With four weeks remaining in the Indoor Professional Football League (IPFL) 2000 regular season, the only thing that's been determined is this is the most competitive season in the three-year history of the league.

Entering week 16, six teams are in contention for the league's three playoff berths, and four of those teams have the luxury of controlling their own destiny. Two of those four, Omaha (7-5) and Mobile (7-6), meet Saturday night at the Omaha Civic Auditorium. Kickoff for this much anticipated meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Central Time. In the other two games this weekend, Portland (8-5) hosts Idaho (5-7) in a 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time kickoff at Memorial Coliseum, and Shreveport-Bossier (3-9) entertains Louisiana (6-7) in a 7:30 p.m. Central Time kickoff at Hirsch Coliseum.

Amidst plenty of playoff implications, Mobile and Omaha will square off for the final time in their two-game season series. A victory by Omaha, combined with a Portland loss, would move the Beef into a first-place tie with idle Mississippi. On the other hand, a Mobile win, combined with a Portland loss, would move the Seagulls into a second-place tie with the Prowlers, whom they hold the tiebreaker (combined points in head-to-head meetings) over. Perhaps more importantly, Mobile needs to win by four or more points to own the tiebreaker with Omaha.

Saturday's game will be Omaha's last regular season home date. Following this week's showdown with Mobile, the Beef finish up with three tough road games: at Louisiana, at Portland and at Mississippi. After this weekend, Mobile closes out the regular season with a two-game (home and away) series with Idaho.

Omaha won the first meeting with Mobile back in week six, 39-36, as the Beef scored 15 unanswered points and made a game-winning goal-line stand. In that game Mobile out gained Omaha in first downs (15-7), total offensive yards (307-157) and time of possession (36:19-23:41); however, five costly turnovers did the Seagulls in.

Both teams enter playing well. Omaha, winner of two straight, has averaged 56.5 points in its last two games. Last week the Beef established a franchise record for point production in its 59-39 win over Idaho. Outside of Mississippi, no team is playing as well as Mobile. The Seagulls have won four out of their last five games and are above the .500 mark for the first time in franchise history. Last week Mobile posted a 21-13 victory over Louisiana.

Among the league team statistics, Mobile is ranked first in both scoring defense, surrendering a league-low 33.2 points per game, and total defense, surrendering a league-low average of 157.6 yards per game. Although Omaha leads the league in rushing offense, averaging a league-high 73.8 yards per game, the Seagulls counter with the league's top rushing defense, which gives up an average of just 30.4 rushing yards per game. The kryptonite for Mobile has been turnovers. The Seagulls have committed a league-high total of 37 turnovers (13 fumbles and 24 interceptions).

Omaha's top two offensive weapons are running backs Clinton Childs (6-1, 230) and Calvin Jones (5-11, 210). Childs has rushed 96 times for 340 yards and seven touchdowns, including last week's league record 45-yard scoring run. Jones has totaled 57 carries for 276 yards and seven touchdowns. Likewise, the Seagulls have a pair of primary offensive outlets in running back/wide receiver Antoine Flowers (5-9, 175) and quarterback Kelvin Simmons (6-1, 203). In addition to leading the league in scoring with 25 touchdowns and 150 points, Flowers has rushed for 451 yards and 17 touchdowns and caught 49 passes for 454 yards and eight touchdowns. Simmons, who averages 4.9 yards per carry and 175.6 yards of total offense per game, is 146-276-20 passing for 1,479 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Mobile's defense is anchored by the front three of Terrance "Tiny" Simmons (6-5, 295), Raymond Nobles (6-1, 301) and Joey Duplan (6-6, 265). Together the trio has combined for 14 sacks and 33 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. The strength of Omaha's defense is its secondary. Defensive backs Lamar O'Neal (6-2, 195), Thomas Williams (5-11, 185), Shanon Yates (6-0, 210) and Steve Lovell (5-9, 155) have totaled 239 tackles and 17 interceptions.

Portland can take over sole possession of first place in the league standings with a victory over Idaho Saturday night. Idaho, which has four games left, is fighting to remain in the playoff race. If Idaho loses to Portland and Omaha beats Mobile, the Stallions are eliminated from playoff contention.

Idaho and Portland split the first two games in their four-game season series. Back in week six Idaho captured its first-ever home win in the Bank of America Centre with a 41-30 victory over the Prowlers. The following week Portland returned the favor by forcing seven Idaho turnovers (four fumbles and three interceptions) in a 46-35 win over the Stallions. This time around, both teams enter having lost two straight.

The Prowlers lead the league in both total offense, averaging a league-high 244.5 yards per game, and turnover margin, averaging a league-best + 1.31 per game. In addition to defensively gaining a league-high total of 37 turnovers (12 fumbles and 25 interceptions), Portland's offense has also surrendered a league-low total of 20 turnovers (11 fumbles and nine interceptions).

The architect of Portland's offense is quarterback Erik Wilhelm (6-3, 217). The Prowlers' standout leads the league in completions (273), completion percentage (63.0), passing touchdowns (50) and pass rating (115.6). Wilhelm's leading targets are running back Glenn Vereen (5-11, 195), tight end Trent Waibel (6-5, 225) and wide receivers Chad Carlson (6-0, 195) and Arthur Williams (5-11, 175).

Idaho's defense is led by linebacker Brian Smith (5-11, 225), the league's all-time leading tackler with 213 and counting. Last week Smith registered six tackles to establish a new single-season tackle record of 133. Outside of Smith, defensive backs DaWaun Miller (6-3, 195), Chris Cook (6-2, 200) and Darnell Hasson (6-1, 190) have combined for 215 tackles and eight interceptions.

Defensive back Antonio Sparrow (6-2, 200), who leads the league in interceptions with eight, heads up a talented Portland secondary unit. Joining Sparrow in the Prowlers' defensive backfield are Jake Capdeville (6-1, 210), Milton Myers (5-11, 150) and Hassan Probherbs (5-11, 170). Together the foursome has accounted for a total of 280 tackles and 22 interceptions.

The Prowlers' secondary will be tested by Idaho quarterback Albert Higgs (6-1, 210). Last week Higgs rushed for a score and was 20-31-1 passing for 246 yards and five touchdowns. On the season he averages 179.4 yards of total offense per game and is 151-300-17 passing for 1,934 yards and 34 touchdowns. The Stallions other top weapon is wide receiver Ricky Ross (6-0, 195), who averages 135.6 all purpose yards per game.

Cross-state rivals Louisiana and Shreveport-Bossier will do battle in the third meeting of the Bayou State series. Louisiana leads the four-game series 2-0, having won the first meeting 42-29 and the second 39-19.

Like Idaho, Louisiana is also fighting to keep its playoff hopes alive. A Louisiana loss, combined with a Mobile win over Omaha, would eliminate the Rangers from playoff contention.

Louisiana's offense is led by running back Byron Allen (6-0, 205), the league's all-time leading scorer, and quarterback Doug Coleman (6-2, 230). Allen leads the league in rushing with 144 carries for 557 yards and 14 touchdowns, while Coleman is 52-102-5 passing for 650 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Rangers' committee of receivers includes Wesley Jacob (6-0, 180), Jacobe Austin (5-10, 190), Joe Valencia (6-0, 200), Eric Young (5-11, 190) and Clarence Fields (6-3, 225). Together the group has accounted for a total of 130 receptions for 1,734 yards and 32 touchdowns.

Shreveport-Bossier will counter with a defensive unit that is led by lineman Michael Moncrief (6-2, 235) and backs Chris Samson (6-0, 210) and Larry Holloway (6-1, 230). In addition to his 62 tackles, Moncrief leads the league in both sacks (11.5) and tackles for a loss (23). Meanwhile, Samson and Holloway have combined for 153 tackles.

On the other side of the ball, the Bombers' offense is guided by the wide receiver combo of Terry Savannah (6-2, 200) and Tacoma Fontaine (6-0, 190). Despite Shreveport's inconsistencies on offense, the pair has caught 92 passes for 939 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively the Rangers are led by the linebacking tandem of Darnell Lee (6-1, 235) and Charles Ayro (6-1, 220). The Louisiana duo has combined for a total of 137 tackles.

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