Week 9: Game Previews
June 17, 2021 - Indoor Football League (IFL) News Release
Now entering the halfway point in the 2021 season, The Indoor Football League will feature five games this weekend starting on Friday, June 19. The IFL Game of the Week on Stadium will showcase the Massachusetts Pirates (3-3) hosting the Tucson Sugar Skulls (1-3) on Saturday, June 19, at 8 p.m. CT. You can watch the rest of the games on the IFL's YouTube page.
BISMARCK BUCKS AT GREEN BAY BLIZZARD - FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 7:05 P.M. CT
Coming off an impressive win over the Iowa Barnstormers, the Bismarck Bucks look for their third straight win against the Green Bay Blizzard on Saturday.
In week eight, the Bucks defeated the Barnstormers, 53-22, in the IFL Game of the Week on Stadium. Wide receiver and week eight Special Teams Player of the Week Mike
Carrigan led the receiving core with three touchdown catches, all of which were over 25 yards. Carrigan also returned a kickoff 54 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter.
Green Bay comes into the matchup after a week of rest, but with one of the best defenses in the IFL. The Blizzard's defense leads the league in total interceptions with eight and third in sacks with seven. Defensive back Mason Gray leads the team in total interceptions with three while defensive lineman Dajon Emery leads in sacks with three.
Before the week off, the Blizzard fell to the Arizona Rattlers, 41-34, at home in the Resch Center.
ARIZONA RATTLERS AT DUKE CITY GLADIATORS - SATURDAY, JUNE 19, 7:05 P.M. CT
Leading the IFL with 11 rushing touchdowns, quarterback Drew Powell propelled the Rattlers to a victory over the Tucson Sugar Skulls in Arizona's home opener with one passing touchdown and three rushing touchdowns. Powell's average of 75.7 rushing yards per game also leads the IFL.
The Arizona Rattlers lead the IFL in total offense with 270.5 yards per game while ranking third in scoring offense at 45.5 points per game. The Rattlers' IFL-leading rushing offense enters Week 9 averaging 127.5 yards per game behind Powell and running backs Nick LaSane and Darrell Monroe
This Saturday night, the Duke City Gladiators will host the Arizona Rattlers in a matchup between the IFL's No. 1 ranked scoring offense and the IFL's No. 1 ranked total offense, respectively. Both teams' quarterbacks have won IFL Offensive Player of the Week honors at given points this season, with Duke City quarterback Nate Davis earning the title for his efforts in Week 5 and Arizona quarterback Drew Powell earning the honors in Week 7.
The Duke City Gladiators enter Week 9 coming off a win over the Northern Arizona Wranglers on the road. Nate Davis completed 13 passes for three touchdowns and 148 yards while adding another touchdown on the ground. While the Gladiators rank 10th in overall scoring defense, they held the Wranglers to 2021 IFL-low 17 points during their Week 8 contest.
SIOUX FALLS STORM AT IOWA BARNSTORMERS - SATURDAY, JUNE 19, 7:05 P.M. CT
The Barnstormers head into the game after losing to the Bismarck Bucks (4-3) last weekend, 22-53. QB Vincent Espinoza was able to find WR Kentrez Bell in the end zone, for his first touchdown throw of the season. The Barnstormers were also able to execute a placeholder keeper play, which resulted in a two-point conversion to put them
within five in the second quarter.
The Sioux Falls Storm garnered their second loss of the season against the Spokane Shock. The game was neck and neck until the fourth quarter. After a fumble made by the Storm, the Shock gained possession and was able to grow their lead to 50-32.
This is the second of three matchups between the Barnstormers and Storm in the 2021 season. The Barnstormers are currently (1-0) against the Storm. The game features two of the best offensive threats in the Indoor Football League. Both Barnstormers and Storm are currently sitting as top-five offenses in the IFL.
MASSACHUSETTS PIRATES AT TUCSON SUGAR SKULLS - SATURDAY, JUNE 19, 8:00 P.M. CT
The Pirates (3-3) are coming off a 40-33 setback at the hands of the Frisco Fighters. Massachusetts held a 16-13 lead in the second quarter, but the running of Fighters quarterback Jerrod Heard (13 carries, 58 yards, two touchdowns) led Frisco to a 40-26 advantage after three quarters.
Pirates quarterback Alejandro Bennifield's two-yard touchdown run with 4:30 to play closed the deficit to 40-33, but that is as close as the Pirates would come. Bennifield ended the game 9 of 18 passing for 128 yards and three touchdowns. Two of the scores went to LaQuvionte Gonzalez who had three receptions for 27 yards. Thomas Owens led all receivers with 77 yards on four catches and a score.
Tucson (1-3) led in-state rival Arizona 34-30 after three quarters last Saturday, but saw the Rattlers score twice in the fourth quarter to earn a 44-34 victory. Sugar Skulls QB Demry Croft finished 12-of-20 for 142 yards and three touchdowns against one interception. Croft also ran the ball 11 times for 61 yards and a touchdown. His top target was Kent Shelby II who had three receptions for 41 yards and a score.
This week the Pirates will enter the game scoring an average of 36.7 points per game while allowing just 30.8 which is second in the Indoor Football League. Massachusetts tops the league allowing just 153.5 yards per contest and ranks third defensively in third-down conversions with opponents having a success rate of 24.6 percent. Tucson is scoring 34.5 points per game while allowing 38.3 which is fourth in the IFL.
NORTHERN ARIZONA WRANGLERS AT SPOKANE SHOCK - SATURDAY, JUNE 19, 9:05 P.M. CT
The Northern Arizona Wranglers come into the match-up still in search of their first win. The Wranglers fell to the Duke City Gladiators, 34-17, in Prescott Valley. Despite the slow start, Northern Arizona has had bright spots to build on.
Wrangler's quarterback Caden Walters ranks sixth in rushing yards per game in the league averaging 40.3 and fifth in passing touchdowns with 12 on the season. To go along with Walters' rushing attack, wide receiver Keyvan Rudd is second in the league in receiving yards per game averaging 68.8 on a total of 19 receptions on the year.
The Spokane Shock come in on a three-game win streak after defeating the Sioux Falls Storm, 50-32, in week eight. Quarterback Charles McCullum earned Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Storm. McCullum threw 19-of-24 for 206 yards and four touchdowns along with four rushing attempts for 33 yards and one touchdown.
The Shock's defense fired on all cylinders against the Storm as well. The defense forced and recovered three fumbles and held Sioux Falls' offense to 207 total yards.
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Indoor Football League Stories from June 17, 2021
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