Week four IPFL preview

by IPFL Press Release
May 4, 2001 - Indoor Professional Football League (IPFL)

WEEK FOUR IPFL PREVIEW

IPFL Press Release

Week four in the Indoor Professional Football League (IPFL) features two games that will have a direct impact on the league standings. The opening game involves two teams seeking their first win, as St. Louis (0-2) travels to Trenton (0-3) for a Saturday meeting in the Sovereign Bank Arena. Kickoff for this battle to stay out of the cellar is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. EST. On Sunday, Omaha (2-0) will try to move into a first-place tie with idle Tennessee. The Beef play host to Boise (1-1), which will attempt to move into a second-place tie with Omaha. Kickoff at the Omaha Civic Auditorium is scheduled for 3 p.m. CST.

Something has to give when the Renegades visit the Lightning. Both teams are in search of an inaugural franchise victory, and both are confident that this game will be the one.

"This week's game against St. Louis is big for us," said Trenton Head Coach Vaughn Hebron. "Our guys have been practicing hard this week and are confident about this weekend's game."

After averaging just 18.5 points in its first two games, Trenton finally broke out of its offensive slump by scoring 41 points in last week's hard-fought 10-point loss to undefeated Omaha. The newfound offensive punch even inspired several of the Lightning players to guarantee a victory against the Renegades Saturday night.

"Trenton can say what they want," responded St. Louis Head Coach Demetrious Johnson. "If they want to guarantee a win, that's fine. But we've still got to play the game, and on the field is where the outcome will be decided."

Leading the charge for the Lightning is the wide receiver tandem of James DeMaise (5-9, 185) and Tom Patten (6-3, 242). Aside from his receiving duties, DeMaise leads the league in all purpose yards, while Patten is coming off a three-touchdown performance in which he had six receptions for 72 yards.

The Renegades' answer to DeMaise is Michael Carrawell (5-7, 160), who is averaging a league-high total of 32.0 yards per kickoff return. Although St. Louis has surrendered a league-high average of 47.5 points per game, the Renegades' downfall has been a mistake-prone offense that has surrendered a league-high total of eight turnovers (four fumbles and four interceptions).

"Defensively we're coming around and playing pretty well," said Johnson. "We've just got to stop turning the ball over on offense. Eight turnovers in two games is way too many mistakes."

Sunday's IPFL matchup pits the league's top-scoring offense against the league's top-scoring defense. Omaha has scored a league-high average of 56.0 points per game, while Boise has given up a league-low average of 27.0 points per game.

Quarterback Troy Travis (6-3, 240) and running backs Clinton Childs (6-2, 235) and Calvin Jones (6-1, 210) lead Omaha's offensive attack. Travis, the league's top-rated passer and reigning IPFL Offensive Player of the Week, has passed for six touchdowns and 381 yards on 31-45-0 passing. Childs has rushed for a league-high total of 131 yards and three touchdowns, and Jones has rushed for three scores and is sporting a league-best average of 7.9 yards per carry.

"We've got to be able to contain both Calvin Jones and Clinton Childs, and at the same time we've also got to be able to keep Troy Travis in check," Boise Head Coach Ed Jenkins said.

The Stallions will counter the Omaha trio with a defense led by lineman Cliff Robinson (6-4, 251) and linebacker Brian Smith (5-10, 230). Robinson has made a total of 11 tackles (four unassisted and six assisted), while Smith, the IPFL's all-time leading tackler, has registered 12 tackles (four unassisted and eight assisted).

"Omaha's running game plays to Brian's strength," said Jenkins. "Brian is at his best against the run, so if they try to run the ball down our throats, I think we'll be up to that challenge."

Boise's top offensive weapon has been Tacoma Fontaine (6-0, 190), who was named the IPFL Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in last week's 42-29 loss at first-place Tennessee. Through the Stallions' first two games Fontaine has five receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns, as well as nine returns for 176 yards.

Fontaine and the Stallions' offense will try to take advantage of an Omaha defense that has surrendered an average of 42.5 points per game. A pair of key injuries compounds the Beef's defensive struggles. Defensive back Lamar O'Neal (6-2, 210) has been sidelined with an injured back, and a pulled hamstring hampers defensive lineman T.J. Martin (6-4, 300).

"We've got to improve on defense," stressed Omaha Head Coach Sandy Buda. "We can't continue giving up 40 points a game and expect to keep winning."

Omaha's saving grace has been turnover margin. The Omaha offense has committed just one turnover, while the Beef defense has gained five turnovers. "We have taken care of the ball very well in the first eight quarters, and hopefully we'll continue to do so," Buda said. "We'll definitely need to Sunday because Boise is a much improved team - the best team we've played so far."

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