Week twelve IPFL preview

by IPFL Press Release
June 23, 2000 - Indoor Professional Football League (IPFL)

WEEK TWELVE IPFL PREVIEW

IPFL Press Release

June 22, 2000 - Three Saturday night tilts comprise week 12 of the 2000 Indoor Professional Football League (IPFL) season. Mississippi (4-5) tangles with Mobile (4-5) at the Mobile Civic Center, Shreveport-Bossier (3-6) entertains Portland (7-3) at the Hirsch Coliseum and Louisiana (5-5) welcomes Idaho (4-4) to the Rapides Coliseum. Kickoff for all three games will be at 7:30 p.m. Central Time.

League front-runner Portland, which is coming off a big 67-54 win over Omaha, travels to last place Shreveport-Bossier, which is coming off a bye week following back-to-back wins over Mobile. This will be the final meeting in the two-game season series. Portland took the first game in the series with a 31-10 win back in week four.

Among the team statistics, Portland is first in total offense (252.5 yards per game), pass offense (194.5 yards per game), pass defense (116.3 yards per game) and turnover margin (+1.10 per game). At the opposite end, Shreveport-Bossier is ranked last in scoring offense (24.9 points per game), total offense (153.9 yards per game), pass offense (112.2 yards per game) and turnover margin (-0.67 per game).

Portland's defense, which has gained a league-high 27 takeaways, is headed up by the secondary. Defensive backs Jake Capdeville (6-1, 210), Antonio Sparrow (6-2, 200), Milton Myers (5-11, 150) and Hassan Probherbs (5-11, 170) have combined for a total of 220 tackles and 15 interceptions. Sparrow, the league interception leader with six, picked off two passes in last week's victory over Omaha to secure the IPFL Defensive Player of the Week honor.

The reigning IPFL Offensive Player of the Week is Portland quarterback Erik Wilhelm (6-3, 217), who passed for a league record 304 yards in last week's win. To call Wilhelm hot would be an understatement. Currently he leads the league in pass rating (118.7), attempts (321), completions (206), completion percentage (64.2), passing yards (1,948), passing touchdowns (39), passing yards per game (194.8), total offense yards (2,017) and total offense yards per game (201.7).

Wilhelm's top three targets are wide receiver Chad Carlson (6-0, 195), tight end Trent Waibel (6-5, 225) and running back Glenn Vereen (5-11, 195). Together the trio has combined on a total of 130 receptions for 1,251 yards and 26 touchdowns.

In the first meeting between these two teams, Shreveport-Bossier's offense was anything but productive. For the game the Bombers netted just six first downs and 64 total yards. Despite the woes, Shreveport-Bossier's offense features the dangerous wide receiver tandem of Tacoma Fontaine (6-0, 190) and Terry Savannah (6-2, 200). Together the duo has accounted for a total of 1,585 all purpose yards, including 75 receptions for 766 yards and eight touchdowns.

Shreveport-Bossier's defense is led by lineman Michael Moncrief (6-2, 235) and backs Chris Samson (6-0, 210) and Larry Holloway (6-1, 230). Moncrief leads the league in both sacks (9.5) and tackles for a loss (19), while Samson and Holloway have combined for a total of 122 tackles.

The winner of the Idaho at Louisiana game will move up to second place in the league standings. Last week the two teams collided in Boise, with Idaho taking the opener of the two-game season series with a 52-48 win. This week Louisiana hopes to return the favor, and in the process end its four-game losing streak. Last year the two teams split the season series 1-1.

Louisiana's strength is its offense. The Rangers lead the league in scoring offense, averaging a league-high 42.7 points per game, and rushing offense, averaging a league-high 70.2 yards per game. More importantly, the Louisiana offense has committed a league-low total of 15 turnovers.

Individually, running back Byron Allen (6-0, 205) leads the league in rushing with a total of 424 yards. Aside from Allen's 11 rushing touchdowns and 3.9 yards per carry average, Louisiana is led by quarterback Doug Coleman (6-2, 230) and wide receiver Jacobe Austin (5-10, 190). Coleman saw his first significant action of the season in last week's setback at Idaho, in which he was 17-27-0 passing for 254 yards and six touchdowns. Austin, who has accumulated a total of 1,135 all purpose yards, also had a big game last week, totaling 235 all purpose yards.

Likewise, Idaho also has three primary weapons on offense: quarterback Albert Higgs (6-1, 210) and wide receivers Antwan Wilson (5-9, 190) and Ricky Ross (6-0, 195). Higgs, who averages 164.2 yards of total offense per game, rushed for a score and passed for 213 yards and four touchdowns in last week's win over Louisiana. Wilson averages a league-high 15.4 yards per reception, and Ross averages 143.8 all purpose yards per game.

Both defenses have been hit hard lately. Louisiana, which is ranked last in scoring defense surrendering a league-high 42.1 points per game, has given up an average of 55.5 points during its four-game slide. Meanwhile, Idaho has given up an average of 48.3 points over its last three games.

Idaho linebacker Brian Smith (5-11, 225) leads the league in tackles with an eight-game total of 84 (49 unassisted and 35 assisted). Smith's sidekick, Julian Yearwood (6-2, 250), has made 68 tackles (32 unassisted and 36 assisted). The linebacker position is also the strength of the Louisiana defense. The Rangers' Darnell Lee (6-1, 235) has recorded a team-high 59 tackles (29 unassisted and 30 assisted).

Archrivals Mississippi and Mobile will do battle in the final clash in the four-game Interstate 10 season series. Mobile owns a 2-1 advantage in the series after last week's 40-30 win in Biloxi. Key note, in the previous three meetings, the loser in each game has committed four turnovers.

Mobile leads the league in scoring defense, total defense and rushing defense. The Seagulls' defense has surrendered league-low averages of 32.9 points per game, 148.7 yards per game and 31.0 rushing yards per game. Mobile's major setback, however, has been offensive turnovers. In nine games the Seagulls' offense has committed a league-high 25 turnovers.

Linebacker Emmett Jackson (6-1, 225) came up big for Mobile in last week's win over the Fire Dogs. In addition to returning a fumble for a touchdown, Jackson also had an interception that led to a Mobile score. Running back Antoine Flowers (5-9, 175), the league's leading scorer with 108 points, also had a strong outing against Mississippi. Injuries forced Flowers to move to wide receiver, where he had eight receptions for 86 yards and three touchdowns. On the season Flowers has rushed for 359 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught 33 passes for 254 yards and five touchdowns.

Mississippi wide receiver Kenny Causey (6-1, 190) set three IPFL single-game records in last week's setback to Mobile. Causey had a league-record 17 receptions for a league-record 175 yards and three touchdowns. In addition to his receiving numbers, Causey's 112 kick return yards gave him a league record 287 all purpose yards. On the season, Causey leads the league in receptions (62), receiving yards (698), receiving touchdowns (13), receptions per game (6.89), receiving yards per game (77.6), all purpose yards (174.4), all purpose yards per game (174.4) and field goal return yards (195).

Fire Dogs' quarterback John Fourcade (6-2, 225) is ranked second in every league passing statistic. In nine games Fourcade is 170-294-16 passing for 1,596 yards and 32 touchdowns. When Causey isn't the target, Fourcade favors wide receiver Lamont Woodberry (6-3, 215), who has 45 receptions for 422 yards and eight touchdowns.

To date, Mississippi's defensive effort has been led by backs Quincy Sorrell (5-11, 190) and Kevin Bouis (6-0, 205). Together they have combined for a team-high total of 99 tackles.

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