-Tim Tebow gets job offer from Ron Jaworski, Philadelphia Soul
Some good games on lately.
- KISS brings pro football back to Los Angeles with Arena Football League team
- Arizona Rattlers Repeat as ArenaBowl Champions
ORLANDO – For the first time since 1996, the Arena Football League has a repeat champion. The Arizona Rattlers (15-3) defeated the Philadelphia Soul (12-6), 48-39, to win ArenaBowl XXVI in front of a crowd of 12,039 in Orlando and a national audience on the CBS Television Network.
The Rattlers became the first team since the Tampa Bay Storm in 1995-96 to repeat as ArenaBowl champions and the only team in League history to beat the same team twice in back-to-back years to win titles.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game and ArenaBowl MVP Rod Windsor led all receivers with 145 receiving yards to go along with a pair of touchdowns in the Rattlers’ win. His quarterback, Nick Davila completed 20-of-29 for 315 yards and six scores. Davila also became the League’s all-time leader in ArenaBowl touchdown passes with 23 for his career, breaking Mark Grieb’s previous career mark of 20. Riddell Defensive Player of the Game Virgil Gray recorded 9.5 tackles and a key interception in the win.
The Soul were led on offense by J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game Ryan McDaniel, who tied an ArenaBowl record with 13 receptions to go along with 137 yards and two touchdowns. Philadelphia quarterback Dan Raudabaugh tied Kurt Warner’s mark for most passes attempted in an ArenaBowl with 51 attempts in the loss. Raudabaugh finished 31-of-51 for 306 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions.
The back-and-forth matchup was a classic AFL meeting that went down to the wire. Just as they did seven times at ArenaBowl XXV last year, Rattlers quarterback Nick Davila found receiver Maurice Purify for the first score of the game. Dan Raudabaugh answered back with a 15-yard scoring strike of his own to receiver Ryan McDaniel. Carlos Martinez added the extra point to even the game at 7-7 midway through the first quarter. Just as it appeared the high-powered Rattlers offense would be rolling to another score on their second drive of the game, Philadelphia defensive back Rayshaun Kizer picked off an errant Davila pass off the net to shift the momentum over to the Soul side. However, on the ensuing possession, Rattlers All-Arena defensive back Virgil Gray made an exceptional play on the ball in the end zone to give possession back to Arizona with 28 seconds to play in the first quarter.
To open the second quarter, Davila connected with Rod Windsor on a perfectly thrown pass matched with a one-handed catch for a score to put Arizona on top 14-7. Philadelphia answered right back with a lengthy drive, culminating in a Derrick Ross touchdown run to even the score once again. The Rattlers regained the lead with 5:47 to play in the first half after Davila hit Purify on a crossing route for a 47-yard touchdown. The touchdown catch was the longest since ArenaBowl XI when Calvin Schexnayder hauled in a 49-yard score. Philadelphia responded with another long drive, ending with Raudabaugh finding Anthony Jones for a touchdown with 52 seconds left in the first half. Philadelphia attempted an onside kick, but it was easily recovered by the Rattlers at the Soul nine-yard line. The Soul defense stood strong despite the field position, limiting Arizona to a field goal on the drive. Not to be outdone, Arizona stopped the Soul offense on their next drive, as Rattlers nose guard Anttaj Hawthorne blocked a Martinez field goal attempt that would have tied the game. Arizona took a 24-21 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Philadelphia received the ball to start the second half and took their first lead of the game on a touchdown catch by McDaniel. Martinez could not convert on the extra point, limiting the Soul lead to three, 27-24. Arizona would answer right back, however. After Rod Windsor suffered an injury midway through the third quarter, receiver Kerry Reed entered the game and made an immediate impact, hauling in the go-ahead touchdown with just more than six minutes to play in the quarter. Raudabaugh was intercepted in the end zone again on the next drive, this time by Jack linebacker Jeremy Kellem, to give Arizona an opportunity to double-up. The third quarter ended with the Rattlers on top, 31-27.
Arizona opened the fourth quarter with a Davila touchdown pass to Windsor, who returned to the lineup after being shaken up in the third. Lindholm tacked on the extra point to give the Rattlers an 11-point lead, 38-27, early in the fourth. The Soul and Tiger Jones answered quickly with a touchdown; however, Martinez missed another extra point off the iron, leaving the score at 38-33, Rattlers with 11:31 to play in regulation. Two minutes later, Davila found Tysson Poots for a 14-yard touchdown to put the Rattlers back up by 12. Philadelphia answered with a Derrick Ross touchdown run to bring the Soul within a touchdown, despite another missed extra point from Martinez. The game reached its high point when Philadelphia forced a fumble as Rod Windsor rushed towards the end zone. However, Philadelphia was unable to capitalize on the turnover, as defensive back Arkeith Brown laid a big hit that broke up a pass to Soul receiver Tiger Jones on fourth down to seal the victory for the Rattlers. To top off the repeat win, AFL Kicker of the Year Garrett Lindholm chipped in a 24-yard field goal to bring the final score to 48-39.
--- Arena Football League Set to Kickoff 27th Season
The Arena Football League will officially kick off its 27th season this week with a seven-game Week 1 lineup.
CBS Sports Network will continue as the League’s primary television partner, while the AFL also announced the addition of ESPN to their national broadcast schedule in December. This multi-year deal places ArenaBowl XXVII on ESPN and more than 85 games on multiple ESPN Networks.
“CBS Sports Network has provided as high a production value as our broadcasts have ever experienced,” AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said. “Our fans have been overjoyed by the look and volume of games. Now we are able to once again combine the fastest game on turf with one of the most prominent television brands in ESPN. The overall excitement for this coming broadcast season could not be higher.”
Each of the Conference Championship games will now air on national television as well, with one on CBS Sports Network and the other on ESPN2. The combination of CBS Sports Network and the ESPN family of networks will put the AFL in position to air more national games on more platforms than ever before.
The 2014 AFL season will also be the first for two new markets – Los Angeles and Portland.
At ArenaBowl XXVI Media Day last August, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley announced their intentions to bring pro football back to Los Angeles with an expansion AFL franchise dubbed the ‘LA KISS’, named for Simmons’ and Stanley’s legendary rock band.
“As a fast-paced, high-action band, this partnership with the AFL was an obvious fit for us,” said Simmons. “With Arena Football, you are much closer to the action – sitting in the front row is like putting a folding chair on the hash mark of an NFL game – and it’s one of the only sports where you can experience this level of intensity. Attending an LA KISS game in 2014 will be similar to a live KISS show, with thrilling, heart pounding action.”
The League will also return to Portland in 2014, with the addition of the Portland Thunder franchise.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to bring professional football not only to the Portland community, but to the entire state of Oregon,” Thunder owner Terry Emmert said. “Sports fans in this state are used to seeing a high-energy, fast-paced brand of football. The Arena Football League delivers that kind of excitement in a unique and affordable family setting.”
Week 1 action will begin on Friday, March 14 with the Tampa Bay Storm hosting the New Orleans VooDoo live on ESPN3. Four more games will be streamed on ESPN3 the following day, as the Cleveland Gladiators take on the Pittsburgh Power, the LA KISS debut against the San Antonio Talons, the Iowa Barnstormers challenge the Spokane Shock and the Arizona Rattlers host the Philadelphia Soul in a rematch of the last two ArenaBowls. The Orlando Predators will host the division rival Jacksonville Sharks in an ESPN3 game on Sunday, March 16, while the week concludes with a St. Patrick’s Day showdown on CBS Sports Network as the Portland Thunder host the San Jose Sabercats at 10:00 p.m. EST on Monday, March 17.
There are very few players that leave a footprint on a professional sports league like “The Boss” Derrick Ross has already left in the Arena Football League. In Week 13, the Philadelphia Soul fullback became the AFL’s all-time rushing touchdowns leader, surpassing Arena Football Hall of Famer Barry Wagner with 129 rushing scores. The feat only adds to the laundry list of accolades that Ross has earned during his four seasons in the AFL.
“First of all, what Derrick has done in terms of rushing touchdowns will never be touched again in the amount of time that he did it,” said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel. “Someone may catch up to the amount of touchdowns but not nearly in the amount of time he accomplished it in.”
Success was apparent for Ross even before Arena ball, as the six-foot, 250-pound back was a two-time NJCAA All-American at Blinn College, as well as a two time NCAA Division II All-American at Tarleton State University. At Tarleton, Ross still holds a handful of records, including rushing for 269 yards in a single game. He also set single-season school marks for rushing yards, points, and touchdowns.
His success caught the attention of the Kansas City Chiefs, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2006. “The Boss” appeared in seven games with the Chiefs before going international, spending a season with the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe as well as two years in the Canadian Football League.
Coming into the AFL in 2011, Ross didn’t miss a beat. He broke single-season rookie records for the most rushing attempts with 167, most rushing yards with 622, and most rushing touchdowns with 39, earning First Team All-Arena honors in the process.
Since joining the Soul in 2012, “The Boss” has claimed two more All-Arena nods, and as the 2014 season leader in every rushing category, he looks to do so again this year. He has led the League in rushing every year since coming to the League, holds the top three spots for all-time single season rushing yards and, with 318 yards in this 2014 season, Ross also holds the AFL record for most seasons with 200 or more rushing yards.
“Oh wow, that’s amazing,” Ross said when notified of his accomplishments. “We’ve been losing so much it wasn’t even in my mind. It’s a team game and we’re trying to win ballgames. But that’s amazing. It’s a true testament to [Soul coach] Clint Dolezel and the offensive linemen.”
Dolezel is quick to send the praise back to his All-League fullback.
“It’s purely amazing and a credit to what a good football player and running back he is,” said Dolezel. “He makes our offense go, he has for all the years that he’s been with me in the Arena Football League. We do run the ball more than most teams but there’s a reason we do and that’s because of how good Derrick runs with the rock.”
Despite Ross’ many successes, he has no plans to rest on his laurels.
“Anytime you break a record in a professional league, it’s something special,” Ross said. “You’ve got to acknowledge the guys before you that actually set the bar. To all the great players that played before me, it’s a true testament of what I’m trying to do in the Arena Football League, which is trying to change the game. I’m not going to stop, I’m going to keep going.”
Ross is more than just a runner as well. During his time under Dolezel’s tutelage, Ross has developed into a solid pass blocker and receiver.
“He’s not just a one weapon guy, he can do it all,” Dolezel said. “He’s really turned into a good overall football player as well and his blocking has gotten tremendously better. I don’t think this League will ever see a guy quite like Derrick Ross again.”
Despite all his personal success, Ross is still chasing the ultimate team goal, the ever so elusive ArenaBowl championship. The journey continues as the Soul (6-6) battle in state rival the Pittsburgh Power (9-3) in Philadelphia this weekend.
---- The Pittsburgh Power (11-3) clinched the first-ever playoff berth in franchise history after a 57-27 victory over the Iowa Barnstormers (6-8). With the win, the Power extended its franchise-best winning streak to eight games.
Week 16 AFL Playoff Picture
June 24, 2014
NATIONAL CONFERENCE CLINCHED
Arizona Rattlers (playoff berth, West Division championship)
San Jose Sabercats (playoff berth)
AMERICAN CONFERENCE CLINCHED
Cleveland Gladiators (playoff berth)
Pittsburgh Power (playoff berth)
New Orleans VooDoo
WEEK 15 SEEDINGS
Arizona Rattlers (West Division champion)
San Jose Sabercats (Pacific Division leader)
Spokane Shock (Wildcard)
LA KISS (Wildcard)
Cleveland Gladiators (East Division leader)
Orlando Predators (South Division leader)
Pittsburgh Power (Wildcard)
Tampa Bay Storm (Wildcard)
WEEK 16 CLINCHING SCENARIOS
The Spokane Shock can clinch a playoff berth with a win or a Portland Thunder loss in Week 16.
WEEK 15 ELIMINATION SCENARIOS
WEEK 16 SEEDING SCENARIOS
If the Tampa Bay Storm win in Week 16, the Storm would take the South Division lead and move into the No. 2 seed in the American Conference playoff picture.
If the Portland Thunder win and the LA KISS lose in Week 16, the Thunder would move into the No. 4 seed in the American Conference.
The San Jose SaberCats beat the previously undefeated Arizona Rattlers 62-33, ending Arizona's 18-game winning streak.
ima post on this thread i see u are alone as fuck
The San Diego Talons are 1-13 and have lost 8 in a row.