Kokomo Mustangs @ Elkhart Shamrock
This game is exactly why I love the Mid States tournament. These are two teams from two very different leagues- but both with great talent and a solid leadership. Both teams, too, have a solid defensive unit and have had success winning the turnover battle. Both teams got a hell of a lot better toward the end of the season, and neither team finished as well as they had hoped in the playoffs. The Mustangs- who for so long had lived and died on the big play, emerge with a dedicated ground attack in 07, and had success with it. Much of that success was due to some experience on the offensive line- which is always in doubt for the post season. The Rock will bring a balanced offense to the game and hope to demonstrate that they can get the ball down the field with a couple of big passes to you-know-who. This game should be the coming out party (or perhaps the league-leaving party) for a dedicated Shamrock team who had NO trouble last week. Look for the Rock to get down to bidness early and never look back against a very good Mustang defense.
Lima Warriors vs. Mid Ohio Jets
I don't care which league you're in. If you don't know about this clash of the Titans, you must have been living under a rock for the last month.While many of these big games are overrated, this one surely is not. Of all of the games that have taken place in the Midwest in the last 10 years, this is among the biggest- and should be the most exciting. Not only will there be two great teams on the field, Ashland will be the host to two great organizations on Saturday night. Both organizations have done the little things in order to put together a talented group of players, but have kept them together by demanding excellence and creating a family of men dedicated to a common goal. It's not only that the teams can outplay their opponent, but that they believe that they will win and overcome any obstacle to that victory. The crowd for this one will be as large as any game at this level any of us has ever seen- as well it should be- it is hard to imagine a bigger game or a more exciting one for a football fan on a Saturday night.
The two teams are almost as similar as they are different. While both teams have great defenses, the Warriors live off of the take-away, while the Jets prefer to get the ball with some room in front of them to work. While both teams are big in the trenches, the Warriors move around on the offensive line much more and focus on penetration on the defensive line. While both teams were dominant all season long, The Jets seemed to have been consistent, while the Warriors seem to be playing their best football late in the season. The Jets, while by no means only constitutive of the old COL organization, certainly have that core of players who wore the blue and white to thank for much of their success. The Warriors, too, have relied on veterans not just in the development of experience on the field but in the creation and transmission of that special culture of excellence. Both teams know what it is like to play on the big stage, and both teams already have on trophy on the mantle for 2007. So how can you pick one over the other? Schedule.
Make no mistake that the MOFL, the legacy of the old OVFL, was full of talent and relative parity. This league in terms of both talent ceiling and parity is much better than most leagues in the region- but it is not better than the USFA. The USFA boasts the best power ranking of any regional league in the Midwest, and has one of the highest out of league winning percentages of any league in the nation. While there is no doubt that the Warriors saw a few a few softies in 2007, they were never challenged by any of them. They beat a very good Cleveland Lions team that was playing its best football at the time, and the Lions were by a good margin the best team on either schedule- one who was in the top tier of a AAA league. The Warriors have seen a more balanced schedule, though their relative dominance in margins of victory would not suggest that that was the case. All but three of the games on the Warriors schedule were of greater SOS value than the MOJ wins. Does this mean that the Jets are not a VERY VERY VERY good team, no, it does not. It means that they are not quite as good as the team that will beat them in Ashland on Saturday night: The 2007 MLFN National Champion Lima Warriors. Like Chad Johnson (and occasionally TO) like to remind us: it's time to 'getchya popcorn ready'.
Please, Please, Please make sure to get those scores and the tons of details in ASAP. We're all chomping at the bit to know how it goes. And the weatherman tells me that from Elkhart to Ashland, it's perfect weather for football- and a great opportunity to make your mommas proud.
I sure hope you are wrong Supa, but I do respect your analysis!
Thank you for your great picks all season and God Bless!
Supa, where have you been getting your info from lately? :) We've been the Indiana Mustangs for like 3 years now. And our defense sucks, it was 2nd worst in the MCFL.
I thought you had forgotten all about us here at our humble little gathering. You'll have to forgive the misnaming of your team-old habits are hard to break, and this is the first slip I've made. In my advanced age, I thought of course of the team as it existed for so many years as the pride of Howard County. As far as defenses are concerned, being among the worst in the MCFL puts you in pretty good shape in a lot of competitions outside that league.
thanks for remembering us, Danimal. I trust you'll take the same effort in getting us details from the game.
Dusty said you're a F@#$ A$$bag, you gonna take that from him?
HAHA, not really, Whats up?
Wow, man...I don't talk to you in a year or two and this is how you treat me?
I'm doing well..will be doing better if our game today doesn't get canceled. I'll write you back on a separate thread.
This game just needs moved up and confirmed.
The Shamrocks v Mustangs will take place in the same place next week, same time.
Unless something changes between now and then.
This game is cancelled today.
Anyone got a score for Lima??
Warriors up 10-7 at half
up 17-7 when Jets put one in with 25 seconds left, good game
I'd love to get more details on this one- and judging from the flood of emails I got, I am not the only one. How's about posting some more info here?
By JOEL RENNER, Warriors Chief Staff Writer
October 27, 2007
ASHLAND, Ohio – We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world
Well, maybe not “of the world”, but the Lima Warriors can say they are the semi-pro football champions OF THE NATION!
As the fans rushed the field to help the Warriors hoist up their second championship trophy of the season, the 1977 “Queen” ballad never felt more appropriate.
Coach John Parkins’ undefeated Warriors dominated the undefeated Jets and streaked to semi-pro football’s national championship, 17-13 on Saturday night.
Lima will finish No. 1in the 1AA Minor League Football News poll. Whether Mid Ohio will drop from No. 2 is yet to be determined.
Nearly everybody got it wrong except the Warriors.
It turns out the Warriors were after all the better team, and that the biggest game in Ohio semi-pro history wasn’t nearly as equally matched as the pre-game hype made it out to be. Even though the Jets have many players with semi-pro national championships under their belt, they proved to be the ones who weren’t worthy of the championship. The lone post-game controversy was the Jets addition of players to their roster, including a player that came up with numerous key plays for Mid Ohio.
“Our defense was lights out as usual,” Lima offensive lineman John Lance said. “If it was not for the addition of Robert Redd -former Philadelphia Eagle- for the title game, I don't think it would have been as close. Not taking anything from the Jets, but Redd made all the big plays. Both offenses had their moments, but the Warriors came out on top.”
Although it is not against the MLFN rules to add additional players to a roster before the championship game, Warriors president John Bell said there was a “gentlemen’s agreement”, including a handshake, that both rosters would not be revised and the Warriors furthermore denied a hand-full of quality players a spot on the championship roster. Matt Montgomery, the Jets owner, disagreed in a statement on the United States Football Alliance message board stating, “there was no agreement”.
Despite misting rain and chilly temperature, Justin Henderson showed off offensive coordinator Sean Liles and Parkins’ powerful offense to perfection as the Warriors won arguably the biggest football championship in the city since Lima Senior won the state football championship in 1996.
Now, only one question remains: Who wants to play Lima in 2008, the eighth and most anticipated season yet for Lima at the confines of Lima Stadium? Teams in all leagues and divisions around the Midwest will try to prove themselves as the best by playing the top team, the Warriors. It seemed like just another day for some of the Warriors players. Six on Lima’s roster reside in the Ashland area and the team prepared with a walk-through practice on Arlin field at Mansfield Senior. This familiar grass was the high school field for some, but with five hours before kickoff, there was a buzz in the air, especially around the aptly dubbed “Mansfield Militia”, that was contagious to the rest of the Warriors.
Lima’s amazingly easy victory left the Warriors with a 14-0 record and the Jets at 15-1. That, and so many one-loss teams around the Midwest narrowly missing the national championship, will almost surely bring numerous candidates to challenge the Warriors for a chance to dethrone them.
“I feel great. We’re national champions, but I’m not feeling like I did when we won the league championship. It’s almost like we already accomplished our goal, this was just icing on the cake,” Parkins said.
“I’m proud of the guys. Our offensive line played great and they had to control the line of scrimmage. The Jets up front (defensively) were good and they brought it every time,” he said.
Both teams started off rusty and neither offense could put together a long drive. Mid Ohio’s big men are massive and looked as if they swallowed opposing offensive tackles before the game. The Jets started out like the slight favorite it was with a couple stops on defense, ending the first quarter scoreless. Lima then instantly grabbed the momentum early in the second.
Justin Henderson rolled out of the pocket to the right and fired a nine-yard pass to Kaene Runion near the front pile-on for a touchdown, and team morale quickly fell apart for the Jets. Warriors center, Tyler Covert, missed his only two plays of the season after he injured his knee in the second quarter and hobbled off, giving some hope to the Jets with a loss of a key-player, but only for an instant, as Covert returned and finished the second half strong.
On third and long, Redd soon showed his importance in the game when Jets quarterback John Abner scrambled away from numerous blitzing Warriors and managed to float a 24-yard pass that Redd caught at the two-yard line and ran by two Lima defenders for the tying touchdown. Lima answered on the ensuing drive with a 39-yard field goal by Brent Ridenour, only his third attempt of the season and the longest for the Warriors.
By the time both undefeated teams returned for the second half of play, Lima led 10-7.
“The fans got their money worth and at least it was two Ohio teams playing for the National Title,” Jets defensive lineman Billy Pryor said.
“We killed ourselves with penalties and you could tell that both teams were off for a month,” he said.
Parkins had a word for those associated with the Warriors during the past seven years.
“We took a picture with the fans and let them enjoy the trophy,” he said. This national championship is for them and everybody that is and ever was associated with the Lima Warriors.”
Henderson, a six-year veteran of the Warriors, completed 12 of 26 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. Henderson felt pressure from maybe the best defensive line he’s ever faced, but an array of Lima receivers found themselves open in clutch situations to bail out their QB.
“My mind is already rolling for next season,” Gameday Operator Aaron Matthews said. “We want to maintain the symbol of excellence that has become the Warriors and exceed everything we’ve already done.”
Abner joined a long list of quarterbacks to struggle from the Warriors’ defensive pressure. He did everything to help his team stay afloat and despite constant pressure from Lima, Abner tallied 169 yards passing.
“A lot of guys thought about retiring last year and I feel for them because they stuck through, came back and got it done by winning a league and national championship,” wide receiver Joe Butcher said. “I think we’re going to be on the map and get even more quality players.”
It was the first national title for Lima, adding to their amazing achievements in the 2007 season, including a 42-0 romp over Beaver County in the United States Football Alliance championship game.
The man ultimately in charge of the Warriors is the 32-year-old Parkins, once a Warriors player himself in 2001. Since then, he’s made a name for himself in the coaching ranks, topped off by a title in his sixth year at Lima.
The 1AA national championship trophy will make a perfect match to the one the Warriors received after beating the Vipers for the USFA championship in Lima in September.
“Hopefully this opens some eyes for businesses, media and political people around Lima and they start supporting us, because we do have a lot of ability and clout in the semi-pro football community,” president John Bell said. “When we take the pictures of the guys getting the trophies and everybody has a smile on their face, I just like to stand back and watch, to see that all the hard work we’ve done is worth it.”
Same Hussein’s team, meanwhile, looked as if it didn’t belong in the championship game, because it took this night off mentally. Given 35 days to prepare, the Jets were confused from the get-go once Lima got the ball and piled up penalties.
In the first matchup between these organizations – they both have players and coaches who’ve been around semi-pro for over a decade – the Warriors emphatically stopped Mid Ohio’s perfect season.
The Jets beat a pair of solid Mid Ohio Football League playoff teams, Steel Valley and Naptown, to claim their league title, but they were no match for Lima’s speed, strategy and style.
Members of Mid Ohio hoped to win their second national title, having taken it with the Central Ohio Lions in 2003.
But the players this time around looked completely frustrated by Lima’s frenetic offense at the outset. Trying to match up with the Warriors’ shifting formations, they often jumped around on defense and still were out of position.
Henderson gladly took advantage of the confusion, picking wide-open receivers at will and hitting his clutch passes when necessary. Criticized at times during his career for occasional bad decisions in the playoffs, the guy with a quiet manner seemed real comfortable.
By the end, the numbers were numbing. Lima held the Jets to –30 rushing yards and the Jets piled up 11 penalties for 73 yards.
“Beyond sporting a great team, we have a lot of plans within the community to help build relationships with local non-profit and youth organizations to not only get the Warriors name out, but to give kids the opportunity to play competitive sports and develop themselves,” Bell said. “Competitive sports gives kids confidence, ability and the self esteem aspect is enormous. Ninety percent of the kids I work with at a behavioral health center have no confidence whatsoever and we can help with that.”
Liles’ and Parkin’s gadgets made it easy pickings for the Warriors. They came out in a trips set in the first series of the second half, and Henderson hit his targets, although failed to put any points on the board. The movement however did pin the Jets back in poor field position and after a solid defensive stop, the Warriors started a drive on the Jets 17-yard line. Chris Brooks capped off a three play drive by barreling in for a three-yard touchdown run to put the Warriors ahead 17-7 with 6:37 left in the game.
The ensuing drive, the Jets didn’t play with much urgency and it took six minutes to drive down the field where Abner lobbed a three-yard pass to University of Toledo product Eric Robinson to cut the lead to four points with 33 seconds left in the game. The crowd was quickly attentive again and Wayne LeGrant stopped any late miracles from the Jets as he flew in from the right side of Mid Ohio’s offensive line and outstretched enough to block the extra point. The Jets still grasped to a glimmer of hope as they lined up for an onside kick, but Jason Bott completely sealed the deal for Lima when he fell on the ball. Lima lined up in the victory formation and one Henderson kneel-down later, the music began to play.
Lima returned to its roots in the second half as they ran the ball with numerous backs. Andrew Cleckley led the Warriors with 20 yards on seven attempts.
Undaunted by the Jets size, the Warriors came back with two of their strengths –speed and special teams.
Butcher opened the game that was one juke away from paydirt. He picked up a few blocks and galloped up the Lima sideline bringing the fans to their feet, but was tripped up at midfield. Kicker Brent Ridenour was only 2-for-3 on kicks this season, and his longest was 21 yards. But Parkins said he had confidence in the kicking game, and Ridenour’s 39-yarder relatively changed the game plan for the Jets after halftime, as most of the second half was a two-score affair. The field goal along with the two extra points weren’t guaranteed with Mid Ohio’s towering line as a factor, but proved to be the game-winning points.
The Jets got the ball with a little more than two minutes left before halftime and were determined to see a score before the break, however failed to gain the much needed momentum.
Jason Bott, Isaac Melton, Pierre Jackson, Alphonso Townsend and Dustin Hunt were just some of the key defensive players that came to play on Saturday night and the Jets never seemed comfortable on the offensive side of the ball. Bott received the player of the game trophy with five tackles –two for loss- and a half sack, but the 2007 unit that played as an unselfish squad, all deserved the honor.
“Great is an understatement,” James Davenport said. “You can’t win a championship or go anywhere without great fans.”
You can tell that someone makes love to themselves every morning in the mirror. Winning by 4 and making it sound like 44. Man - when are the Warriors going to play in the NFL they are sooooo goooood.
Just want to make it clear that the Lima Warriors beat the Mid-Ohio Jets in the National Championship game and not the Central Ohio Lions. Congratulations on the accomplishment. Much has been made that the Jets were a merger of three teams in the Columbus area. However, the Central Ohio Lions were never a part of this merger. The Central Ohio Lions closed up shop after the 2006 season, and although sme players did find their way to the Jets, others found homes elsewhere, including the Kings Comets and the Miami Valley Warriors. There is no one team that got the majority of the players. I think this has been misrepresented throughout the season!
There are more then just a few COL players including starter (4 lineman, quarterback, 2 recievers, and 2 starters on D). That's almost half your starters is it not.
You know i'm happy for you and the Warrior family but wow....that was not reporting, but more a combination of propaganda and a verbal beat down of the Jets.
I'm not trying to jump in the middle bc i have no dog in the fight but you normally make sure your group lives up to a higher standard.
Congrats again, and rest assured all teams have a bullseye firmly placed on you. Good luck next season
He tends to take to the extreme.Thats what repoerters do.So im confused is it Mr.Parkins offense or Mr.Liles.Also why do reporters get on here calling out other teams to come and play them at home.
I understand your post Hop and how everyone else feels. I promise you and everyone else that Devon has respect for the talent the Jets put on the field. He, like the rest of us are living in the moment right now. We know that the target is on our back, that everyone is going to be out to beat us. We have the right every once in a while to beat our chest. Not a lot of teams ever go 14-0 so for the next few months we will be happy for that, come Xmas it's time to get to work. Congrats on everyone success this season and good luck to all next.
As far as that target just wait!! Our team is hated on by almost everyone in our league , win a ship and your the bad guy win three in a row , and your the devils spawn lol.!!!! congrats on your run!!!
Not 4 starters on the O-line---3 and one who played one game for COL. And are you considering Robert Redd playing one game in the National Championship as him being the 2nd starting WR? Regardless, even if your calculations are accurate, you still only named 8 starters....when there are 22 starters. Regardless, my point was this was not the Central Ohio Lions. I never said the Jets did not have former Lions players. Just keeping it Real, the Lions had a roster of over 50 players.
I was the one that wrote that article and it is more for the city of Lima to rally around this team than it was to "beat down" the Jets. I have seen what these guys have gone through the last couple of years and get little to NO respect from the media even though they have thousands of fans in the city. Sure I could have made it boring and un-biased or whatever you want to call it, but I'm not on the team, Idon't need to be PC and I think I know what type of articles are needed at this time. I was planning on interviewing some Jets afterwards, but it seemed as if there was some fighting taking place in their locker room. I appreciate everybody reading it and maybe you could read every single article before you make any claims. OH by the way, I don't work for the Jets so I'm not going to kiss their ass for making the championship game after the put players on their roster after an original agreement, they have players trying to to start stuff before the game at midfield and I don't know how many dirty plays I saw them holding down players on the ground, very low blind-sided blocks. You go to the games to get a recap or get OTHER MEDIA to cover semi-pro :)