Good Morning, SupaNation. Across the world from most of us, the Olympic games are in full gear- and the hopes and dreams of amateur athletes from every corner of the world are on the line. Every day of the games brings the reminder of the beauty, dignity, and inspiration that sport has brought to our little corner of the galaxy. While too often, I am reminded on our messageboard of the ugly things that competitive sport sometimes brings, the Olympics should serve as a reminder to all of us as the highest expression of athletic endeavor. We should all be inspired- as they are- not for money or fame, but for excellence. Here's to all who challenge themselves and find the rewards of sacrifice and fellowship. Now, we just have to get those knuckleheads at the IOC to adopt American Football.
Aside from all of that, there are some pretty good amateur athletes taking the field here in the Midwest, and they all deserve a line or two of praise- or at least honest analysis. They'll not get the attention that the Olympic athletes do- but their quest for excellence is every bit as worthy of reverence and recognition. So let's get to it!
Ohio River Bearcats @ Miami County (OH) Vikings
It's been clear for some time that the Bearcats are the best bet to meet the Pats for the trophy, but the team's offense has been in something of a hibernation for some time. Couple that problem with the long long trip to Ohio, and this game has upset written all over it- almost. The problem, of course, is that the team hosting the Bearcats has yet to find an offense of its own. After 4 games, the Vikings offense has only posted six points- in the earlier meeting with the Bearcats. The game might be closer than the last meeting, but the Vikes will not get on the board in this one.
Miami Valley Warriors @ Elkhart Shamrock
The Warriors are a serious threat to wind up in the IFL title game in 2008, and they know it. They know that they have a team which has not yet hit its stride, yet the find themselves already among the best teams in the league. The early win over a surging Mustangs squad is looking better every week and the team is finally getting healthy. The Rock continue to be a work in progress, and have come to terms with the fact that this is a rebuilding season. The visitors will be somewhat undermanned, but much more talented.
West Central Wildcats @ Randolph County Riot
Like so many 2008 squads in the MFL, the Wildcats' defense is light years ahead of its offense. The men of WCW seem to get more defensively out of a tiny roster than any team in memory. The problem, of course, is that you do need to score a few points to win a football game. The good news for the WCW is that they come to Winchester to face one of the most underdeveloped and inconsistent defenses anyone can remember.
Mercer County Cougars @ Indiana Generals
While having played only two games by mid-August is a tiny sample from which to draw a conclusion, it is clear that the Cougars have finally fallen from the super-elite ranks of the IFL. The team has always delivered with a small roster and no coaching, but it looks like injuries and retirement have finally gotten the team. the Generals, on the other hand are right where they always seem to be at this point in the season: right in the thick of things. The hosts play very well at home and will benefit from an exhausted Cougar team.
Adams County Patriots @ Indiana Cardinals
While the Wolfe would have you believe otherwise (a la Lou Holtz and his admonishment that "Navy is not to be underestimated"), it is clear that the Pats are the best bet to take the MFL crown in 2008. While some of the roster was slow getting on the bus, the Pats are now in full effect. The short trip will eliminate any home field advantage the Cardinals might have hoped for and while the hosts are certainly among the best teams in the league, the Pats they will face are better today than they were the first time around.
Hardin County Wolverines @ Northern Kentucky Xtreme
Since the Wolverines were shocked a couple weeks back by the Fire, the team has been doing a good bit of soul searching. Teams used to winning so often don't always know how to face adversity and there was some genuine concern that the wheels may come off. The boys have found their way back to equilibrium, but have a long road ahead of them. The relatively short trip to the worst team in the league is just what the doctor ordered.
Indiana Stampede @ Madison County Pirates
The Stampede are proud of their defense, and they should be. The team has gotten better each week, won by huge margins when they've won, and lost by narrow margins each time they've lost. They go to the Pirates Cove- a place where opposing offenses have also been known to find themselves grounded. The first meeting was the worst game of the season for a strong Stampede team who has gotten much better since then, but so have the Pirates who have won the close game- and lost it as well. The hosts will, however, hold serve.
Bolingbrook Buccaneers @ Indiana Titans
Big Don will be happy to know that I have his Titans winning this one big. The team has admittedly been better than I anticipated, and seems to know how to put the ball in the end zone. It's not clear to me that the Titans have solved the riddle in their secondary (as some have suggested), but they know how to take advantage. The once proud Buccaneers are having the worst season in franchise history and have plenty of discipline problems. Look for the Titans to have the visitors fighting with each other by halftime.
East Central Wolverines @ Miami County Blitz
Let me go on record here and do something unprecedented. I will make the following bet: if the Wolverines offense scores a touchdown on the Blitz, I will leave an image of the Wolverine team picture at the top of the page till the MFL trophy has been secured. The Blitz defense is downright ruthless at home, and I have personally to doubt if any team other than the Pats is even capable of doing so. While the Blitz offense is much maligned, they'll have plenty of opportunities and a lot of very short fields to work with against the overmatched Wolverines. Much love to the ECW, but their offense is likely to have negative net yardage.
Kankakee Plowmen @ Chicago Thunder
Many a team has found itself in Hanson stadium bewildered, demoralized and wanting desperately to go home. While the MSFL will be no bed of roses in 08, the Thunder can pretty much close the book on its remaining home schedule. The Plowmen have been up and down throughout the year and find themselves solidly and completely mediocre by MSFL standards. That kind of resume is not well suited to making the trip out to the land of the Thunder and the hosts will have yet another home shutout.
Classic City Crush @ West Ohio Wranglers
Two of the IFL's most underdeveloped offenses meet in what would years ago have been a blowout for the visitors. While the WOW have not met anyone's expectations yet on offense (least of all their own), they do host a team that is still suffering a serious identity crisis. The Crush were born as a big man's team who counted on their size and relative experience to wear down opponents and make the big play. That day is now long past, and the boys from the northeast corner are reeling. It's hard to imagine either of these teams having enough left to win at the end of this smash-fest, but my gut tells me that this is the Wranglers' big week.
Kane County Eagles @ Indiana Warriors
The Eagles may not be what they used to, but they are still a formidable opponent for most any team in the region, even on the road. Last week's surprising margin of loss has the Warriors still struggling to find a direction in the very competitive NAFL. The special teams unit for the Warriors has looked explosive at times, but very much like the offense- it's been inconsistent. Teams at this level travel much more consistently than do the small clubs, so we can expect this game to be very similar to the first meeting in Indy.
Okay, gang. It's time to call it a day (and a half) and get some rest. Keep an eye out next week for the debut of a new High School prediction series. For those playing this weekend- hydrate often, bitch and whine seldom, and make your mommas proud always!
The funny thing is we still have the same core group of guys....
you better stay true to your word once we score..
great game by both teams!! the winning score didnt come until late in the 4th by shaun craft. i would like to wish luck the crush on the rest of their season! just staying healthy is the key!
MV Warriors 28 Shamrock 6
ohio river bearcats: 48 miami county vikings : 6
west central wildcats 28
randolph county riot 26
INDIANA TITANS SHUT OUT BOLINGBROOK 24 TO 0
The finish of the rain out game
Regularly scheduled game:
Indiana Generals 17
Mercer County Cougars 0
Indiana Generals game notes.
I wanted to add a few "E- game balls" for a handful of General players.
The "Undertaker" Clawson had a stellar game, booting punts and burying the Cougar offense inside the 20 3 different times, a field goal in the 4th quarter that extended the then slim 7-0 Generals lead, not to mention kickoffs that all landed inside the Cougar 10. and was again perfect in PAT's.
#5 Jesse Parsely Stepped up and under center and took over at QB and completed a few key passes, including 3 different 3rd down conversions...2 by Yari Delgado, who also stepped up at WR in hisvery first start of the year, along with Tony Laws who had yet another good game.
The entire General Defese was great pitching a shutout against the Cougars.
Monsanto Love who continues to be a ofensive weapon on D, pcking of two different passes for TD's, includng one in the 1st Qtr for the games 1st score.
Brian Stacker - who not only played tailback, but came in at D end, racked up a sack AND then blocked a punt, setting up the Generals Field goal in the 4th.
The Cougars were extremely tough - had a great game plan - brought pressure as often as they could, ( all game)and were a very good opponent.
outside of our Kicker and Mr. Monsanto, the other players stepped out OUT of thier normal positions or started for the 1st time to help thier team out for a win.
(Still ol' man) - Hendricks
Chicago Thunder 42
Kankakee Plowment 0
3rd consecutive week that there was a running clock beginning the second half
Cards - 8
Pats - 12
How is Huttis for the wranglers. Did he hurt his collarbone.
There aren't Huttis' that play for the Wranglers....??
No, it was a huttis, U can't mistake the mouth yapping.
i cam tell u no huttis plays for us the only wr we had get hurt was #21 brian sullivan he is #5s brother, he plays wr and qb, he was playing already injured from the cutters game last week his shoulder and back was hurt on a hit he took at qb agianst the cutters, he probly should not have been playing at all!!