ERIE, PA -- In a game of epic proportions, two of the CIFL's finest teams battled tooth and nail to the final whistle; but at the end of the day the hometown fans of Erie stormed the field to celebrate with their team as the Erie Explosion defeated the Saginaw Sting 37-36 in front of nearly two thousand fans at the Erie Insurance Arena.
Erie took the lead early in the first quarter to go up 7-0 before the Sting marched back with a score and trick-play two point conversion to take the lead 8-7. The Sting tacked on another score with twelve minutes to go in the first half but failed on the two point conversion to take a 14-7 lead. With just under 7 minutes to go Erie's Shon Rowser kicked a field goal to close the gap to four with a score of 14-10.
The Sting fumbled late in the second quarter but Erie was unable to capitalize and turned the ball back over on downs. Sting QB AJ McKenna scored on a keeper and DeShawn Hayes added the two point conversion to go up 22-10 with twenty seconds to go in the half. The momentum changed in the favor of the Explosion with one second remaining on the clock as Erie QB Aaron Smetanka connected with Alfonso Hoggard to cut the lead to five with a score of 22-17 at the half.
The CIFL announced during halftime that the winners of their post season awards, as voted on by the coaches and owners, were as follows:
CIFL Players of the Year: Offensive – Tommy Jones, Dayton Sharks; Defensive – Kwaheem Smith, Erie Explosion; Special Teams – CJ Tarver, Saginaw Sting; CIFL MVP – CJ Tarver, Saginaw Sting
Erie added two more scores in the third quarter to lead Saginaw 30-22 at the end of three. The Sting scored to make it a two point game but failed on the two point try and the Explosion continued to lead 30-28. McKenna found Shaun Hldaki in the back of the end zone and added the two point conversion on a run play to put the Sting ahead for the final time 36-30. With 1:48 remaining on the clock Erie's Richard Stokes closed out the scoring when he plunged into the end zone to score the go-ahead touchdown putting the Explosion up for good 37-36. The Sting fought back to the Explosion six yard line but were unable to capitalize and turned the ball over on downs.
During the post game celebration the league also announced the CIFL Coach of the Year honors went to Shawn Liotta of the 12-0 Erie Explosion.
The Explosion capped off an undefeated season with the CIFL Championship, their first ever indoor football championship in Erie history. With the conclusion of the 2013 CIFL Championship, the Continental Indoor Football League would like to thank its fans, teams and corporate partners for helping complete its eighth consecutive season - continuing its tradition as the longest running indoor football league in the country.
The Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL) would like to announce its All-CIFL Teams for the 2013 regular season, as voted upon by the league’s head coaches.
2013 All-CIFL 1st Team
Quarterback: A.J. McKenna, Saginaw Sting
Running Back: Richard Stokes, Erie Explosion
Wide Receivers: C.J. Tarver, Saginaw Sting
Robert Redd, Dayton Sharks
Alfonso Hoggard, Erie Explosion
Center: Dave McQuiston, Erie Explosion
Offensive Lineman: Eric Brim, Saginaw Sting
Andrew Phelan, Dayton Sharks
William Hasse, Marion Blue Racers
Anthony Richardson, Kentucky Xtreme
Kicker: Shon Rowser, Erie Explosion
Defensive Lineman: Andre Portis, Erie Explosion
Andre Thomas, Detroit Thunder
James Spikes, Dayton Sharks
Thomas McKenzie, Marion Blue Racers
Linebacker: P.J. Jackson, Port Huron Patriots
Jon D’Angelo, Erie Explosion
Santino Turnbow, Dayton Sharks
Defensive Back: Kwaheem Smith, Erie Explosion
Jamar Hibler, Saginaw Sting
Ricardo Kemp, Erie Explosion
2013 All-CIFL 2nd Team
Quarterback: Tommy Jones, Dayton Sharks
Running Back: Derrick Moss, Dayton Sharks
Wide Receivers: Doug Beaumont, Kentucky Xtreme
Reggie Eubanks, Detroit Thunder
Kenyez Mincy, Dayton Sharks
Center: Josh Pack, Saginaw Sting
Offensive Lineman: Frank Straub, Dayton Sharks
Richard Gedelian, Detroit Thunder
George Frisch, Erie Explosion
Brian Moore, Saginaw Sting
Kicker: Chris Kollias, Saginaw Sting
Defensive Lineman: Dwayne Holmes, Port Huron Patriots
Mike Sowell, Kentucky Xtreme
Nate Synder, Sagianw Sting
Zach Williams. Erie Explosion
Linebacker: Andrew DeWeerd, Saginaw Sting
Doug Emery, Detroit Thunder
Brandon McElwee, Erie Explosion
Defensive Back: Jamaal Hibler, Saginaw Sting
Jeremy Satchel, Marion Blue Racers
Mike Davis, Dayton Sharks
Bridgeport, MI – The Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL) would like to announce its “Fan MVP” for the 2013 season, as voted upon by the league’s FANS.
This year’s recipient has led his team to the CIFL Championship Game; he had 24 catches for 299 yards and averaged 12.5 yards per catch. He scored 10 touchdowns, and by a narrow margin, Alfonso Hoggard of the Erie Explosion has been voted your “FAN MVP” for 2013.
The CIFL would like to Thank all those that submitted their votes we had over 750 fans that voted.
The CIFL Championship Game will take place on Sunday May 12th at Erie Insurance Arena at 2pm when the Explosion hosts the Saginaw Sting.
(written by CIFL Beat Writer Andrew Lemek)
Saginaw Sting (9-2) at Erie Explosion (11-0)
The CIFL Championship is upon us as the Saginaw Sting travel to Pennsylvania to take on the Erie Explosion. The Sting will enter the championship game as the defending champs, which is a title they will not give up easily. Last week the Sting prevailed in a thrilling fashion as they put up two touchdowns in the final 30 seconds of the game in a come from behind victory. An interception by defensive back, Jamaal Hibler, in the end zone secured the win for the Sting. Quarterback, A.J. McKenna, lead the Sting to victory boasting seven touchdowns through the air and another touchdown on the ground as he willed his team to victory. This will be McKenna’s first trip back to Erie since leaving their program at the end of last season.
As impressive as the Sting’s victory was, Erie may have had a more impressive victory shutting out the Xtreme until late in the 4th quarter. Defensively Erie was a juggernaut, the Xtreme weren’t able to move the ball for a first down until halfway through the third quarter, and were only able to score one touchdown all game. Erie’s defensive line is stacked from top to bottom with players that can rotate in and make an immediate impact. The Explosion is one victory away from maintaining an undefeated record and finishing their inaugural season with a CIFL Championship.
The last time these two teams met up was back in March. Erie was able to rush all over the Sting’s defense racking up 100 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground in a 52-20 victory. Look for the Sting to make an adjustment this weekend in an attempt to slow down Erie’s rushing attack. If the Sting are able to contain the ground game this weekend it will force the Explosion into moving the ball through the air, and with a strong defensive secondary core this plays right into the strengths of Saginaw.
The game is scheduled for Sunday, May 12, 2013 with a 2:00pm kickoff at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania.