Congrats to the Los Angeles KISS. After a calendar year of losing, they finally managed to crack the win column with a victory over the Portland Thunder, the only active AFL franchise that the KISS have beaten in their history (RIP San Antonio Talons). Don’t expect much of a winning streak–they play Arizona this weekend.
Rumblings from Las Vegas this past week haven’t been very good. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Outlaws aren’t just suffering on-field expansion problems; they’re facing problems off the field. There have been rumors that the Outlaws are on the verge of suspending operations during the middle of the season, something that has never happened to a franchise in the history of the ARena Football League. The team has struggled to attract fans at the Thomas & Mack Center, and with each home game, attendance has diminished significantly. Marketing and Promotional efforts have been rather poor and there have been reports vendors at the Thomas & Mack Center (and its employees) have not been paid.
There’s been speculation on the message boards that the Outlaws were rushed into starting a year earlier than intended due to three AFL franchises either folding or leaving the league to go into another indoor league. The lack of promotional advertising and the lackluster Outlaws uniforms have been big clues that suggest the Outlaws started a season earlier than intended. We’ll keep an eye on this situation.
And finally, we want to take a moment to extend our sincere sympathies with Orlando Predators owner David Siegel, whose daughter, Victoria, died of a drug overdose this past week. It’s always tough to lose a family member, especially if the member is your own daughter. Our deepest sympathies and prayers will be with the Siegel family.
And now for the Week 11 recap:
Spokane Shock 26, San Jose SaberCats 55
New Orleans VooDoo 41, Philadelphia Soul 62
Orlando Predators 51, Jacksonville Sharks 66
Tampa Bay Storm 46, Arizona Rattlers 69
Cleveland Gladiators 63, Las Vegas Outlaws 44
Portland Thunder 40, Los Angeles KISS 52
Another week, another Top 3 awards for the league. Here’s this week’s winners.
Week 11 AFL MVP: DB Rayshaun Kizer, Los Angeles KISS
Rayshaun Kizer started the season as one of the best players on the New Orleans VooDoo before recently being traded to Los Angeles. Kizer made his presence known against their expansion brothers, the Portland Thunder. Kizer recorded 8.5 tackles and set the KISS franchise record for most interceptions by one player in a game (2), one of which was returned 40 yards for a touchdown in the 4th quarter. The touchdown helped cushion Los Angeles’s lead over Portland and securing the KISS their first victory in a calendar year.
Gladiators DB Joe Phinisee and Rattlers DB Jeremy Kellem were also nominated for Week 11 MVP.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week: QB Nick Davila, Arizona Rattlers
After going down with an ankle injury against the Los Angeles KISS in Week 5, 2014 MVP Nick Davila got his first action on the field against the Tampa Bay Storm and he didn’t miss a beat. The future Hall of Fame QB was 18 of 30 for 275 yards, 9 touchdowns and zero interceptions in Arizona’s dominating victory, in which the Rattlers went into halftime with a 41-14 lead.
Riddell Defensive Player of the Week: DB Joe Phinisee, Cleveland Gladiators
The team once known as the Las Vegas Gladiators returned to Sin City (as the Cleveland Gladiators) to take on the latest incarnation of a Las Vegas franchise, and it was the older franchise that came out with the victory. Phinisee was one of the key roleplayers for the Gladiators, intercepting two Sean Brackett interceptions for 60 yards, and both times it ended with him crossing the goal line for the pick-6. Phinisee has returned 3 of his 4 interceptions this year for touchdowns. The man is hungry for the end zone. One might say he’s the Beast Mode of the Cleveland defense.
For the complete list of winners, check out the official AFL Website.
And here’s the season leaders after 11 weeks:
Passing Yardage: 3,150; Dan Raudabaugh, Philadelphia
Passing Touchdowns: 74; Dan Raudabaugh, Philadelphia
Interceptions Thrown: 14; Jason Boltus, Tampa Bay
Completion Percentage: 75.3%; Randy Hippeard, Orlando
QB Rating: 139.5; Randy Hippeard, Orlando
Rushing Attempts: 103; Derrick Ross, Jacksonville
Rushing Yards: 397; Derrick Ross, Jacksonville
Rushing Touchdowns: 22; Derrick Ross, Jacksonville
Receptions: 98; Dominick Goodman, Cleveland
Receiving Yards: 1,275; Tiger Jones, Jacksonville
Receiving Touchdowns: 26; Reggie Gray, San Jose
Returns: 54; Brandon Thompkins, Orlando
Yards: 1,216; Duane Brooks, Portland
Touchdowns:6; Duane Brooks, Portland
Sacks: 12.0; Joe Sykes, Jacksonville
Interceptions: 9; Three players tied
Return Yards: 105; Joe Phinisee, Cleveland
Pick-Six Touchdowns: 3; Joe Phinisee, Cleveland
Week 12 Schedule:
Friday, June 12:
Jacksonville Sharks (6-5; 3-3 Away) at Tampa Bay Storm (4-6; 3-3 Home)
Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
7:30 PM (EST), 4:30 PM (EST) on ESPN2
Cleveland Gladiators (6-5; 4-2 Away) at New Orleans VooDoo (2-9; 2-5 Home)
Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
8:30 PM (EST), 5:30 PM (PST)
Arizona Rattlers (8-2; 4-1 Away) at Portland Thunder (3-7; 3-2 Home)
Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
10:00 PM (EST), 7:00 PM (PST)
Las Vegas Outlaws (3-7; 1-4 Away) at Spokane Shock (3-7; 2-3 Home)
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, Washington
10:00 PM (EST), 7:00 PM (PST) on CBS Sports Network
Saturday, June 13th:
Philadelphia Soul (10-1; 4-1 Away) at Orlando Predators (6-5; 3-2 Home)
Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
7:00 PM (EST), 4:00 PM (PST)
Los Angeles KISS (1-9; 0-6 Away) at San Jose SaberCats (11-0; 5-0 Home)
SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California
10:30 PM (EST), 7:30 PM (PST)