The playoff race in the National Conference got a bit more interesting with a victory by the Los Angeles KISS and an upset victory by the Spokane Shock over the defending ArenaBowl champs. Portland also took it down to the wire with San Jose, but the race for the two playoff spots in the National Conference look like it’ll go down to the end of the season. Las Vegas is still in the mix, but many (especially LA, Portland and Spokane fans) think that due to the league’s ownership of the team, they should be disqualified from the playoffs, especially with how this weeks game will go. Confused? We’ll let you know soon, but for now take a look back at last week’s scores and award winners.
Arizona Rattlers 45, Spokane Shock 52
Orlando Predators 65, Cleveland Gladiators 58
Philadelphia Soul 67, Jacksonville Sharks 74
Tampa Bay Storm 53, New Orleans VooDoo 65
Las Vegas Outlaws 27, Los Angeles KISS 37
Portland Thunder 49, San Jose SaberCats 55 (OT)
Week 17 AFL MVP: DB Rayshaun Kizer, Los Angeles KISS
Kizer’s been a key member in the turnaround for the Los Angeles KISS, and he showed why in a win over the Las Vegas Outlaws. Kizer recorded seven tackles (leading all LA defensemen), recorded a pass breakup and an interception off Outlaws QB Dennis Havrilla in a 37-27 victory. Since joining the KISS halfway through the season from New Orleans, Kizer has recorded 5 interceptions, a franchise record for the 2nd year club. His presence on the KISS defense resulted in an atrocious outing by Harvilla and J.J. Raterink, as both QBs went a combined 15-for-33 for 148 yards, 2 TD and 1 Interception. Those statistics aren’t going to help you win games,
Shock DB Mike McMillan and VooDoo DB Cortez Stubbs were also nominated for Week 17 MVP.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week: WR Anthony Amos, Spokane Shock
This week’s offensive player of the week had a memorable performance last week against Arizona was also his best game of the season, a key in Spokane’s 52-45 upset over the three-time defending ArenaBowl champs. He hauled in 13 passes for 144 yards and 3 touchdowns, all of which were career highs. Amos also made a huge play from a misfired pass by QB Arvell Nelson, getting one hand on the football and hauling the pass for an 11-yard score that put the Shock up 45-32 in the middle of the fourth quarter.
The rookie from Middle Tennessee State has grown throughout the 2015 season, especially filling in the big shoes left when starter Mike Washington went down with a season ending knee injury back on May 16th. Amos leads the Shock in receptions (94) and yards (1,038), and he is second on the team in receiving touchdowns (16). He also leads all AFL rookie wide receivers in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
Riddell Defensive Player of the Week: DB Ken Fontenette, San Jose SaberCats
After recording 17 total tackles and tying an AFL record en route to the Week 16 Defensive Player of the Week, Fontenette follows up a week later with another 17 total tackles, this time adding a pair of interceptions off Portland Thunder QB Kyle Rowley as the SaberCats won a nail biter in overtime. Fontenette now has 138.5 total tackles on the season, which is the second highest number of tackles in AFL history. Unless you’re from Arizona, there’s no questioning that Fontenette is the Defensive Player of the Year.
For the complete list of winners, check out the official AFL Website.
Now for the updated league leading statistics:
Passing Yardage: 4,599; Dan Raudabaugh, Philadelphia
Passing Touchdowns: 108; Dan Raudabaugh, Philadelphia
Interceptions Thrown: 20; Jason Boltus, Tampa Bay
Completion Percentage: 75.6%; Randy Hippeard, Orlando
QB Rating: 135.7; Randy Hippeard, Orlando
Rushing Attempts: 128; Derrick Ross, Jacksonville
Rushing Yards: 489; Derrick Ross, Jacksonville
Rushing Touchdowns: 30; Derrick Ross, Jacksonville
Receptions: 17; Reggie Gray, San Jose
Receiving Yards: 1,784; Tiger Jones, Jacksonville
Receiving Touchdowns: 41; Reggie Gray, San Jose
Returns: 80 (tied); Brandon Thompkins, Orlando & Duane Brooks, Portland
Yards: 1,747; Duane Brooks, Portland
Touchdowns: 6 (tied); Duane Brooks, Portland & A.J. Cruz, Arizona
Sacks: 14.0; Joe Sykes, Jacksonville
Interceptions: 13; Jeremy Kellem, Arizona
Return Yards: 107; Ken Fontenette, San Jose
Pick-Six Touchdowns: 3; Joe Phinisee, Cleveland
Now for the upcoming games this week. It’s a small slate this week, especially with the New Orleans and Las Vegas game which the league decided to not pay the flight, hotel, and arena operation bills for. The result will go down as a tie, giving Vegas half a game up in the playoff standings. Regardless of the cancelled match-up, we will still post the game on our schedule.
That’ll do it for this week. We’ll see you next week; the season is coming to a close, so stay with us.
Week 18 Schedule:
Saturday, July 26th:
Tampa Bay Storm (6-9; 2-5 Away) at Jacksonville Sharks (8-7; 5-2 Home)
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
7:00 PM (EST), 4:00 PM (PST) on ESPNEWS
Portland Thunder (4-11; 0-7 Away) at Spokane Shock (5-10; 3-5 Home)
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, Washington
10:00 PM (EST), 7:00 PM (PST)
New Orleans VooDoo (3-12; 0-6 Away) at Las Vegas Outlaws (5-10; 3-4 Home)
Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
10:30 PM (EST), 7:30 PM (PST)**
**This game has been cancelled and will not be made up.
Sunday, July 27th:
Los Angeles KISS (4-11; 1-6 Away) at Arizona Rattlers (12-3; 6-1 Home)
Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
6:00 PM (EST), 3:00 PM (PST) on ESPNEWS
Bye: Cleveland (7-9), Orlando (10-6), Philadelphia (13-3), San Jose (15-1)