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Five Exciting Match-ups Complete the 2005 Regular Season
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July 18, 2005 - Omaha, NE - A full schedule completes the 2005 regular season for all but two teams in Week 18 of the inaugural United Indoor Football season. The Peoria Rough Riders host the Ohio Valley Greyhounds on Saturday, July 23 to complete the regular schedule.

On Friday, July 15, the Sioux City Bandits got another strong performance from league MVP candidate Fred Jackson in a 54-48 victory over North Division and Interstate 29 rival Sioux Falls Storm in the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena. A crowd of 5,876 witnessed the third meeting between the two teams this season. The Bandits defeated the Storm twice in Sioux Falls, 50-43 on April 16 and 38-34 on June 25, to win the I-20 trophy. The Bandits and Head Coach Jose Jefferson are the 2005 North Division champion and have won seven straight contests. Sioux City has clinched home field advantage for the first two rounds of the 2005 play-offs and a number two seed. Sioux Falls and Head Coach Kurtiss Riggs are currently in third place in the North Division and will have the number five seed for the play-offs. Jackson racked up 299 all-purpose yards to pace the Bandits. The versatile runningback logged 127 yards on 27 carries with three touchdowns and caught three passes for 23 yards with another touchdown. Jackson also gained 149 yards on eight kick returns, an average of 18.62 yards per return. The Bandit defense helped the cause with two interceptions and a fumble recovery while holding the Storm to 85 yards of total offense. Sioux City struck first with a three-yard pass from quarterback Jarrod DeGeorgia to runningback/wide receiver Dave Perrigo two minutes into the contest. The Storm answered 29 seconds later with a 35-yard pass from quarterback Terrance Bryant to wide receiver Tony Hermes. On the Bandits ensuing possession, Storm defensive back Shannon Poppinga intercepted a DeGeorgia pass at the 20-yard line and returned it 35-yards for a touchdown to give Sioux Falls their first lead of the night at 14-7. With three minutes left in the opening quarter, Jackson tied the game with his first touchdown of the evening on a one-yard scamper. The Storm turned the ball over on the next series, as Bryant fumbled a snap and the ball was recovered Sioux City linebacker Adam Lloyd. A minute into the second quarter, DeGeorgia gave the Bandits a 21-14 lead with a one-yard keeper. On the Storm's next drive, kicker Adam Hicks connected on a 32-yard field goal attempt to pull Sioux Falls within 21-17. The Bandits scored on the next possession with a one-yard run from Jackson to increase the lead to 28-17. The Storm answered with a 22-yard pass from Bryant to wide receiver Matt Holmlund. With twenty seconds left in the first half, DeGeorgia connected with Jackson on a 16-yard touchdown strike to give the Bandits a 34-24 advantage at the break. Sioux Falls runningback Marques Smith reached the end zone on a two-yard run five and a half minutes into the third quarter to pull the Storm within three at 34-31. Five minutes later, DeGeorgia connected with wide receiver Kenneth Horton for an eight-yard touchdown to give the Bandits a ten-point advantage. Smith reached the end zone on an 18-yard run on the Storm's next possession to pull within 41-38 with 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The Bandits opened the forth quarter with an interception of Bryant by defensive back Derek Smith, Jr. The following Sioux City drive ended with a missed a 46-yard field goal attempt, and Smith scored his third touchdown of the night on a 38-yard run three minutes into the forth quarter to give the Storm a 45-41 lead. The Bandits then used just over six minutes to score on a nine-play drive as Jackson reached the end zone on a three-yard run, giving Sioux City a 48-45 lead. Hicks tied the game with a 27-yard field goal after an eight-play drive for the Storm that used up three and a half minutes. Sioux City began the next possession on it's own eight-yard line. Jackson then gained nine yards on two carries sandwiching a DeGeorgia incomplete pass before the Bandits used a time-out with 23 seconds remaining in the contest. Jackson then rushed for 18-yards to the Sioux Falls 15-yard line. DeGeorgia connected with Horton for 12-yards and a Bandits first down before another Sioux City time-out at the Sioux Falls three-yard line. On the next play, DeGeorgia hit Horton in the end zone with a three-yard pass to give the Bandits a 54-48 lead with 9.4 seconds left. The Storm's Smith returned the kick-off to the Sioux Falls 21-yard line, leaving 2.8 seconds on the clock. On the last play of the game, Bryant threw a pass to the end zone and was intercepted by Sioux City defensive back Deron Rush, sealing a victory for the Bandits. DeGeorgia was 11-21 passing for 105 yards with three touchdowns. He also scored once on one carry for Sioux City. Perrigo scored once on six carries for 39 yards for the Bandits, while Horton caught four passes for 27 yards with two touchdowns. Lloyd led the Sioux City defense with five solo tackles, four assisted tackles, and a fumble recovery. Bryant was 13-24 passing for 152 yards with two touchdowns. Smith scored three times on 12 carries for 73 yards for the Storm. Defensive back Mark Blackburn logged nine solo tackles and three assisted tackles for Sioux Falls, while defensive lineman Austin Flyger was credited with four solo tackles, two assisted tackles, and two sacks. Defensive back Andre Fields recorded eight solo tackles and one assisted tackle, while Poppinga logged four solo tackles, two assisted tackles, and an interception. The Bandits improve to 13-2 on the season, while the Storm dropped to 8-8.

On Saturday, July 16, the South Division champion Lexington Horsemen defeated the visiting Tupelo FireAnts 52-25 in Rupp Arena. The Horsemen and Head Coach Bob Sphire won for the fifth straight time and the third time this season over the FireAnts. Lexington has clinched the number three seed for the 2005 UIF play-offs. The FireAnts and Head Coach John Fourcade finish 2005 with a five-game losing streak. Lexington was held 140 yards of total offense and committed three turnovers with a lost fumble and two interceptions. The Horsemen held a slim 7-6 lead after one quarter and increased that to 28-12 at halftime. After three quarters, the Horsemen held a 35-25 advantage, and the FireAnts were scoreless in the final 15 minutes. Tupelo quarterback Matt Kohn was 16-30 passing for 163 yards with three touchdowns. Wide receiver Cecil Lester scored three times on five catches for 68 yards for the FireAnts. Lester also recorded 40 yards on six carries on the ground. Tupelo runningback Terran Charles reached the end zone once on nine carries for 15 yards. For the Horsemen, quarterback Dusty Bonner was 9-16 passing for 83 yards with a touchdown. Runningback Randy Bell scored twice on six carries for 50 yards, and Derek Homer reached the end zone once on five carries for seven yards. Defensively for the FireAnts, defensive back Terrell Sutton was credited with two interceptions and two solo tackles. Lexington wide receiver Harry Lewis recorded 35 yards on three catches with a touchdown in front of a crowd of 4,152. Defensive back Anthony "Champ" Kelly logged two tackles with two interceptions for the Horsemen. He returned one interception for a touchdown. Lexington linebacker Shawn Jones recorded six solo tackles and two assisted tackles, and defensive back William Mulder logged five solo tackles and two assisted tackles. The Horsemen improve to 11-4 on the season, while the FireAnts finish the year at 3-13.

Also on Saturday, Peoria Rough Riders dropped the visiting Evansville Bluecats 41-37 in the Peoria Civic Center/Carver Arena. This was the second meeting of the season for the two teams, as the Rough Riders defeated the Bluecats 39-28 on May 27 in Evansville. The Rough Riders and Head Coach Bruce Cowdrey kept their play-off hopes alive with victory. Evansville and Head Coach Ollie Guidry have lost for the seventh time in eight road contests. Peoria held a 26-20 lead at halftime and a slim 28-27 advantage after three quarters. Peoria scored two first quarter touchdowns with a six-yard run by wide receiver J.R. Taylor and a 10-yard pass to wide receiver Tony Pryor from quarterback Walter Church. Evansville got on the board with a minute remaining in the opening frame with a five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ramon Robinson to wide receiver Matt Kent. The Bluecats took a slim 14-13 lead with a touchdown three and a half minutes into the second quarter with a 38-yard pass from Robinson to wide receiver Kenny Bell. The lead was short-lived as Peoria's Codolyous Wilson returned the ensuing kick-off 54-yards for a touchdown. The Rough Riders added three points with a 32-yard field goal by Matt Russell with three minutes remaining in the first half. Evansville answered with a three-yard touchdown run by runningback Dale Jennings. The Rough Riders took a 26-20 lead to the lockerroom after a 31-yard field goal by Russell as time expired in the second quarter. Four minutes into the third quarter, the Bluecats scored on a 10-yard pass from Robinson to Kent. Peoria defensive lineman Algie Atkinson conceded a safety with sixteen minutes remaining in the contest to give the Rough Riders a 28-27 advantage. The Rough Riders scored three minutes into the forth quarter with a three-yard run by runningback Brandon Robinson. On the next possession, Evansville pulled within 34-30 with a 45-yard field goal from Erik Rockhold. The Bluecats took a 37-34 lead with four minutes remaining with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Ramon Robinson to Kent. The Rough Riders took the lead and the game with a three-yard run from Brandon Robinson with 62 seconds left in the contest. Church was 16-23 passing for 130 yards with a touchdown for the Rough Riders. He also gained 20 yards on two carries. Brandon Robinson scored twice on 16 carries for 21 yards. Taylor reached the end zone once on three carries for nine yards. He also recorded 51 yards on six catches. Defensively, Peoria recorded five sacks, a fumble recovery, and an interception. Linebacker Jason Vanloo logged ten solo tackles, four assisted tackles, and an interception. Ramon Robinson was 17-34 passing for 221 yards with four touchdowns for the Bluecats. Kent reached the end zone four times on four catches for 33 yards. Bell caught three passes for 56 yards with a touchdown. Defensive back Connie Brown logged six solo tackles and seven assisted tackles for Evansville.

In the final game on Saturday, the visiting Omaha Beef defeated the Tennessee Valley Raptors 36-18 in Huntsville, Alabama. The 4,217 in the Von Braun Civic Center saw the Raptors and Head Coach Dick Adams have their two-game winning streak snapped. The Beef and Head Coach Robert Fuller win for the forth time in the last five games. Omaha has clinched the number four seed for the 2005 UIF play-offs. Omaha scored first with a 25-yard field goal from Ted Retzlaff just over a minute into the second quarter. The Raptors answered with a two-yard keeper from quarterback Chris Gunn mid-way through the second quarter. The Beef held the Raptors scoreless the rest of the half, while added ten points with a two-yard touchdown scamper by runningback Rod Malone and a 42-yard field goal from Retzlaff with seven seconds left in the first half. The two teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, as the Beef scored on a one-yard pass from quarterback John McMenamin to wide receiver Jason Mitchell. Tennessee Valley answered with a 14-yard pass from back-up quarterback Ben Sankey to wide receiver Luke McArdle. Omaha opened up the forth quarter with Retzlaff's third field-goal of the evening, this time from 19-yards with 12 and half minutes remaining. McMenamin connected with wide receiver Neuby Ras on a three-yard touchdown pass mid-way through the final quarter. The Raptors pulled within 30-18 with a 35-yard pass from Sankey to wide receiver Nicholas Wells. The Beef sealed the victory with a six-yard touchdown run from Malone with a minute and 44 seconds left in the contest. For the Beef, McMenamin was 18-26 passing for 149 yards with two touchdowns, and Malone scored twice on eight carries for 27 yards. McMenamin also gained 14 yards on four carries. Mitchell caught seven passes for 59 yards with a touchdown. Ras scored once on four catches for 24 yards for the Beef. Omaha defensive back Mike Sheppard recorded three solo tackles and four assisted tackles. For the Raptors, Sankey was 5-10 passing for 74 yards with two touchdowns. Gunn reached the end zone once on six carries for 27 yards while going 4-10 passing for 41 yards. McArdle caught six passes for 62 yards with a touchdown, while Wells logged 53 yards on three catches with a touchdown for the Raptors.

The Midwest Division champion Fort Wayne Freedom clinched the number one seed for the 2005 play-offs with a 41-31 victory over the visiting Ohio Valley Greyhounds in the final contest of Week 18 on Sunday, July 17. The Freedom and Head Coach Matt Land complete the regular season with a five-game winning streak. The Greyhounds and Head Coach Mike Blackburn have lost three straight. This was the forth win over the Greyhounds this season for Fort Wayne. A crowd of 8,045 in Allen County War Memorial Coliseum saw the Greyhounds start quick with a 14-3 lead after one quarter. The Freedom took a 3-0 lead after two and a half minutes with a 25-yard field goal from Josh Telenko, but the Greyhounds scored fourteen unanswered points. With eight minutes remaining in the opening frame, Ohio Valley quarterback Zack Bruney threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Willie Austin. Bruney and Austin hooked up once again on a 10-yard touchdown pass at the end of the first quarter. Four minutes later, the Freedom reached the end zone on a three-yard scamper by runningback Rocky Harvey. Fort Wayne took a 17-14 lead with a five-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Bill Skelton to wide receiver Dayna Overton mid-way through the second quarter. Freedom wide receiver Adrian Reese caught a 43-yard pass from Skelton with three minutes remaining in the first half. The Greyhounds pulled within 24-20 with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Bruney to runningback Troy Albea with 45 seconds left in the second quarter. Mid-way through the third quarter, Freedom wide receiver Jeremy Dutcher reached the end zone on a 20-yard pass from Skelton, giving Fort Wayne a 31-20 advantage. John Wehrle added three points for the Greyhounds with a 24-yard field goal with two and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter. Ohio Valley tied the game at 31-31 when runningback Jay Bailey scored on a three-yard run with just under 12 minutes to go. With just under three minutes remaining, Telenko scored his second field goal of the evening with a 28-yard kick to give the Freedom a 34-31 lead. The Greyhounds next drive ended when Bruney's pass to the end zone was intercepted, and the Freedom scored a touchdown with 20 seconds remaining on a 10-yard run by Harvey. Skelton was 8-18 passing for 118 yards with three touchdowns for Fort Wayne. He also gained 14 yards on three carries. Harvey rushed 16 times for 60 yards with two touchdowns. The Freedom passing game was spread out, as Dutcher (four catches, 39 yards), Overton (two catches, 29 yards), and Reese (two catches, 50 yards) all reached the end once. The Fort Wayne defense logged three interceptions and a sack. Linebacker Carlos Smith recorded eight solo tackles and seven assisted tackles for the Freedom, while Andrea Brooks logged five solo tackles and four assisted tackles. Brooks also gained 44 yards on one punt return. Bruney was 10-26 passing for 106 yards with three touchdowns for the Greyhounds. He also gained 53 yards on eight carries. Austin gained 72 yards on five catches with two touchdowns. Bailey rushed 14 times for 62 yards for Ohio Valley. The Greyhound defense was led by strong safety Shawn Hackett, who recorded four solo tackles and six assisted tackles. Linebacker Eddie Smith added four solo tackles and five assisted tackles for the Greyhounds, while defensive back Corvin Amos grabbed two interceptions to go along with three tackles. The Freedom improved to 14-2 on the year with the victory, while the Greyhounds fall to 6-8 on the season.

The final regular season contest of the inaugural UIF campaign will be on Saturday, July 23, as the Peoria Rough Riders host the Ohio Valley Greyhounds. The opening round of the 2005 UIF play-offs will be the weekend of July 30 with four quarterfinals. The semi-finals will be held the weekend of August 6, and the first-ever UIF champion will be crowned on August 13. For scores, statistics, highlights and more, log-on to unitedindoorfootball.com.

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