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UBII Defensive Backfield Preview
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July 26, 2006 - .

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Omaha, NE -The Sioux Falls Storm and Lexington Horsemen square off this coming Saturday for United Bowl II in one of the most anticipated match-ups in UIF history. The Horsemen and Storm have the top two best scoring offenses in all of the UIF with the Horsemen averaging 51.5 points and the Storm scoring 44.8 a night. With this high a scoring offense, someone will have to try and stop them. That’s where the defensive backfield will have to step up and take control of these high powered offenses and both teams have the backs to do it.

The Sioux Falls Storm are led by starting linebacker/safety, Mark Blackburn. Blackburn was fourth in the league in tackles with 100.0 and is the Storm’s all-time leader in with 423 over his four year career. Mark was selected as member of the 1st Team All-UIF as a safety this season. Joining his side is stand-out, Justin Landis. Landis is know as one of the hardest hitters in all of the UIF and had 92.5 tackles on the season. Blackburn and Landis combined for more than 30 percent of the Storm’s tackles this season. Backing them up at the cornerback position are veterans Trice Crump and Andre Fields. Crump was third on the team with 72 tackles and he also chipped in with two interceptions as well. Fields had 61 tackles and four interceptions in 2006. In the starting safety position is Shannon Poppinga who only played in 11 games and still totaled seven interceptions and 15 pass breakups. All five of these starters have been with the Storm for at least three years or more.

The Horsemen are led by star cornerback, William “Agent” Mulder. Mulder led the UIF in interceptions with 12 interceptions that were returned for 228 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 49.5 tackles and 15 pass break-ups. Anthony “Champ” Kelly led the team in tackles this season with 79.0 tackles and also had three interceptions himself. Both players were selected to the 1st Team All-UIF this season. At the linebacker position is Dominique Sims who was second on the team in tackles with 63.5 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, 2 interceptions and one safety this season. Also helping the defensive backfield is JT Haskins and Leonard Burress. Both players combined for nearly 100 tackles this season and ten interceptions. As a team, the Lexington defensive backfield has made 33 interceptions this season, which is ten more than the second place team (Evansville BlueCats). The Horsemen have three players in the top 15 in the UIF in interceptions (Mulder 12, Haskins 6, and Burress 4).

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