06/19/2017 12:46 PM
A last second touchdown seals the Empires post season fate
Spokane, Washington (June 19, 2017) – The Empire (8-8, 7-5) fell to the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles (5-11, 4-8) in Week 18 of the 2017 IFL regular season by a final score of 42-45 at the Maverick Center in West Valley City, Utah.
Friday’s contest had served as a potential playoff berth for the Empire, in back to back seasons, but was cut short on a Salt Lake quarterback Verlon Reed pass to wide receiver Devin Mahina for a 2-yard touchdown pass as time expired. The touchdown put the Screaming Eagles up by three points and wouldn’t allow the Empire another shot to take the lead.
The Empire offense was led by a new starting quarterback in Marcus McDade who finished the night with a respectable 7 of 16 completions for three touchdowns and no interceptions. On the ground, the Empire charged forward with a dominant performance by running back Andrew Pierce that ended the night with 112 yards on the ground, three touchdowns and one receiving touchdown.
Both teams capped of their opening drives with a touchdown, however, a mishandled snap on the Empire drive left them without their extra point and gave Salt Lake an early 7-6 lead. Empire QB McDade would answer right back taking the team from their own 8-yard line down the field to put up another six points with a 5-yard pass to wide receiver Bryan Pray to close out the first quarter.
Salt Lake jumped ahead in the second quarter after the Empire failed to convert on fourth down on the Spokane 12-yard line that would quickly be capitalized by the Salt Lake offense to take a 19 to 12 lead. Spokane would then put together two quick scores to regain the lead. The Screaming Eagles and the Empire would trade scores one more time and Spokane would go into the half up seven points.
Spokane’s defense would come out of the half putting together a defensive stop on the first drive of the half. After only being able to move the ball one yard Empire defensive end and linebacker, John Griggs and Nick Haag sacked QB Reed for a loss of eight yards and the SLC offense was unable to convert on 4th down. Spokane would extend their lead to 10 at the end of the third quarter.
With the lead going into the fourth quarter the Empire defense would give up 20 points while the offense only able to get seven points. The one and only Empire touchdown came from a stellar one-handed catch by running back Trevor Kennedy from QB McDade for a 12-yard grab to give Spokane the lead before Salt Lake’s last second touchdown to WR Mahina.
Salt Lake’s offense was led by their QB Reed who completed 11-of-17 passes for 115 yards, five touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Reed also led the team in rushing averaging 3.4 yards per carry. WR Mahina was also on the receiving end of three of five touchdown passes thrown by Reed.
Defensively for the Empire was led by John Griggs and Nick Haag who both had a sack and two tackles for losses. Spokane’s newest addition defensive lineman Terrance Woodard lead the team with 5.5 tackles. While the special teams crew forced a fumble by Trevor Kennedy that was recovered by defensive back Qua Cox.
Spokane was eliminated from playoff contention with the loss to Salt Lake Screaming Eagles, although with Nebraska Danger’s win over Wichita Falls Nighthawks the Empire would have been eliminated with that victory. The Intense Conference matchup will be between the Arizona Rattlers and the Nebraska Danger while the United Conference will see a Week 18 rematch between the Sioux Falls Storm and the Iowa Barnstormers.
SPOKANE EMPIRE FOOTBALL MISSION
The Spokane Empire football team strives to deliver to our fans a high-quality entertainment experience while serving and representing the Inland Northwest on and off the field as a proud member of the Indoor Football League.
ABOUT THE SPOKANE EMPIRE FOOTBALL TEAM
The Spokane Empire is a member of the Indoor Football League from Spokane, Washington, USA. They play their home games at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. Tickets and Sponsorships are available. For more information visit spokaneempire.com or call 509-242-7462. You can also follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
ABOUT THE INDOOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE
The Indoor Football League (IFL) will begin its ninth season of play in the spring of 2017. The IFL was created in 2008 from a merger between the Intense Football League and the United Indoor Football Association. Its teams are located from Spokane, Washington to Green Bay, Wisconsin. For more information about all things IFL, please log on to goifl.com or call the league office at 804-643-7277.