WEST DES MOINES, IA – The Des Moines Blaze take their 11-0 record into this weekend’s MFA Championship against a familiar opponent, the Sioux Falls Stallions (7-3). It was the Stallions whom the Blaze defeated 44-10 for their second consecutive MFA title a year ago and again 29-13 in this year’s regular season finale.
Sioux Falls advanced by upsetting the Midwest Titans (Kansas City, MO) 26-20 in last weekend’s continuation of a semi-final game that was rained out during the first quarter the previous week as Des Moines took down the Quad City Raiders 34-7.
This season’s first matchup featured the Blaze aerial attack. Quarterback DeMareo Darrah completed 16 of 24 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns. With the league’s top receiver, Randy Blackford, on the shelf with a back injury J. Heathcote (6 rec, 85 yds, TD) and John McCarthy (4 rec, 92 yds, TD) picked up the slack nicely. Nick Blay and Bill Falbo also got in the endzone.
The Defense allowed only seven points as the other Stallion touchdown was scored by All-MFA return man Ricky Gutierrez’s third return TD of the season. The “Wild Dingo” Antonio Alexander led the way for the Blaze D with eight tackles, a strip sack, and an interception. Jordan Smith had seven stops, four for loss, and a sack. Steve Seivert recorded six tackles, a sack and a safety in his return to Sioux Falls where he played his college ball at USF.
The Stallions hope the difference might be two-time NAIA National Championship quarterback Lorenzo Brown Jr. Brown played with the indoor Sioux Falls Storm, was unable to join the Stallions until late in the year and didn’t see MFA game action until the postseason.
Not only is the Midwest Football Alliance title on the line, but the winner goes on to face the Great Lakes area Great Midwest Football League’s champion in the Midwest Bowl on October 5th. Currently the Blaze and the GMFL’s Chicago Cardinals are ranked 1-2 in the Semi-Pro BCS poll.
There’s a lot on the line with kickoff set for 7pm Saturday evening at Valley Stadium.