WIN OR LOSE, WE BOOZE - MANZIEL WINS IN LAST CALL
It was 'Closing Time' in Fort Wayne in week 9.
In one of the most exciting games of the week, and fizzles of second-half defensive failures, the Fort Wayne Safari and QB Johnny Manziel pulled off a 26-23 win over the Pittsburgh Gladiators to move to 5-4 on the season.
Manziel hit veteran WR Troy Edwards for a 1-yard TD pass with 1:50 left in the game to get the score to 23-19, then got the ball back and went on a 10-play, 80-yard drive and hit Edwards on a 17-yard game winner to pull off the victory.
COTTON DOESN'T SHRINK IN WEEK 9 START
The Reno Express had given DE Jermaine Smith the nod at DE2 for the first 8 games of the season, and while having 16 tackles and 7.0 sacks was a good performance, nothing could compare to what DE James Cotton did in his week 9 start at Portland.
The former Ohio State DE James Cotton had 7 tackles and 5.0 sacks in a 22-6 road win in Portland. For the game, Reno recorded 13.0 sacks in all. It appears Cotton may hold the spot at DE2 for at least a short while.
HONOLULU PULLS OFF 'BRADY COMEBACK', WIN 34-28 IN OT
The Gren Bay Bombers had a 28-3 lead after a minute in the 3rd Quarter, but Honolulu did all the final scoring, roaring back to tie the game with 1:24 left in the 4th quarter, then winning on a 2-yard run with 6:56 left in OT.
Honolulu QB Sherdrick Bonner was 35 of 58 for 402 yards and 3 TD's in the comeback. Green Bay HB Tony Hunt had a stellar game running 20 times for 129 yards adn 2 TD's, while catching 4 passes for 49 yards and a score.
This one will be a tough one to forget as the playoff race is tight with only 5 weeks left in the season.
RENO TRADES FOR DT WATKINS
The Reno Express made a trade with the Pittsburgh Gladiators, aquiring DT Glenn Watkins for a 2nd round draft pick in 2027.
Watkins has not seen much playing time in his career. He has 16 tackles and 4.0 sacks so far in 2026, and a career total of 80 tackles and 17.0 sacks since 2023.
THE OLD MAN DOWN THE ROAD; MCPHERSON IS BACK
The Pittsburgh Gladiators had a free spot with their roster in trading DT Glenn Watkins to Reno, so with a young starter with QB Pat White and Rookie QB and young QB with rookie Eric Crouch decided to bring in veteran QB Adrian McPherson.
The Gladiators hope McPherson can take the thunder from the mountain and the lightning from the sky and get the Gladiators back to the playoffs with 6 weeks left.
SAN JOSE HOLDS OFF HURRICANE IN 24-23 ROAD WIN
The San Jose SaberCats defeated the Honolulu Hurricanes 24-23 and moved to 6-2, tied with Minnesota for Conference lead.
San Jose QB Jared Lorenzen was 31 of 39 for 292 yards, 3 Touchdowns and an Interception.
Offensinve Player of the Week, HB Kenny Irons had a record day going 18 for 165 yards and a touchdown on the ground, and added 6 catches and 50 yards and a touchdown receiving.
MARION CUTS TIES WITH VIDETICH
The Marion Mayhem franchies has cut ties with veteran kicker Steve Videtech after 16 seasons, and announced the signing of Free Agent kicker Piotr Czech. Czech was waved by Bismarck after week 5.
Videtech has scored 1,202 career points in 217 career games with the franchise connecting on 98.7% career on PAT's and 72.4% on Field Goals.
Marion will have a very short leash with Czech given his career numbers. With three franchises, Czech has 96.1% on PAT's and 66.7% on Field Goals.
TENNESSEE CONTROLS GROUND GAME IN 28-10 WIN.
The Tennessee RiverHawks moved to 4-3 on the year, and first in the Central Division after defeating the Bismarck Blaze 28-10.
The Riverhawks ran 38 times for 118 yards and 3 TD's as a team whle HB LaBrandon Toefield ran 22 times for 84 yards and 3 TD's in the game.
The League and Division is still fairly close, with all teams still in the hunt.
IRON(S) STRIKES HOT IN ROCHESTER
The league and Honolulu has been wondering what has been going on with HB Kenny Irons. Irons had only 299 yards through 5 games, and 9th in the league in rushing after being #1 each of the past two seasons. It looks like he finally has warmed up in week 6 in Rochester, as Irons ran 24 times for 157 yards and 3 TD's and also added 35 yards receiving, helping Honolulu win 31-22.
For Rochester, QB Justin Zwick did what he could to keep Rochester in the game, finishing 36 of 56 for 372 yards, 3 Touchdowns and an Interception.
CZECH THE NUMBERS
The Bismarck Blaze made a change at kicker after week 5, dropping 7-year veteran kicker Piotr Czech and signing street free-agent kicker Jed Solomon.
Czech has been with 3 teams over 7 seasons and for his career, 96.1 on PAT's (99/103) and only 66.7 (68/102) on Field Goals.
There may still be a market for this veteran.
PERFECT STORM IN CHESAPEAKE
The Chesapeake Tide had the perfect game in week 5 offensively and defensively as they shutout the Rochester Raiders 30-0.
Offensively, QB Kliff Kingsbury was 23 of 26 for 291 yards and 2 TD's while HB Chirs Rainey ran 24 times for 120 yards. Defensively, DE A.C. Collier lead the team with 3 of the 6 sacks the defense had. Even on special teams, WR Akamu Aki had 5 punt returns for 111 yards and a TD. Probably the only mistake of the day was K Paul Edinger was 3/3 on PAT's and 'only' 3/4 on FG's.
RIVERHAWKS OUTLAST SLAYERS
The Tennessee Riverhawks defeated the Springfield Slayers 23-20 in a close match between these new division and conference rivals.
After Springfield took an early 10-0 lead, Tennessee scored 17-straight points to take a 17-10 halftime lead. Again, Springfield stormed back and took a 3-point lead into the 4th quater, only to have Tennessee tie the game, and kick the eventual game winner with less than 3 minutes left when K Dorsch hit from 45 yards out.
Tennessee QB Kyle Rowley was 15 of 26 for 203 yards and 2 TD's while HB LaBrandon Toefield ran 14 times for 97 yards. Defensively, LB Odell Thurman had 10 tackles, and interception and a fumble recovery while DT Nick Zeck added 2.0 sacks. For Springfield, WR Tab Perry had 6 catches for 35 yards, a kickoff return for 19 yards and 5 punt returns for 134 yards and a TD.
WARLORDS DELIVER LAST SECOND KILLSHOT VS HONOLULU
The Wichita Warlords outlasted the Honolulu Hurricanes, winning on a late 4th quarter Field Goal to win 34-32 and move to 2-1 on the year.
Statistically, Wichita QB James McNear was 24 of 32 for 318 yards and a TD while HB Mel Holliday ran for 69 yards and a TD and caught 11 passes for 112 yards, however, it was K Garret Rivas that was the star of the show. Rivas was 4/4 on PAT's and 2/2 on FG's, including the game winner from 48 yards with 0:07 left in the game.
SABERCATS GET FIRST FRANCHISE WIN OVER ROCHESTER
The San Jose SaberCats defeated the Rochester Raiders 26-20 in overtime in week 2 and moved to 1-1 on the year. The win is also their first franchise, home and overtime win.
QB Jared Lorenzen was 24 of 34 for 265 and a TD while WR Darrius Watts grabbed 10 catches for 127 yards. The Offensive Player of the game was HB Cedric Humes who ran 19 times for 137 yards and a TD and also caught 4 passes for 35 yards and a TD.
San Jose travels next week to Bismarck (1-1) and see if they can get their first road victory, and first winning streak.
MAYHEM FOR NASHVILLE IN WEEK 1
The Marion Mayhem had a solid week-one performance against the Nashville Kats, winning 17-6.
On Offense, QB David Greene was 18 of 28 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while HB Brian Calhoun ran 23 times for 107 yards and a TD. Defensively, the Mayhem had 8 sacks total, 3.0 of which came from DE Erasmus James, and 2.0 from Defensive Player of the Week, DT Dexter Manley II.
For Nashville, last years Run-and-Shoot Offense started with a fizzle scoring only 6 points. QB Ricky Ray was 25 of 41 for 270 yards with a touchdown and an interception while HB Eric McCoo ran 15 times for 40 yards.
TIDE OUTLASTS RIVERHAWKS IN HEAVYWEIGHT SLUGFEST
Chesapeake defeated Tennessee 16-3 in week one, and while it looked like a one-way domination, it was anyone's game up until late in the 4th when Chesapeake ran away with the lead.
After Tennessee took a 3-0 lead, they held that score until early in the 4th. With 13:32 left in the 4th, Chesapeake HB Chris Rainey took off on a 68-yard run and took a 6-3 lead after a failed 2-point attempt. Chesapeake then hit on a 25-yard FG from K Paul Edinger and went up 9-3 with 6:56 left in the game. Chesapeake put the nail in the coffin with 2:07 left in the game on a 26-yard run from FB Brian Shay.
Great game for both teams, and the defenses.
COLORADO KICKER TRIPS AT FINISH LINE, BISMARCK WINS
Colorado kicker Brandon Coutu was having a perfect day - he was 6/6 on Field Goals and was lined up for the game winner from 24-yards out with 0:15 left in the game. The Wildcat kicker went wide-right and sent the game to OT.
Bismarck ended the half and then got the ball to start overtime, going on a 4-play, 45-yard drive where kicker Pior Czech won the game on a 47-yarder and a 21-18 OT win. Too bad for Coutu and Colorado on the tough finish.
Week 2 will be Sunday morning. Rosters due by 10 am PT.