News and Announcements
By Danielle Hughes
Tinley Park, ll- The defending MSFL champions, the Wisconsin Hitmen will play the undefeated (in the regular season) Lincoln Way Patriots in the Championship showdown. Saturday night’s matchup will be a battle between the two generals on the field, the quarterbacks. Multiple league MVP, Tony Powell, brings his impressive football IQ to the field as he is leading his undefeated Patriots to the third MSFL championship game. On the other end of the battle field, stands Hitmen’s Dylan Kelly. Kelly is said to be one of the biggest up and coming talents in the MSFL as a mobile quarterback. The kickoff between both generals will be at Horlick Field in Racine at 7pm. Both generals led their team to one of the biggest games of the season, but the road wasn’t easy for either teams.
“Our journey has been everything but easy.” Said Hitmen’s Head Coach Maal Napolean, “We didn’t assume we would be back in the championship. We had a lot of incoming talent and retirees at the same time. So finding that balance was tough at times, but the fellas bought in and it paid off.”
And as for the Lincoln Way Patriots their journey started back in September 2017. “Our journey has been long. It seems like forever ago even though it was only two years ago,” said Head Coach Jim McClelland.
Coach McClelland went on to explain how hard it was to lose last year in the Conference Finals. “To be up two scores almost three and then loosing the game, makes for a long off season.”
Both teams come into Saturday night’s game with a lot to prove. Kelly and the Hitmen want to prove that they have what it takes to be back to back MSFL Champions while Powell and the Patriots have a bad taste in their mouth and seek revenge coming into the 2018 MSFL Championship game.
“Being back in this type of game means everything to us.” Coach Napolean’s thoughts on his team’s accomplishments. “We have reshaped a team atmosphere and work ethic, and attitude. This staff and these players deserve to be in the championship, as do the Patriots.”
The Hitmen just barely made it past the Racine Raiders on September 8th with a 15-14 victory. Wisconsin expects the Patriots to be just as tough, disciplined and dangerous on Saturday night than when they saw each other back in preseason. Though Coach Napolean believes the Patriots made some adjustments since his Hitmen held on to a 21-13 preseason victory against them, Coach believes that his Hitmen still have a chance if they can control three things of the game.
Coach Napolean says his team needs to play well in all three phases of football; offense, defense and special teams. “We have to remain disciplined and calm,” said Coach Napolean, “If we do those things we have a good chance to pull out a victory.”
If the Patriots want to be successful in their seek for revenge, Coach McClelland believes his team needs to take care of the ball and not turn it over. McClelland continues, “We have to stop the run game, and perform in special teams. If we do that, we have a chance.”
Championship games are rare to come by for many athletes across the world no matter what sport. Only two teams every year can make it to the big dance. Saturday night’s game means a lot to the athletes but also to the coaches. These coaches are volunteering their time to give back to these athletes and give them another outlet in life. Both conference champions consist of players that were either All Americans, DI athletes, Professional Arena players, or high school standouts that never had the chance to play at the collegiate level. To both coaches, Saturday night’s game is even bigger than just the game- it’s proof that the game of football has the potential to change young boys into strong minded men.
“I love football and the brotherhood you get to share, but also the teachable moments and growth you get to see on and off the field.” Coach Napolean said.
Patriots’ Head Coach Jim McClelland says he does this all for the guys. “I love football and we need football in our lives. I teach these guys that it is important to win the right way.”
From the Hitmen’s explosive defense and its offense led by the up and coming quarterback; to the Lincoln Way Patriots’ explosive offense and disciplined defense led by MSFL Defensive Player of the year, Lorenzo Hood. This Championship game is going to be a game you don’t want to miss.
Tune into Lincoln Way Patriots Facebook Page for live updates of the game.
October 4, 2016 – The Lincoln-Way Patriots won their first MSFL Championship with a dominate defensive performance over the Door County Destroyers 31-0 last Saturday night at Hart Park in Wauwatosa, WI. Led on defense by Perry Sanders who stuffed the Destroyer running game and interceptions by each starting defensive back, the Patriots got out to a 24-0 halftime lead. The game, capped off by a long touchdown pass from three-time league MVP Tony Powell to Steve Trudo and a defensive stop inside 2 minutes remaining secured the final outcome.
The Patriots’ first league championship in franchise history proved to be extra sweet with the results from the prior two years, coming so close last year against the Racine Raiders. The mistakes made in the past were not made and this year were forced on the opponent. The Patriots took advantage of those mistakes for their first shutout of the year. Also, team co-founder and inaugural head coach Steve Strimel was inducted into the MSFL Hall of Fame at halftime, the team’s first honoree.
The win culminates a perfect 12-0 season in the MSFL and 13-1 overall. The Patriots move on to post-season play in an attempt to win their first national championship. Future games will be announced at www.lincolnwaypatriots.org when they are finalized.
For more information about the Lincoln-Way Patriots, including tryout and sponsorship opportunities, please email Tyson Roth at email@example.com.
The reigning two-time Most Valuable Player Tony Powell threw for a Mid States Football League record eight touchdown passes against the Quad City Raiders on July 30th. The nifty Quarterback was 16 for 28 with 421 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions in the Lincoln-Way Patriots 65-46 victory. In the 17 years of the leagues’ existence, no player has thrown for more than seven touchdowns in a game. Highlights of the record breaking game can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8qG5lHUBbc
“ I was just excited that I would have a record in the league” said Powell. Powell’s last touchdown came on a 49-yard jailbreak screen to Lex Jackson to help seal the Patriots victory. “My teammates said they were going to stay in for another possession just so I could get it and that means a lot coming from my teammates,” said Powell.
After the 2015 MSFL season, Powell earned his first professional football contract with the Chicago Blitz of the American Indoor Football League. Powell won his one and only start for the Blitz in the 2016 season before leaving the team to focus with the Patriots. “ I was glad to help out with the Blitz but they were aware of where my heart was, they understood and honored my honesty and wished me well” said Powell about returning to the Patriots this season.
In High school Powell was named 2007 Northwest Times Player of the Year and All State before he graduated in 2008. The journey has not always been easy for the often-labeled undersized 5’11” 170 pound quarterback. When he first joined the Patriots in 2013, his role was much different. “When I first came to the team I played corner, I played about three to four possessions a game” said Powell. It was at this point that the now two time MSFL MVP really found a new love for the game. “I really came for the love of the game. I missed playing in high school so I just wanted to get back out there” said Powell.
While Powell has always performed when called on, he did not even expect what was to come next. “ I did not expect to have the success that I have, but I am truly grateful for it and all my teammates that have even made it possible. The credit belongs to them,” said Powell.
The Lincoln-Way Patriots have been undefeated in regular season play the last two seasons, and continue that streak with a 7-0 record so far this season. The Red and White have outscored their opponents with a margin of 357-145, but that does not mean anything according to their offensive team captain. “We as a whole have everything left to accomplish… we are working hard toward our goal, which is to win a league championship and then play for a national title as well” said Powell.
Powell leads the MSFL in touchdown passes, yards, completions, completion percentage, and touchdown percentage through seven games.
MSFL Top 3 Passing Leaders through Week 7
Lincoln-Way – Tony Powell – 124/184, 2047 yards, 36 TDS, 4 INTS
Racine – Anthony Johnson – 113/188, 1836 yards, 21 TDS, 9 INTS
Rockton – Brad Dement – 99/165, 1233 yards, 11 TDS, 10 INTS
The Lincoln-Way Patriots moved to 3-0 this season in conference play after defeating the Chicago Thunder 21-7 this past weekend following a bye week.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Patriots broke into the scoring collumn first when quarterback Tony Powell connected with Steve Trudo on a 10-yard touchdown pass. Trudo caught the swing pass on the right hash and evaded tacklers while he scampered into the end zone. Rafael Alvarado’s extra point put the Red and White up 7-0 with 3:06 remaining in the half.
With the Thunder trying to get a drive together before the end of the half, Patriots’ defensive lineman Perry Sanders made a jumping interception at the line of scrimmage and preceded to return it 32-yards for a touchdown. “They were trying to set up a screen. I had my head on a swivel trying to locate the running back, then the quarterback tried to lob the ball over my head. All I could think was catch the ball” said Perry.
The turnover gave the Patriots a two score edge entering the break. “ I thought someone would catch me from behind, I really think I wouldn’t score until I crossed the goal line” said the 330 pound defensive tackle.
The Thunder would make things interesting in the fourth quarter when Alvarado attempted a 52-yard field goal which sailed just short, and then was returned to the Patriots 12-yard line. After touchdown pass was called back by penalty, the Thunder would capitalize on a 6-yard touchdown run by Darelli Middleton. The Patriots lead was slimmed down to 14-7 with 10:31 remaining in the fourth.
Following the Thunder’s score, Anthony Hughes returned the following kickoff 37 yards out to the Patriots 46-yard line. After the nice return, Powell took the Patriots on a six-play drive completing a perfect four-for-four, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Javonte Keys in the front right corner of the end zone with a defensive back trailing right behind him. “ I am just trying to get my team that W by any means possible” said Keys. That concluded the scoring with 7:27 remaining in the game. “ When my number is called I will be there to answer just like I trust every single one of my teammates to do the exact same” said Keys.
The Patriots defense forced four interceptions against the Thunder. Interceptions came from Perry, Alex Fuller, Frank Redding, and Chris Muhammad. The tough and physical defense has now only allowed 46 points through the first three games, which leads the Mid States Football League Southern Conference. “Our great defensive line play is freeing up our linebackers to make plays and puts good pressure on the quarterback without blitzing that creates trouble for anyone playing us” said Sanders.
The (0-3) Chicago Mustangs will travel to visit the (3-0) Patriots this Saturday July 16th. Kickoff is set for 6:00 PM at Anderson high school. The game can be seen live on www.Chicagolandprepreport.com with Tim Mather and Tyson Roth on the call.
Patriot Season Leaders through Week 3:
Passing: Tony Powell: 51-77, 754 yards, 12 TDs, 2 INTs
Rushing: Calvin Phillips: 23 carries, 270 yards, 11.74 AVG, 4 TDs
Receiving: Steve Trudo: 20 catches, 251 yards, 4 TDs
Tackles: Greg Barksdale, Tyrell Webster: 15
Sacks: Arlander Wade: 3
Interceptions: DeTaureo Harrington, Chris Muhammad: 2
Kicking: Rafael Alvarado: 19/19 XP
Punting: Rafael Alvarado: 5 punts, 190 yards, 38.00 AVG, 3 In 20, Long 55
Kick Return: Chris Muhammad: 4 returns, 94 yards
Punt Return: Chris Muhammad: 2 returns, 68 yards
The Lincoln-Way Patriots defeated the Rockton Rush 56-20 on Saturday night June 25th. The Patriots have now outscored their opponents by a total of 79 points in their first two games of the regular season after defeating the Quad City Raiders 62-19 in week one of conference play.
The Patriot offense did not miss a beat, accounting for 494 total yards of offense vs. the Raiders. “ We have been able to have success early in the season offensively because of everyone’s willingness to get to practice. Not only do our guys show up, but they show up to work and it allows us to develop chemistry that we are only going to build on” said Quarterback Tony Powell. The two-time league MVP Powell threw a season high six touchdown passes on 19 of 27 passing and 311 yards.
Running back Calvin Phillips carried the load for the red and white, rushing for 148 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. With the Patriots leading 42-20 in the third quarter, Phillips broke lose for an 85-yard touchdown. The offensive line created a nice whole up the middle where he then had nothing but green grass in front of him to help give the Patriots a comfortable 49-20 lead.
2015 Patriot standout Lex Jackson had three receiving touchdowns, including an incredible one-handed touchdown snag in the first quarter to put the Patriots up 14-0. Jackson led the receiving core with 91 receiving yards along with his four catches. After Steve Trudo’s impressive three-touchdown performance last week vs. Quad City, he led the Patriots with five receptions for 52 yards. Javonte Keys, Oojay Wilkerson, and Phillips all had one receiving touchdowns as well.
For the second consecutive game, the Patriots were fundamentally sound on defense. They had five tackles for loss, two interceptions, two sacks, and one forced fumble. Linebacker Greg Barksdale leads the Patriots with 13 tackles through two games, with Tyrell Webster right behind with 12.
Kicker Rafael Alvarado was a perfect eight-for-eight on extra points, and also had three touchbacks on kickoffs. His only punt sailed 54 yards landing inside the 20. Cornerback Chris Muhammad had one interception, and also ran back a punt 30 yards into Thunder territory.
The Patriots (2-0) will have a bye this week and resume action on July 9th at 7:00PM vs. the Chicago Thunder (1-1). The Thunder had a tough loss last week losing to the Quad City Raiders 44-42. “It is always a great game, I expect this to be no different” said Powell.
The Patriots will play at Mustang Stadium at 1436 Norfolk Downers Grove, IL 60516. Lincoln-Way defeated the Thunder in week four last season 45-28.