I can’t believe we are already in week four of the Indoor Football League 2023 season. Some teams and players have begun to separate from the pack, while injuries have brought some teams back to Earth. Quarterbacks seem to be dropping like flies, whether by injury like Darius James Peterson, Drew Powell, or Daquan Neal, release like Gio Sanders, or being called up to the next level like now Vegas Vipers quarterback D’Angelo Fulford. This puts pressure on these teams to perform with new shot callers under center, and it has led to mixed results so far.
Indoor Football League Saturday Triple Header
Up first this week are two teams that could use a win to build momentum. We have the Duke City Gladiators hosting the Tulsa Oilers with new quarterback Joshua Shim now on board. Shim played overseas in Japan in recent years. On the Gladiators side you have the IFL’s version of Peyton Manning, Nate Davis, one of the greatest indoor football quarterbacks of all-time.
The next game to kick off will be the two Arizona teams facing off for a leg up in the Western division. With the Rattlers currently 1-1, and the Sugar Skulls 1-0, this game could prove to be a chance for the Sugar Skulls to pull ahead of the Rattlers early in the season. However, if the Rattlers can manage to pull out a victory here, they could quickly close any gap between them and Tucson. In this one we get to see former IFL rookie of the year Ramone Atkins potentially face off against IFL Legend Chris Dixon an Arizona native who served as their quarterbacks/running backs coach previously. He will suit up after a multi-year hiatus from the game. Last playing in 2017. Even if Dixon plays, we could still see Jorge Reyna get some snaps considering his abilities.
Just an hour later we will see the kickoff of the San Diego Strike Force versus the Las Vegas Knighthawks. The Strike Force will attempt to lay siege to the Knighthawks in their own house, The Dollar Loan Center. The Vegas fans have done a great job of packing the house so far leading to a solid home field advantage for Mike Davis’s team. Word is Daquan Neal will miss this game, and that wide receiver coach Tysson Poots will be calling plays this upcoming week as Mike Davis will be unavailable for this game. This is a huge opportunity for the young former player to showcase he has what it takes to someday soon run his own team.
With Neal reportedly injured, it would be backup Joe Mancuso who would get to play. Mancuso spent time with the Indianapolis Colts last season, and ironically could have been the reason Neal didn’t get signed by the Colts after his workout with the team. Although Mancuso didn’t stick either, and ended up in Winnipeg with the Blue Bombers. Ultimately he was released in August of 2022, and Mike Davis, who understands how the CFL game translates indoors better than anyone would end up signing him.
It’s hard to bill any week 4 match up as must win, but the Sioux Falls Storm find themselves 0-1, while the Iowa Barnstormers are 0-2 and working with their backup quarterback an IFL rookie. If Reader can play a disciplined game, and stay calm under the pressure I expect to come early and often from the Storm defense, we could see Iowa pull out their first victory in this game. Coach Mogensen told me “I’m honestly pretty comfortable with Zach Reader, the guy has been a wizard at times with the scout team, and made some really great throws Friday.” Obviously Reader made some rookie mistakes as well, so it remains to be seen how he plays in this one. The Storm are coming off their first loss of the season in their only game played so far, however that doesn’t tell the whole story.
The Storm defense held their opponent to 36 points, which places them 4th in per game average for points allowed. The issue was, their offense only scored 34 points, and they lost, a heart breaking moment for Storm fans. If the defense can repeat their performance against a rookie quarterback, then Iowa could be in for a long day with this talented secondary.
Also check out our new show every other week on Saturday mornings discussing all the latest indoor or arena football news from the IFL, CIF, and NAL with an expert for that league. Co-hosted by Arena Football Statement, with guests Krish Vyas, and Big Boy Sports, last week we discussed all the latest news, and some emerging storylines for the season so far.
If you are a fan of outdoor alternative football as well, here is a similar show discussing USFL/XFL as well every week Monday at 9:30 pm ET.