SteelHawks At The Turn: Ball-Hawks In First Place

steelhawks season

 

In the Professional Indoor Football Season, the teams play 12 games–6 home and 6 away.  This season, things are a bit askew because of the departure of the Harrisburg Stampede (thanks Colston…).  But, here we are–already 6 games in the books (3 home, 3 away) and the SteelHawks are in first place in all of the PIFL at 5-1 headed into this weekend’s games.

 

PIFL STANDINGS

TEAM  W
 L
PCT  PF
 PA
Lehigh Valley Steelhawks* 5 1 .833  322  260
Columbus Lions 4 2 .667  341  310
Nashville Venom 4 2 .667  323  256
Alabama Hammers* 3 3 .500  300  338
Richmond Raiders 3 4 .429  367  355
Trenton Freedom 2 3 .400  232  226
Erie Explosion* 1 4 .200  184  273
*Denotes Non-Conference Win

 

McSweeny back to pass.  Photo Courtesy: SteelHawks

McSweeny back to pass. Photo Courtesy: SteelHawks

The SteelHawks got to the top spot at the turn by beating up on league new-comer Erie twice, cross-river rival and second-to-last place Trenton once, and  a non-league opponent once.  But, they also beat second-place Columbus last week at the PPL Center.  Their only loss was a demolishing by the reigning PIFL champion Nashville Venom in their second game of the season, on the road

.

The second half will be a challenge, but not one that they cannot conquer.  Here is their remaining schedule:

Saturday 5/9:  AT Columbus

Sunday 5/17:  ALABAMA (HOME, 3PM)

Saturday 5/23: BYE

Friday 5/29:  RICHMOND (HOME, 7PM)

Saturday 6/6: TRENTON (HOME, 7PM)

Saturday 6/13: AT Alabama

Saturday 6/20:  BYE

 

Larry Ford rushing the passer.  Photo: SteelHawks

Larry Ford rushing the passer. Photo: SteelHawks

It would seem to be somewhat of an advantage to have three remaining home games against only two away contests.  The big challenge is to make sure that the SteelHawks remain in the top two in the standings.  Plus, remember that only the league games count for playoff seeding, so that will cost the SteelHawks a win.  While the top four teams will make the playoffs, the top two will host the games–we’re really hoping to see some playoff football on the Embassy Bank Field inside the PPL Center in Allentown later this summer.

As you scroll down through the statistics below–current as of last weekend’s games, you’ll see how the SteelHawks are winning games.  They are using a high-efficiency, low-risk offense to move the chains and score.  They’ll use the running game to convert first downs and push the ball across for TDs when necessary.  They are not turning the ball over on offense, and are absolutely “hawking” the ball on defense:  getting turnovers and scoring on their own.  Plus, they’ve got a formidable pass rush led by big Larry Ford and his cohorts.

Much of this pattern can continue in the second half.  QB Shane McSweeny has a strong and accurate arm.  He doesn’t throw INTs and he doesn’t put the ball on the turf.  He’s a tough, straight-ahead runner, too, when the ‘Hawks need it.  His O-Line has been criticized, but at times McSweeny will hold the ball too long.  The straight rushes and QB-draws are a good way for the offensive line to get into rhythm and protect the QB.

McSweeny on the move.  Photo: SteelHawks

McSweeny on the move. Photo: SteelHawks

What to work on in the second half:

On defense:  Columbus used a type of screen or clear-out play three different times where the mid-depth zone on defense was completely open:  Short zones were covered and the deep pass was covered, but the middle was wide open.  They’ll need to tighten up on that a bit or other teams will continue to do that.

On offense:  They need to consider the same type of mid-zone passing–and continue to go deep with the ball in order to keep the opponent’s secondary from pinching in on the short passing game and the running game–stretch the field, even if you sacrifice an incomplete ball once in a while.

"Maxx-T" with the Digital Cloud TD flag!  Photo: SteelHawks

“Maxx-T” with the Digital Cloud TD flag! Photo: SteelHawks

Here are the stats, current as of last weekend:

SCORING OFFENSE          G   TD  XP 2XP DXP  FG Saf  Pts   Avg
--------------------------------------------------------------
1. Columbus Lions......  6   48  36   1   0   2   0  341  56.8
2. Trenton Freedom.....  5   39  22   5   0   1   2  277  55.4
3. Nashville Venom.....  6   44  33   3   0   3   0  323  53.8
4. Lehigh Vy Steelhawks  6   44  25   4   0   6   1  322  53.7
5. Richmond Raiders....  7   49  46   0   0   8   1  374  53.4
6. Alabama Hammers.....  6   43  31   2   0   1   0  300  50.0
7. Saginaw Sting.......  1    6   3   0   0   0   0   40  40.0
8. Marion Blue Racers..  1    6   0   1   0   0   0   38  38.0
9. Erie Explosion......  5   26  14   5   0   1   0  184  36.8
10.ASI Panthers........  1    4   0   1   0   0   0   26  26.0

SCORING DEFENSE          G   TD  XP 2XP DXP  FG Saf  Pts   Avg
--------------------------------------------------------------
1. Nashville Venom.....  6   36  30   1   0   2   1  256  42.7
2. Lehigh Vy Steelhawks  6   37  15   8   0   1   0  263  43.8
3. Trenton Freedom.....  5   30  25   1   0   6   0  232  46.4
4. ASI Panthers........  1    7   4   2   0   0   0   50  50.0
5. Columbus Lions......  6   43  26   2   0   5   2  310  51.7
6. Richmond Raiders....  7   50  37   3   0   3   1  362  51.7
7. Erie Explosion......  5   39  22   2   0   3   0  273  54.6
8. Saginaw Sting.......  1    8   4   0   0   0   0   55  55.0
9. Alabama Hammers.....  6   47  40   1   0   2   0  339  56.5
10.Marion Blue Racers..  1   12   7   2   0   0   0   85  85.0

 

RUSHING OFFENSE          G    Att   Yds   Avg  TD  Yds/G
--------------------------------------------------------
1. Marion Blue Racers..  1     11    99   9.0   1   99.0
2. Lehigh Vy Steelhawks  6     94   375   4.0  15   62.5
3. Trenton Freedom.....  5     45   185   4.1  10   37.0
4. Columbus Lions......  6     57   193   3.4   6   32.2
5. Nashville Venom.....  6     56   130   2.3   6   21.7
6. Erie Explosion......  5     23    90   3.9   6   18.0
7. Saginaw Sting.......  1      9    16   1.8   1   16.0
8. Alabama Hammers.....  6     35    57   1.6   8    9.5
9. Richmond Raiders....  7     25    42   1.7   6    6.0
10.ASI Panthers........  1      6    -1  -0.2   1   -1.0

RUSH ATTEMPTS            G    Att   Yds   Avg  TD  Yds/G
--------------------------------------------------------
1. Lehigh Vy Steelhawks  6     94   375   4.0  15   62.5
2. Columbus Lions......  6     57   193   3.4   6   32.2
3. Nashville Venom.....  6     56   130   2.3   6   21.7
4. Trenton Freedom.....  5     45   185   4.1  10   37.0
5. Alabama Hammers.....  6     35    57   1.6   8    9.5
6. Richmond Raiders....  7     25    42   1.7   6    6.0
7. Erie Explosion......  5     23    90   3.9   6   18.0
8. Marion Blue Racers..  1     11    99   9.0   1   99.0
9. Saginaw Sting.......  1      9    16   1.8   1   16.0
10.ASI Panthers........  1      6    -1  -0.2   1   -1.0

RUSH YARDS               G    Att   Yds   Avg  TD  Yds/G
--------------------------------------------------------
1. Lehigh Vy Steelhawks  6     94   375   4.0  15   62.5
2. Columbus Lions......  6     57   193   3.4   6   32.2
3. Trenton Freedom.....  5     45   185   4.1  10   37.0
4. Nashville Venom.....  6     56   130   2.3   6   21.7
5. Marion Blue Racers..  1     11    99   9.0   1   99.0
6. Erie Explosion......  5     23    90   3.9   6   18.0
7. Alabama Hammers.....  6     35    57   1.6   8    9.5
8. Richmond Raiders....  7     25    42   1.7   6    6.0
9. Saginaw Sting.......  1      9    16   1.8   1   16.0
10.ASI Panthers........  1      6    -1  -0.2   1   -1.0

RUSHING TDS              G    Att   Yds   Avg  TD  Yds/G
--------------------------------------------------------
1. Lehigh Vy Steelhawks  6     94   375   4.0  15   62.5
2. Trenton Freedom.....  5     45   185   4.1  10   37.0
3. Alabama Hammers.....  6     35    57   1.6   8    9.5
4. Richmond Raiders....  7     25    42   1.7   6    6.0
   Nashville Venom.....  6     56   130   2.3   6   21.7
   Columbus Lions......  6     57   193   3.4   6   32.2
   Erie Explosion......  5     23    90   3.9   6   18.0
8. Saginaw Sting.......  1      9    16   1.8   1   16.0
   Marion Blue Racers..  1     11    99   9.0   1   99.0
   ASI Panthers........  1      6    -1  -0.2   1   -1.0

PASS EFFICIENCY          G   Att  Cmp   Pct  Int  Yds TD Effic
--------------------------------------------------------------
1. Trenton Freedom.....  5   152   96  63.2    5 1239 26 106.8
2. Marion Blue Racers..  1    37   23  62.2    6  271  5 106.0
3. Lehigh Vy Steelhawks  6   192  114  59.4    2 1196 19 105.0
4. Columbus Lions......  6   216  131  60.6   10 1657 38 104.7
5. Nashville Venom.....  6   207  123  59.4   10 1537 32 103.7
6. ASI Panthers........  1    40   23  57.5    4  228  3 102.1
7. Richmond Raiders....  7   294  166  56.5   13 1951 39 101.2
8. Erie Explosion......  5   197  104  52.8   15 1018 17  98.2
9. Alabama Hammers.....  6   262  132  50.4   11 1725 34  96.2
10.Saginaw Sting.......  1    43   21  48.8    4  222  4  94.9

PASS OFFENSE             G   Att  Cmp Int  Pct.  Yds  Avg TD Yds/G
------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Alabama Hammers.....  6   262  132  11  50.4 1725  6.6 34 287.5
2. Richmond Raiders....  7   294  166  13  56.5 1951  6.6 39 278.7
3. Columbus Lions......  6   216  131  10  60.6 1657  7.7 38 276.2
4. Marion Blue Racers..  1    37   23   6  62.2  271  7.3  5 271.0
5. Nashville Venom.....  6   207  123  10  59.4 1537  7.4 32 256.2
6. Trenton Freedom.....  5   152   96   5  63.2 1239  8.2 26 247.8
7. ASI Panthers........  1    40   23   4  57.5  228  5.7  3 228.0
8. Saginaw Sting.......  1    43   21   4  48.8  222  5.2  4 222.0
9. Erie Explosion......  5   197  104  15  52.8 1018  5.2 17 203.6
10.Lehigh Vy Steelhawks  6   192  114   2  59.4 1196  6.2 19 199.3


PASS DEFENSE             G   Att  Cmp Int  Pct.  Yds  Avg TD Yds/G
------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Erie Explosion......  5   148   95   5  64.2 1080  7.3 20 216.0
2. Marion Blue Racers..  1    25   17   0  68.0  216  8.6  5 216.0
3. Trenton Freedom.....  5   196  109   3  55.6 1127  5.8 20 225.4
4. Saginaw Sting.......  1    51   25   1  49.0  238  4.7  7 238.0
5. Nashville Venom.....  6   238  114  14  47.9 1444  6.1 24 240.7
6. ASI Panthers........  1    39   23   4  59.0  251  6.4  5 251.0
7. Richmond Raiders....  7   257  136   9  52.9 1776  6.9 37 253.7
8. Alabama Hammers.....  6   229  135  14  59.0 1544  6.7 33 257.3
9. Lehigh Vy Steelhawks  6   222  144  19  64.9 1616  7.3 30 269.3
10.Columbus Lions......  6   235  135  11  57.4 1752  7.5 36 292.0

PASS INTERCEPTIONS       G   Att  Cmp Int  Pct.  Yds  Avg TD Yds/G
------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Lehigh Vy Steelhawks  6   192  114   2  59.4 1196  6.2 19 199.3
2. Saginaw Sting.......  1    43   21   4  48.8  222  5.2  4 222.0
   ASI Panthers........  1    40   23   4  57.5  228  5.7  3 228.0
4. Trenton Freedom.....  5   152   96   5  63.2 1239  8.2 26 247.8
5. Marion Blue Racers..  1    37   23   6  62.2  271  7.3  5 271.0
6. Columbus Lions......  6   216  131  10  60.6 1657  7.7 38 276.2
   Nashville Venom.....  6   207  123  10  59.4 1537  7.4 32 256.2
8. Alabama Hammers.....  6   262  132  11  50.4 1725  6.6 34 287.5
9. Richmond Raiders....  7   294  166  13  56.5 1951  6.6 39 278.7
10.Erie Explosion......  5   197  104  15  52.8 1018  5.2 17 203.6

INTERCEPTION RETURNS     G   No.  Yds   TD   Avg
------------------------------------------------
1. Lehigh Vy Steelhawks  6    19  317    7  16.7
2. Alabama Hammers.....  6    14  160    0  11.4
   Nashville Venom.....  6    14  177    3  12.6
4. Columbus Lions......  6    11  127    3  11.5
5. Richmond Raiders....  7     9   90    2  10.0
6. Erie Explosion......  5     5   54    2  10.8
7. ASI Panthers........  1     4    1    0   0.2
8. Trenton Freedom.....  5     3   57    1  19.0
9. Saginaw Sting.......  1     1   16    0  16.0
10.Marion Blue Racers..  1     0    0    0   0.0

        |--Gained--||---Lost---|
TURNOVER MARGIN          G  Fum Int Tot Fum Int Tot Mar  Per/G
--------------------------------------------------------------
1. Lehigh Vy Steelhawks  6    6  19  25   1   2   3 +22   3.67
2. Nashville Venom.....  6    5  14  19   4  10  14  +5   0.83
3. Columbus Lions......  6    4  11  15   4  10  14  +1   0.17
4. Richmond Raiders....  7    9   9  18   4  13  17  +1   0.14
5. Alabama Hammers.....  6    3  14  17   7  11  18  -1  -0.17
6. Trenton Freedom.....  5    4   3   7   5   5  10  -3  -0.60
7. ASI Panthers........  1    0   4   4   2   4   6  -2  -2.00
8. Erie Explosion......  5    3   5   8   5  15  20 -12  -2.40
9. Saginaw Sting.......  1    0   1   1   0   4   4  -3  -3.00
10.Marion Blue Racers..  1    0   0   0   2   6   8  -8  -8.00


See you at the arena,
@Kram209





Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Steel Hawks

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