Monday, August 24, 2009

Semipro football in Indianapolis

Above: The Indiana Warriors' Kendall Williams begins his return of a punt in the third quarter of the team's 30-0 loss to the Chicago Wolvervines in their NAFL game Saturday at Manual High School.

No less than three semipro football teams make Indianapolis their home -- the Indianapolis Tornados and Indiana Warriors of the North American Football League and the Indiana Generals of the Interstate Football League.

In addition to playing in the same expansive league, the Tornados and Warriors play in the same division: the Motor Belt Division. The Tornados play their home games at Park Tudor School; the Warriors at Manual High School, while the Generals call Arlington High School their home.

It was at Manual that the Warriors, playing their second year in the NAFL, met the Chicago Wolverines on Saturday night in a rematch of a contest the Warriors had won 7-6 in Chicago two weeks earlier. This time, however, the Warriors were on the losing end of a 30-0 drubbing, dropping their season record to 3-5.

The Warriors have two games left on their schedule this season, and both are 7 p.m. home games: Sept. 12 vs. the Nashville Storm and Sept. 19 vs. the Louisville Saints.

Above: A Wolverines player (25) seems overmatched in this blocking assignment of a Warriors lineman.

Above: The Warriors' Cornelius Edmond (20) gets just enough of the Wolverines' running back's leg to trip him up for a tackle.

Above: Kenny Martin (11) just manages to get a pass off before being slammed by a Wolverines defender.

Indiana Warriors quarterback Kenny Martin (above) takes a pounding from two Chicago Wolverines linemen in a third quarter sack.

Above: A grimacing Greg O'Bannon walked off the field gingerly, complaining of a hip pointer. He was back in the game a few minutes later.

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