Storm Top Blizzard in Kickoff Classic
Green Bay, WI—The Green Bay Blizzard (0-1) fell behind early Friday night at the Resch Center and could not quite make up enough ground against a very physical Sioux Falls team. Sioux Falls (1-0),the defending IFL champions, gave Green Bay all they could handle beating the Blizzard 64-41.
The IFL’s leading rushing attack from 2012 stumbled out of the gate as the Blizzard, who averaged 104.1 rushing yards per game last season managed only 37 yards, while the Storm rushed for 171. New Blizzard RBs Joshua Murray finished the game with only 10 yards while the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater alum Levell Coppage finished the game with only 11 as well.
Another big question coming into the game was how new Sioux Falls quarterback Martevious Young would replace former quarterback and league MVP Chris Dixon. Young passed with flying colors passing for 152 yards and running for 102 more.
Storm RB Tory Harrison got it started for the Storm with a one yard rushing TD early in the first quarter. Green Bay responded quickly however when QB Donovan Porterie ran it in from a yard out to tie it up at 7-7. Two more rushing touchdowns, another one from Tory Harrison, helped Sioux Falls push the lead to 21-7 before the Blizzard responded once again with two quick TD passes from Porterie to new Blizzard WRs Aaron Kapeliela-Higdon and Charles Dowdell respectively. Green Bay held a slim 21-20 lead before Storm K Parker Douglass was able to add a 34-yard FG with no time remaining in the first half to give the Storm a 24-20 lead.
One of the key plays early in the game occurred when the Blizzard were unable to capitalize on a turnover on downs by the Storm early in the second quarter. Blizzard quarterback Donovan Porterie fumbled on the ensuing possession to give Sioux Falls the ball right back.
Beginning the second half on a slow foot, the Green Bay Blizzard began to fall short to the defending champions. The Storm were able to capitalize on two interceptions by Blizzard QB Donovan Porterie and convert them for touchdowns to help the Storm build a uncatchable lead. Defending IFL Special Teams Player of the Year Mike Tatum for the Storm had Sioux Falls’ only two touchdowns of the third quarter. Tatum snatched a 31 yard TD pass from Young and then added another eight yard run later in the third to give the Storm an 18 point lead. Tatum finished the night with 168 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns
The Blizzard were able to add two more touchdown passes to RB Levell Coppage and WR Ryan Balentine however it was too late as the Storm finished the night with a 25 point victory.
Blizzard QB Porterie finished the game with 228 yards passing and five touchdown passes despite the two interceptions. WR Ryan Balentine lead all Blizzard receivers with 97 yards receiving.
After a bye week the Blizzard will look for their first victory of the season against the Chicago Slaughter on Saturday March 2.