September 26, 2023

Press Box Report

Sports in Central and North East Indiana

Wolverines upset the Firehawks, and going to Conference championship game. UFL divisional recap.

3 min read

Brien Mitchum

From the Press Box

Liberty Conference

#2 Indianapolis Firehawk’s (8-2) vs #3 Fort Wayne Wolverines (7-4)

It’s no question that the Firehawks have had the Fort Wayne Wolverines number this year beating them in week one 14-6 and in week six in a shootout 48-44 and so they had all that under them going into this game, but what they did not have was the momentum that the Wolverines had gained in the last three weeks, beating the Calvary Knights, Grand Rapids Surge and last week shutting the down the West Michigan Patriots.

Both teams knew coming into this game it would be another tough battle and it did not disappoint despite the field change from Beech Grove Highschool to a city park and some time clock issues, the Firehawks would come out swinging first and score on a long pass play to go up 6-0 and convert the 2-pt conversion to make it 8-0. The Wolverines would turn it over on 4th down deep in Firehawk territory, and the Firehawks would once again capitalize on that on score to go up 14-0 at this point the momentum was all in the Firehawks hands, the Wolverines would get into the endzone just before the half and make it 14-6.

Wolverines would get the ball back to start the third and drive and the action would not pick up until the 4th quarter when #10 QB Joe Stiegmeyer did what he has been doing all season and runs for a 65-yard touchdown breaking the Firehawks defense legs in the process as they could not tackle him and ties the game up with Boyd running the conversion. This taking the momentum completely away from the the Firehawks. With 5:46 left in the game score was tied at 14 the Firehawks would lose the ball and #20 BJ Underwood would recover the ball and give it back to the Wolverines on their 20-yard line with 5:46 left in the game. The Wolverines offense would take over the game when RB Ja-Shawn Turner Parks would go 70 yards, followed by a 4-yard rush from QB and a 13-yard pass to Tyler Littlejohn putting them on the 2-yard line of the Firehawks. And the next play #10 again would run it in himself for a score putting Fort Wayne up with another good conversion to make it 22-14. The Firehawks just could not get anything back and would throw the ball right to Wolverines defender #9 Nick Cook who would seal the deal and Wolverines would shut the door with another touchdown to make it 28-14 and that would be all they needed to send the Firehawks home until next year. The Wolverines will travel to Detroit to take on the Motor City Outlaws in the Liberty Conference championship game next week.

#1 Motor City Outlaws (11-0) 28 vs #4 West Michigan Patriots (2-2) 0

The West Michigan Patriots pretty much got handed a spot in the playoffs in the Liberty conference with teams folding and blew an opportunity after getting blown out by the Wolverines last week, with “Only 19 Players, and resting starters” should have at least showed up for this game but instead they get beat and quit in the 3rd quarter at that point it was little too late to stage a comeback and the Outlaws would win 28-0 and will host the Liberty Conference Championship at home versus the Fort Wayne Wolverines.

American Conference

#1 North Michigan Wolves (10-1) 40 vs # 4 Calvary Knights (4-5) 8

The Wolves would beat the Knights 40 to 8 ending the Knights season and earning them a spot in the American Conference Championship vs the Lansing Lightning.

#2 Lansing Lightning (9-2) 18 vs #3 Grand Rapids Surge 12 (4-7)

This was a great and close game with both teams playing for a spot in the American Conference championship game in the end the Surge just could not pull it out and the Lansing Lightning would come out on top 18-12. Lansing will take on the North Michigan Wolves this coming Saturday.

This has been one crazy season for the UFL, and it is coming to an exciting end in a few weeks who will punch their ticket to the championship game, the prep starts now for the final four.

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