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Arena Football League Players Crossing Over

Adam Markowitz
Friday March 9, 2012


A bizarre night in the Arena Football League got a heck of a lot more bizarre in the second quarter of the clash between the Pittsburgh Power and the Orlando Predators.

Prior to the start of the first game of the 25th season, the Predators put their entire team on recallable assignment, while the Power released their entire roster.

Ivan Soto, the Executive Director of the Arena Football League Players Union (AFLPU) announced on his Twitter account that the AFLPU was officially on strike.

Some of the players crossed the line right at the start of the game. For Orlando, Collin Drafts, the team's starting quarterback was the only player that was confirmed to be playing for the Predators at the outset of the game. It was later confirmed that Simeon Castile, Ronnie Ghent, and Taurian Washington both broke the line and stayed with Orlando.

For Pittsburgh, Andrico Hines, the team's backup quarterback was the main man that came back to the team to play on Friday night. Bryan Williams, Chris LeFlore, Dominie Pittman, Oderick Turner, and Moqut Ruffins were the players that started for the Power.

In the second quarter, Pittsburgh called a timeout just before a third down. One of the team's assistant coaches could be seen on a cell phone. During the timeout, several players ran onto the field for the Power, including Lonnie DeWalt, PJ Berry, and Michael Washington.

It is presumed that these players decided that they were going to play and leave the AFLPU. ArenaFan.com has tried to get in contact with the League representatives at hand to seek the legality of this. There were clearly 16 players for the Power on the field for the pre-game, and there are at least three, and possibly as many as eight for Pittsburgh that have come back to the team. We are trying to confirm that number and the rosters.

After halftime, the Power came out with 22 men. Later, it was confirmed by the League that there are now 22 active players for the Power and 24 active for the Predators. The rest of the teams are comprised of replacement players.

Orlando offensive coordinator Rob Keefe said that the two teams agreed that they are only going to be running a handful of plays on the evening, and there was an agreement to not run onside kicks or mac linebacker blitzes.

The first quarter went scoreless with some ugly drives and plays on both sides. Both teams found the end zone twice in the second quarter, though. Neither team has attempted an extra point and both teams have gone 1-for-2 on 2-point conversions. Pittsburgh took a 20-14 lead on the opening drive of the third quarter after breaking the 14-14 halftime tie.

Keep it locked to ArenaFan.com for further updates on this game.


 
Adam Markowitz is a freelance sports writer living in Orlando. As a Florida State graduate with degrees in music and history, the garnet and gold will forever be a part of him, but he bleeds the black and red of the Orlando Predators like none other. Adam has been following the AFL since 1991 and has been at well over 200 games, including 14 ArenaBowls. You can follow Adam on Twitter @AFLGuru.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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