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ArenaFan Live Week 19 AFL Blog (Updated 10:45 PM)

Adam Markowitz
Saturday July 27, 2013


The final night of the 2013 AFL season is upon us, and ArenaFan's Adam Markowitz is going to be following all of the action from the Amway Center between the Orlando Predators and the New Orleans VooDoo. Not only will we be covering all of the action in the biggest game of the weekend, but we will be following all of the ins and outs of the league live, including notable performances, score updates, and milestones that are being reached for the season. Everything you need to know about the final push to the playoffs is right here at ArenaFan.com!

FINAL UPDATE The regular season is officially over with for the 2013 season, and the playoffs are now set. Philadelphia choked away its chance to be the No. 1 seed in the American Conference by losing to San Antonio, and now, the punishment is taking on the No. 3 Predators instead of the No. 4 Storm. Tampa Bay and Jacksonville will renew ties for the second strraight week after the Philly loss. However, San Antonio becomes a rare above-.500 team to not qualify for the playoffs in AFL history.

Update 10:45 PM - The Predators are in the playoffs, and they are likely going to be heading up I-4 and I-95 to Jacksonville to take on the Sharks. Orlando has beaten New Orleans 71-42 to claim the last playoff spot in the American Conference. The Preds will be the #3 seed in the American Conference playoffs after Tampa Bay was beaten by the Sharks in Jacksonville. The Storm are going to be the #4 seed at 7-11. The only question left is whether Philadelphia can figure out how to take down San Antonio or not. If the Talons win this game, Philly will be the #2 seed and will host Orlando. If the Soul prove to be victorious, they will snare the #1 seed and host Tampa Bay.

In the National Conference, the controversy over the #1 seed is now said and done with, and there is no explanation that is needed. The Rattlers dominated the Barnstormers, winning 84-45, locking up the #1 seed. Arizona will host San Jose next week, while the Shock, who won on Friday night, will take on Chicago in Spokane.

ArenaFan will have postgame interviews from Coach O'Hara and Coach Plank on tonight's game later this evening.

ORLANDO 71 - NEW ORLEANS 42 (F)
JACKSONVILLE 52 - TAMPA BAY 44 (F)
ARIZONA 84 - IOWA
 45 (F)
PHILADELPHIA 21 - SAN ANTONIO 13 (3Q)

Update 9:50 PM - Two more Orlando personal foul penalties really hampered the offense's production on the next drive in the Jungle, but Aaron Garcia was able to hit Prechae Rodriguez for a TD to once again push the lead up to three scores and put the VooDoo within just a few short minutes of their grave. The Preds look like they are on their way to Jacksonville next week, as the Sharks have forced a third straight turnover and have pushed the Storm to the brink. Jacksonville is up 17 with the ball. Dan Raudabaugh was picked off for the Soul, putting San Antonio back on terms momentarily, but they were stopped on downs the next drive.
ORLANDO 64 - NEW ORLEANS 42 (10:55 4Q)
JACKSONVILLE 45 - TAMPA BAY 28 (START 4Q)
ARIZONA 42 - IOWA
 12 (START 3Q)
PHILADELPHIA 7 - SAN ANTONIO 6 (START 2Q)

Update 9:35 PM - Two more Orlando personal foul penalties really hampered the offense's production on the next drive in the Jungle, but Aaron Garcia was able to hit Prechae Rodriguez for a TD to once again push the lead up to three scores and put the VooDoo within just a few short minutes of their grave. The Preds look like they are on their way to Jacksonville next week, as the Sharks have forced a third straight turnover and have pushed the Storm to the brink. Jacksonville is up 17 with the ball. Dan Raudabaugh was picked off for the Soul, putting San Antonio back on terms momentarily, but they were stopped on downs the next drive.
ORLANDO 64 - NEW ORLEANS 42 (10:55 4Q)
JACKSONVILLE 45 - TAMPA BAY 28 (START 4Q)
ARIZONA 42 - IOWA
 12 (START 3Q)
PHILADELPHIA 7 - SAN ANTONIO 6 (START 2Q)

Update 9:25 PM - The Storm are in some trouble at this point, and they appear as though they're headed to Philadelphia next week. A Shane Boyd pick six and took away a chance to take the lead in the game for the first time since early on, and a fumble returned for a touchdown . New Orleans drove down the field and scored on a well-designed Chris Dixon QB sweep with the help of three of personal fouls on the Predators. The Soul have their first stop of the game on downs as well, and they are already counting down the minutes until the No. 1 seed is in their grasps.
ORLANDO 57 - NEW ORLEANS 42 (10:55 4Q)
JACKSONVILLE 38 - TAMPA BAY 28 (START 4Q)
ARIZONA 42 - IOWA
 12 (HT)
PHILADELPHIA 7 - SAN ANTONIO 6 (6:16 1Q)

Update 9:15 PM - Just one quarter left in the season for either New Orleans or Orlando. The Predators have a chokehold on the game though, as they got a 23-yard TD to Maurice Williams to open up the biggest lead of the game. Tampa Bay mustered a half stop, holding Jacksonville to just a field goal in the third quarter. Robert Kent, playing in his first AFL game, threw a 38-yard touchdown pass on his first career attempt. Philly is down early to San Antonio, but the teams are still level in terms of stops.
ORLANDO 57 - NEW ORLEANS 35 (13:55 4Q)
JACKSONVILLE 31 - TAMPA BAY 28 (5:00 3Q)
ARIZONA 42 - IOWA
 12 (0:08 2Q)
SAN
 ANTONIO 6 - PHILADELPHIA 0 (13:58 1Q)

Update 9:05 PM - On 4th and 3, Tampa Bay found paydirt and was able to tie up the Sharks with a Joe Hills TD reception. JJ Raterink's season appears to be said and done with, as Iowa has turned to Brian Reader to come into the game with a four-score deficit. Raterink went 5-of-16 for 53 yards with no scores and three INTs tonight in one of the worst games in AFL history. Orlando has its grip on a playoff spot perhaps once and for all, as it is up 50-35 with the ball after a stop on downs.
ORLANDO 50 - NEW ORLEANS 35 (1:49 3Q)
JACKSONVILLE 28 - TAMPA BAY 21 (HT)
ARIZONA 35 - IOWA
 12 (1:18 2Q)

Update 8:55 PM - Virgil Gray has picked up his 15th INT of the season, which is just one short of the all-time record for the most picks in a single season. He is now the 16th man in league history to have two INTs returned for a touchdown in the same game. Arizona back on cruise control after yet another stop on the next possession. Prechae Rodriguez is back in the game for the Preds, but Julius Wilson, arguably the team's best offensive lineman limped off the field with an apparent leg injury. Rodriguez scored a short touchdown to restore the lead to 15 for Orlando. 
ORLANDO 50 - NEW ORLEANS 35 (5:49 3Q)
JACKSONVILLE 28 - TAMPA BAY 21 (HT)
ARIZONA 28 - IOWA
 6 (6:12 2Q)

Update 8:50 PM - Down 16, the VooDoo were facing 4th and 10, which essentially was 4th and the season, and Chris Dixon stepped up and hit Donovan Morgan for a 25-yard touchdown to keep the game alive. Meanwhile at the Well, Iowa has come up with a stop, and it is back within just one stop of the Rattlers.
ORLANDO 44 - NEW ORLEANS 35 (9:51 3Q)
JACKSONVILLE 28 - TAMPA BAY 21 (HT)
ARIZONA 21 - IOWA
 6 (11:50 2Q)

Update 8:45 PM - Orlando is dominating the time of possession battle right now, as New Orleans has only had its hands on the ball for 8:27 of this game. TT Toliver opened up the second half with a long touchdown reception, a pass which put Aaron Garcia over 5,000 yards for the season, marking the first time in his career which he has reached the 5,000-yard barrier. Garcia is 22/29 tonight with 227 yards and five TDs. Tampa Bay missed a 30-yard field goal as the half expired, and it is going to be down seven going into the second half. The Rattlers head into the second quarter with the ball and a 15-point cushion.
ORLANDO 44 - NEW ORLEANS 28 (13:31 3Q)
JACKSONVILLE 28 - TAMPA BAY 21 (HT)
ARIZONA 21 - IOWA
 6 (Start 2Q)

Update 8:35 PM - The second half is about set to get started for the VooDoo and the Preds with Orlando getting the ball first with a shot to take a 16-point lead out of the blocks. Jacksonville got a Josh Philpart touchdown with just 0:29 left in the first half to put the Sharks back on top, but Tampa Bay has one more chance to tie going into the locker room. Contrary to prior reports, Bernard Morris has not been ejected, but he is likely out for the rest of the game. The Storm will start with the ball in the second half. Iowa got on the board late in the first quarter, but it still has a long way to go to get back into the game.
ORLANDO 37 - NEW ORLEANS 28 (HT)
JACKSONVILLE 28 - TAMPA BAY 21 (0:18 2Q)
ARIZONA 21 - IOWA
 6 (0:35 1Q)

Update 8:30 PM - Rod Windsor has a second long TD to his credit, catching a 38-yard score to put the Rattlers up 14-0 on Iowa. One play later, Virgil Gray took an INT 45 yards the other direction for a TD. It's clear that Arizona means business tonight, and if this keeps up, the tiebreaker issue won't be a problem for the league. Tampa Bay scored a touchdown on fourth and goal in its quest to lock up the No. 3 seed in the American Conference, which would setup a date with Jacksonville again next week.
ORLANDO 37 - NEW ORLEANS 28 (HT)
JACKSONVILLE 21 - TAMPA BAY 21 (0:44 2Q)
ARIZONA 21 - IOWA
 0 (5:40 1Q)

Update 8:25 PM - New Orleans had a chance to get its second straight stop but couldn't come up with a stop on fourth down. Orlando got a long pass play to TT Toliver to setup the Maurice Williams touchdown that gave the team a two-score lead going into the half. It was a crippling score against the VooDoo, who very well could be down 16 points the next time they get the football. Orlando gets it first out of the break. The Barnstormers turned the ball over on their first drive of the game, as JJ Raterink threw an INT. We've gotten word that Bernard Morris was ejected from the game against the Storm, which means that Kyle Rowley is going to be going the rest of the way for the Sharks. 
ORLANDO 37 - NEW ORLEANS 28 (HT)
JACKSONVILLE 21 - TAMPA BAY 14 (0:53 2Q)
ARIZONA 7 - IOWA
 0 (7:58 1Q)

Update 8:15 PM - After a failed attempt at an onside kick, the VooDoo struggled, but ultimately got into the end zone with a great catch by LJ Castile over the boards in the end zone. Still 37 seconds left in the half. Rowley picked up Jacksonville's second rushing touchdown of the night from one-yard out to give the Sharks a seven-point lead again. Morris is reportedly on the Jacksonville bench, but there is no update at this time on his condition. Arizona started off its game to clinch the No. 1 seed by scoring on a 45-yard TD pass to Rod Windsor.
ORLANDO 31 - NEW ORLEANS 28 (0:37 2Q)
JACKSONVILLE 21 - TAMPA BAY 14 (5:42 2Q)
ARIZONA 7 - IOWA
 0 (14:25 1Q)

Update 8:05 PM - The VooDoo have a shot to get back in it. The Preds couldn't capitalize on the short field and ended up settling for a short Mark Lewis field goal to go up 31-21. Morris remains out for the Sharks, but a 30-yard TD pass from Shane Boyd to Justin Hilton has put the Storm back on level terms.
ORLANDO 31 - NEW ORLEANS 21 (0:56 2Q)
JACKSONVILLE 14 - TAMPA BAY 14 (8:26 2Q)

Update 8:00 PM - Drama unfolding in both Orlando and in Jacksonville. The Sharks are back on terms after recovering a Tampa Bay fumble, but Kyle Rowley has had to take over under center after Bernard Morris left the game injured. Jacksonville has taken a 14-7 lead in the second quarter. In Orlando, an intentional pass interference penalty set up a short touchdown run by Bryce Tennison. The VooDoo tried an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff but failed. The Predators are now setup to once again take a two-score lead.
ORLANDO 28 - NEW ORLEANS 21 (3:18 2Q)
JACKSONVILLE 14 - TAMPA BAY 7 (10:42 2Q)

Update 7:50 PM - Orlando gets its second big break of the game, as a deep pass down the field by Chris Dixon gets picked off by Cortez Stubbs, playing in his first game with the Preds. The Predators have taken a commanding two-score lead on the struggling VooDoo, who are seeing their season hang in the balance. Jacksonville answered Tampa Bay's touchdown with a TD of its own. Bernard Morris is 8-of-9 for 73 yards with a rushing touchdown. Arizona and Iowa in "the game that may or may not actually mean anything" kicks off in about 10 minutes.
ORLANDO 28 - NEW ORLEANS 14 (4:51 2Q)
TAMPA BAY 7 - JACKSONVILLE 7 (END 1Q)

Update 7:40 PM - The Preds, still playing without Prechae Rodriguez, punched one in the end zone thanks to TT Toliver scoring his 226th career touchdown. Orlando still up a stop, but the offense could be in some trouble without Rodriguez. Tampa Bay has started off with an interception to immediately go up a stop on Jacksonville. Shane Boyd made the turnover pay with a 1-yard rushing score. Soul fans have to be happy right now with the way the Jacksonville game started.
ORLANDO 21 - NEW ORLEANS 14 (10:23 2Q)
TAMPA BAY 7 - JACKSONVILLE 0 (8:58 1Q)

Update 7:35 PM - A brutal first quarter with lots of hard hitting in Orlando. The VooDoo just missed an opportunity to get a stop on defense following a Donovan Morgan touchdown grab on the ensuing drive. Prechae Rodriguez still out for Orlando. Tampa Bay and Jacksonville are underway. ORLANDO 14 - NEW ORLEANS 14 (END 1Q)

Update 7:35 PM - A brutal first quarter with lots of hard hitting in Orlando. The VooDoo just missed an opportunity to get a stop on defense following a Donovan Morgan touchdown grab on the ensuing drive. Prechae Rodriguez still out for Orlando. Tampa Bay and Jacksonville are underway. ORLANDO 14 - NEW ORLEANS 14 (END 1Q)

Update 7:20 PM - The Preds have all sorts of injury concerns tonight. Already without Jason Geathers and Jermaine Smith, Prechae Rodriguez sustained an injury after a crushing hit on the sidelines. His replacement, Maurice Williams hauled in a 31-yard touchdown pass to end the drive. Also notable, Dominic Jones is playing with a hand injury and won't be returning kicks tonight. ORLANDO 14 - NEW ORLEANS 7 (5:00 1Q)

Update 7:15 PM - The Tampa Bay/Jacksonville game is being delayed until 7:20 ET tonight. Meanwhile in Orlando, Larry Beavers took a kickoff back for a touchdown to get the VooDoo back on terms. Preds still up a stop. ORLANDO 7 - NEW ORLEANS 7 (8:38 1Q)

Update 7:10 PM - The Predators and VooDoo are underway, and it only took five plays for the first emotional swing of the game. Orlando is up a stop after forcing a Chris Dixon fumble. Prechae Rodriguez catches a 20-yard touchdown pass to take the early edge. ORLANDO 7 - NEW ORLEANS 0 (9:34 1Q)

Update 6:00 PM - Game time is just about an hour away, and I'm here at the Amway Center. Just spent a few minutes with Coach O'Hara, who really is confident in his team's ability to come in here and win this game. The VooDoo are on the field for their pregame warmups. Just had a great time hanging out with all of the VooDoo fans that made the trip to Orlando. Great times were had by all. Here's a group shot of the whole VooDoo crew, who are a very colorful bunch who are diehard fans for their team. It's getting close, and the tension is clearly rising! The two teams even got into a bit of a scuffle right when the Preds came on the field for their pregame warmups.

Update 1:20 PM - We're just about five and a half hours away from kickoff of the Saturday games in Week 19, and I'm already getting ready for the festivities. We have a number of New Orleans fans that either are already in town or will be in town in the next few hours, and I'm looking forward to meeting with them and making some new friends.

As far as the play on the field, we already know that the Spokane Shock are in the clubhouse per se at 14-4 after beating the Pittsburgh Power handily last night. Will the Shock be the No. 1 seed in the National Conference if the Arizona Rattlers lose to the Iowa Barnstormers? Sadly, we still don't know the answer to that question, but the AFL had better hope that Arizona wins. Stripping the Rattlers from a division title that they had supposedly clinched is almost as unfair as not awarding the Shock the Western Division when they rightfully won the tiebreaker by having the best winning percentage in games amongst common opponents. Either way, there will surely be plenty to say tonight when (and if) the league ever makes a firm ruling. Our guess is that there won't be final decision announced at all if the tiebreaker doesn't come into play, and if there is a final decision, it won't be made until very late on Saturday or on Sunday.

Meanwhile in the American Conference, all is left to play for. The Philadelphia Soul are expected to knock off the San Antonio Talons in the CBS Sports Network game of the week, and if they do, they will be the No. 1 seed in the conference. The Jacksonville Sharks will have a chance to run down the Soul with a win and a Philly loss. The Tampa Bay Storm will be the No. 3 seed with a win over Jacksonville or a New Orleans loss. Orlando will be the No. 3 seed with a win and a Tampa Bay loss, while it will be the No. 4 seed with a win and a Tampa Bay win. New Orleans can only get into the playoffs as the No. 4 seed, something that it will accomplish with a win in Orlando in the biggest game of the year on Saturday night.

This page will be updated throughout the night with plenty of news, notes, facts, figures, milestones, and pictures from the games. If you're looking for even more immediate updates, be sure to join us in the ArenaFan Chat Room this evening, as we will have immediate updates all night long of all of the pertinent action.


 
Adam Markowitz is an accountant and 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 16 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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