Behind a strong defensive performance, the Green Bay Blizzard ended their regular season with a new first: a shutout. Green Bay won 47-0, pitching the first shutout in franchise history and only the fifth in IFL history.
Turnovers were key in the victory as Green Bay forced three fumbles and interceptions each. They added a blocked field goal for a touchdown as well for seven total takeaways. The Blizzard did not turnover the ball themselves the entire game.
The defense started early on frustrating the River Kings backup quarterback Ben Wilkerson, who took starting responsibilities after Kurt Palandech did not make the trip. The Alfred State product struggled in the opening drive. After two rushes for a total of a yard brought up fourth down, the shotgun snap went right by him into the end zone. He was able to recover the ball, but was hit as he tried to throw it away. Bakari Triggs picked it off for his sixth interception of the season and returned it to the two yard line. Penalties and a sack moved the Blizzard back and Green Bay missed the field goal.
The next drive, Wilkerson took a rough hit into the boards injuring his left knee. With no other quarterbacks on the roster, Cedar Rapids went to the wildcat using wide receiver Drake White in the first half and defensive back Kamau Dumas the rest of the game.
Offensively, the Blizzard was led by running back Anthony Philyaw who had 32 yards and two scores. He also had one catch for 18 yards. Leonorris Footman and Malik Watson split quarterback duties given the blowout. The two combined for 121 yards on 12 of 19 attempts with three touchdowns.
For Cedar Rapids (1-13), the loss concludes their season. The team struggled despite bringing back the franchise’s most successful coach in Mark Stoute. Stoute also spent time coaching the Blizzard.
Numerous River Kings players remained after the game and signed autographs and interacting positively with media, fans and opposing players. River King kicker James Kazalski also retired after this season.
The Green Bay Blizzard will host an opening round playoff game against the fifth seed Nebraska Danger.