Week 4 games bring familiarity

8 05 2009

A freelantz contribution, written by Jessica Lantz

sifllogoThe Southern Indoor Football League enters Week 4 of the inaugural season with two games that are sure to be hotly contested matchups … and have a sense of familiarity for those involved.

The first game tomorrow night will feature the Austin Turfcats (1-1) hosting the Louisiana Swashbucklers (2-0) at the Travis County Expo Center at 6:05 p.m.

Austin is looking for their first home win of the season, after falling just short in their first attempt in the season opener against Acadiana, a 37-29 loss. Coach Chris Duliban is looking toward the Swashbucklers as a benchmark game.  “This game will be the toughest test for our team, and it will serve as a measuring stick as far how far we still need to go as a new franchise,” Duliban said.

Meanwhile, Louisiana coach Darnell Lee feels that the Turfcats match up well against his team.  “They’re very athletic,” said Lee. “Our organization does not underestimate anybody in the league.”  Lee is quick to point out the prior knowledge each team has of one another, primarily due to the large number of players and coaches who were part of the CenTex Barracudas in the Intense Football League and “a lot of our guys know a lot of their guys.”

This familiarity could lead to an intense battle between players and coaches alike as the Bucks work to earn their 21st consecutive win and the Turfcats seek the opportunity to end this streak.

The second game of the week will see the Houma Conquerors (0-2) make the short trek up I-49 and the Louisiana coast to match up against the Acadiana Mudbugs (2-0), with kickoff slated for 7:05 p.m.

The home team, under the direction of John Fourcade, “knows what’s at stake,” ensuring that the Mudbugs had their “focus on getting three hard practices in” prior to taking on the Conquerors.  Although Houma has started winless, Fourcade is “not taking them lightly” and feels this contest is “kind of a rivalry where we all know each other and want to beat each other.”  When looking at the matchup, Fourcade points out that Houma, “has made some offensive and defensive changes, so we’ll have to adjust to new people” but, “I feel like we’ve done everything we can” to prepare for this competition.

Conquerors’ head coach Franklin Thomas both played and coached under Fourcade, and is looking forward to an “exciting game, almost like the student versus the teacher.”  “I learned a lot from him,’’ Thomas said of Fourcade. “He’s a great mentor and you’ll probably see two teams that look identical on Saturday night.”  Thomas thinks this matchup “will be a great barometer to show everyone that we’re not just an 0-2 team” and that their hard work this week to work on “team discipline and cutting down on mistakes and turnovers” will help Houma garner their first victory.

This matchup will give someone in south Louisiana bragging rights and leave the other looking forward to a Week 9 rematch to even the slate.

If both currently undefeated teams emerge from this week’s action unscathed, they will face each other next week on May 16th to leave only one perched at the top of the SIFL standings.





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