Danger host Colorado for Intense Conference championship

Saturday's game will be first ever playoff game for Danger

By Tony Chapman
Nebraska Danger Staff Writer

The Nebraska Danger will make history on Saturday night at the Heartland Events Center as they host an IFL playoff game for the first time in franchise history. The third season franchise, which won just eight games in its first two seasons, will take a 10-4 record into Intense Conference championship game with the Colorado Ice, who finished the regular season 9-5.

"We are extremely proud of the effort that our team has given all season," said Danger owner Charlie Bosselman. "During our first two seasons, our fans were voted best in the IFL, and during this undefeated home regular season they have been outstanding as well. We hope to get even greater fan support for this playoff game on Saturday."

Success this season for the Danger has come in the form of a fast-paced offense and an opportunistic defense that was third in the IFL forcing turnovers, with 25 on the season. Offensively, Nebraska led the league by averaging 54.8 points per contest.

Danger quarterback Jameel Sewell has set the pace for Nebraska. He has set or matched 10 franchise records this season and leads the IFL in passing yards (2,531) and touchdowns (52), all while throwing for a league-low five interceptions. He also leads the league in rushing, with 654 yards, and has an additional 25 rushing touchdowns. Last week, he became the first Danger player to rush for 100 yards in game as the Danger defeated Tri-Cities 69-64.

"Jameel has been our glue all season, there is no doubt about that," said Danger coach Mike Davis. "He's a guy that we have asked to do a lot of work and be a leader on this team. He has stepped up in so many ways and is a big reason we had the success we had this season."

And, while Sewell has garnered much of the headlines, he has had offensive help. Kayne Farquharson leads the IFL in receiving yards with 1,081 and is third in receptions at 74. Fellow receiver Andre Piper-Jordan is tenth in both yards and receptions (50 receptions, 602 yards). Running back Randy Bell has added a bruising style to the Danger backfield with 108 carries for 493 yards on the season; both in the top-10 in league statistics.

"We try to play a style that gets out and scores quick on you offensively," Davis said. "Our offense has played well together all season and we'll need another big effort on Saturday night against Colorado. They have one of the top defenses in the league in my opinion."

The Ice are third in the IFL in points allowed, and scored four defensive touchdowns this season, good for second in the league. A stout defensive line, led by last week's IFL co-defensive players-of-the-week Conrad Obi and Michael Stover, will prove a good test for the Danger. In the second meeting between the two teams this season in Fort Collins, the Ice held the Danger to a franchise low 12 points in their 32-12 win.

This will be the fifth meeting between the teams this season. The Danger took the first game in Grand Island 73-50 on March 9th as they scored on every offensive possession. After the Ice held serve in game two, the Danger needed a Joe Houston field goal on the last play to survive a 69-66 contest at the Heartland Events Center in the third game of the series.

The Danger earned home field advantage for the playoff game when they won in Colorado on June 7th, to take the season series 3-1. Sewell earned league player-of-the-week honors for his game which included 267 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns. After forcing two quick turnovers, the Danger jumped out to a 25-6 lead before winning 67-55.

"In the games we've won against them, we have gotten off to a really good start and set the tempo for the game," Davis said. "We hope that we can do that again on Saturday and get our home crowd behind us."

In the United Conference, Sioux Falls (10-4) will host Cedar Rapids (9-5) on Saturday night. The winners will advance to next week's United Bowl at a site to be determined based on the winners of the conference championship games.

Kickoff is set for 7 pm on Saturday night at the Heartland Events Center. Doors open at 6 pm with pre-game activities beginning at 6:30. The Intense Conference Trophy will be awarded in a special presentation after the game.

Playoff Tickets are available at Grand Island Pump & Pantry stores, the Heartland Events Center Box Office, or via Ticketmaster. The game will be broadcast live on 2DayFM 103.1 or streamed live at www.2dayfm1031.com Fans can also follow along on social media, on Facebook or on Twitter.

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