The Bulls started with the ball and came out with a play action connecting on a 66-yard pass. Cornerback Robert Conn showed great hustle tracking down the receiver before he could score at the two-yard line and the rest of the defense helped hold the Bulls to 3 points. Starting out with 2017 All-Star tackling the Bulls running back for 2-yard loss. The Force’s stingy defense would then hold the Bulls on the nest 2 pass attempts forcing the Bulls to settle for a field goal.
It was not the start the Force was hoping for with the high expectations they have with their defense. But on the kickoff following the field goal, the Force would muff the kick and the Bulls would recover on the Force side of the field. The defense would once again bend but not break; holding to the Bulls to another field goal now trailing 0-6.
Almost 10 minutes passed, and the Force offense still hasn’t even stepped on the field. The game would then go back and forth with field position. The big play in the first half would be a diving interception by middle linebacker Kominko Lupematasila after the quarterback got hit by defensive end Quadre Davis as he threw it. Fox Valley would then be forced to settle for a field goal to cut the lead in half 3-6. As that would be the score entering halftime.
Being such a defensive battle early, the Force knew they needed a spark. That spark came from Cameron Brown on the opening kickoff of the second half, as Brown returns kickoff 44 yards to setup the opening drive of the second half. The offense then cashed in on a 15-yard touchdown pass from QB TJ Arndt to wide receiver Evan Dux.
The darkside followed with a forced punt that would go out of bounds, setting up another short field for the Force. The offense would cash in again on the short field with some good running from running back Tyrone Evans who had 150 yards of offense. Tyrone and the offensive line paved the way to setup a one-yard touchdown pass from Arndt to Dux for the second time today.
Up 17-06, the defense knew the game was in their hands and didn’t let the team down as the final would stand at 17-6. Cornerback Tydus Morrow would be a big help intercepting the pass as the Bulls were making a push to bring it to a one score game. Lupematasila would add another interception with the help of a diving breakup by OLB Dashawn Goodwin. The Force will host the 1-0 Hudson Thunderhawks Saturday with kickoff at 7:00pm.
A Tale of Two Halves
The opening week for the Fox Valley Force had a shaky start for most of the first quarter. The Force would eventually pull it together and have sparked the start of the season with a 17-6 win over the 2017 NEFL runners-up Northland Bulls.
May 15, 2018
April 30, 2018
Fox Valley Force Slays
Fox Valley opened the 2018 season hosting the Eastern Wisconsin Slayers. This is the first pre-season of 2 this season. This game was the first game under new management, with the new uniforms, and at their new home Calder Stadium.
The game started with a lot of emotion and the entire team was announced on sponsor night. The Force started the game kicking off and was able to put their defense out there with high expectations this season. Opening the game, one of the newcomers Tre Jacobs makes a stop in the backfield. The Force then secured the 3 and out and got the offense out there with good field position.
The offense didn’t start as hot as they would end up throwing an interception on their first possession. The dark side, the Force defense’s nickname, would end up getting the ball back with 2017 all-star Kominiko Lupematasila forcing a fumble and Dashawn Goodwin recovering the fumble. The offense would pick it up with a couple of tough runs by Anthony Apisa, but the offense would then stall and settle for a field goal. New kicker Michael Pakos would convert on the field goal to give the Force their first lead of the 2018 season.
The first touchdown of 2018 would come from the other highly touted running back and 2017 NEFL Returner all-star Tyron Evans bulldozing his way through 3 Slayers defenders for the touchdown. The defense was stingy all half and kept getting the ball back for the Fox Valley offense. The Force cashed in on another drive lead by Apisa running the ball and putting them in good field position with the help of the offensive line paving the way. Newcomer and Kimberly stand out Evan Dux would catch the short touchdown pass from veteran T.J. Arndt to give the Force a 10-0 nothing lead.
Fox Valley Force would head in to halftime with a 17-0 lead. Erik Fritsch adds a dual threat from the fullback position as a blocker and receiver. He would have a big catch and run trucking through defenders to help setup another Fox Valley Force. That score coming from Tristan Wohlrabe-Fritsch from Arndt.
Slayers added a late touchdown to make the score 24-8. That would be the final pick after Robert Conn makes an interception to end the game. Fox Valley Force had good and bad experiences show up on Saturday, but they're excited about this season.
They will host the MSFL defending champs Wisconsin Hitmen on Saturday May 5th at Calder Stadium.
The Waverly Beach Players of the game were Anthony Apisa (Offense), Dashawn Goodwin(Defense), and two co-special teams’ players of the game Michael Pakos.
Anthony Apisa rushed for 126 yards on 16 carries.
Dashawn Goodwin had 8 tackles, fumble recovery and flew all over the field.
Michael Pakos 1-1 on Field goal attempts, and 3-3 on pat attempts.
of 2017. Former owner Matt Reyes, passed the team on to two men he knew would keep the Force tradition going.
Those two men being Anthony Shimulunas and Matthew Crooks. Crooks and Shimulunas took on the team, upgrading their involvement from being Head Coach, and defensive line coach respectively , to co-owners of the Fox Valley Force who has been established since 2006. Which is impressive compared to the average life span of an adult amateur football team. The new owners wanted to start the new journey off with a bang in year one, and with that they needed to add help. That help came with the brother of Matthew Crooks, Aaron Zepnick former Head Coach. Zepnick's new role will be General Manager, along with helping facilitate game day activities , and assistant coach as well.
The Force also retained wide receivers coach A.B. Cassell as all 4 men joined the Force at the same time and are still fighting their way to bring Force to new heights in the N.E.F.L. Those new heights involve a couple of other new entities within the organization. A new look is another way to jumpstart a new era. The final look is still being finalized, but the Force is putting in effort working with multiple apparel companies to make sure they get the look they want and their players deserve.
Finally, comes their new home, and hopefully final home for the Fox Valley Force. That is Calder Stadium, located in Menasha. Calder has recently been updated to all levels you want in a facility to play. New turf, New locker rooms, and best of all, a great community to build around. Even before the Calder deal was finalized, that didn't stop the Force starting to get a feel for their new home. Local businesses loved the idea and have been anxious for the Force get Calder, as many feel it can have a good impact on the community and the local businesses
Fox Valley Force would like to thank the Menasha School district for the wonderful opportunity to play at such a fantastic facility and is looking forward to getting involved with the community. Fox Valley Force is always looking for ways to volunteer their time to help their community and surrounding communities. From reffing Special Olympics flag football tournaments in Neenah, to help spot for weight lifting events in Omro, and to the next project asking for help. The Fox Valley Force is also still looking for game day volunteers, cheer leaders, and dancers. Also, the Force never stop adding potential players, sponsors and coaches. Stay tuned for the uniforms of the Fox Valley Force to be revealed.
New Home, New Look, and New Ownership
The Fox Valley Force had a busy off season. Starting with new leadership immediately following the season
Northern Elite Football League Adds Final Team
Med City Freeze Added to List of 11 Teams for 2018
The Northern Elite Football League hosted presentations for new teams on December 17th at Darby's Pub & Grill.
Out of Rochester, Minnesota, the Med City Freeze were voted in by unanimous decision. Med City has completed two years in the Southern Plains Football League in which they have a combined record of (15-4).v
Sioux City Stampede Join the Northern Elite Football League
NEFL Adds Another League Champion
By unanimous decision, the Northern Elite Football League voted in the Sioux City Stampede.
The Sioux City Stampede carry the ELITE requirements held by the NEFL. Through four seasons the Stampede are 33-8 (including a 0-3 Franchise Start), winning the Midwest Football Alliance in 2017 after an undefeated season. It was their 3rd appearance in the MFA Title game in their 4 years.
Led by Head Coach and part owner, Jason Garnand, the Stampede strive for more, "The Stampede would like to thank the Midwest Football Alliance over the last 4 years. They are a very organized, competitive league. We are truly excited for the move to the NEFL as its a great opportunity to provide new challenges and Big Opportunities for the Stampede."
Sioux City is nestled on the boarder of Iowa, Nebraska, & South Dakota; carrying a population of 165,000+ in the metro area. There are multiple colleges in & around the Sioux City area, helping to bolster the Stampede roster.
The Northern Elite Football League has now attracted League Champions in two consecutive years, while expanding west - Fargo Invaders - and now south for the Stampede. The NEFL is arguably one of the best leagues in the Nation, and continues to build momentum with the addition of the Sioux City Stampede.