(Ft. Myers, FL) The Sarasota Millionaires season came to an end in a 52-34 loss to the Florida Stingrays in the United Football Federation South Conference Championship game Saturday night in Ft. Myers, FL. Six touchdown passes by quarterback Lonnie Young vaulted the Stingrays into the United Cup III championship game to be played on June 1st at Clearwater High School against the Brooksville Ballers.
The Stingrays set the tone early when Lonnie Young jaunted 15 yards for a touchdown less than four minutes into the game wrapping up a 50 scoring yard drive. Leon Hutchins added the two-pointer to give Florida a quick 8-0 lead.
The Millionaires first possession ended in a fumble on a lateral pass by Mario Davis that was recovered by the Stingrays at the Sarasota 15 yard line. An early two touchdown deficit was averted when Brandon Johnson intercepted a pass and returned it to the 50 yard line. One play later, running back Mike Ford burst through the line and rumbled 50 yards for the Millionaires first touchdown of the night. The two-pointer was missed making it 8-6.
The Stingrays responded with a 56 yard scoring drive capped off by the first of Lonnie Young’s half a dozen touchdown passes, this on a 10 yarder to Ray Johnson giving Florida a 16-6 lead after the two-pointer as the first quarter ended.
Patrick “Choo Choo” Brown tallied a 4 yard touchdown run on the Millionaires first possession of the second quarter. Mo Harris added the two point conversion to pull Sarasota to within 16-14.
The Millionaires took the lead for the only time in the contest with 2:53 left in the first half when “Choo Choo” Brown rammed the ball into the end zone after a 61 yard drive. The two-pointer put Sarasota up 22-16.
Lonnie Young went to work in the two minute drill and connected with Steven Stillman on a 50 yard touchdown pass. The Stingrays converted the two-pointer and led at halftime 24-22.
The Millionaires would never catch up in the second half as Lonnie Young exploited the Millionaires secondary for four more touchdown passes.
Mike Ford, who left the game briefly in the second quarter with a strained hamstring, scored on a 22 yard run early in the third quarter and again on a 6 yard carry later in the frame, but the Millionaires were never able to catch up.
The Stingrays will face the Brooksville Ballers who defeated the Orlando Phantoms 28-27 in the UFF Cup III for the league championship on June 1st at Clearwater High School.
The Millionaires complete the season with an overall record of 9-4 including two playoff wins.
Click here to listen to the radio broadcast of the game.
(Sarasota, FL) The Sarasota Millionaires (9-3) will head down to Ft. Myers on Saturday to play the Florida Stingrays (10-2) in the UFF South Conference Championship game. The winner will earn a spot in the United Cup III in Clearwater on June 1.
The Millionaires defeated the Broward County Cowboys 20-6 last week in Pembroke Pines, FL. Mike Ford returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown and Gus Blanc picked off another pass and ran it back 80 yards for the eventual winning score to vault the “Moneymen” to the conference title game. In all, the Sarasota intercepted 6 passes as the “Blackout” defense held the Cowboys to just one touchdown in the divisional playoff game.
The Stingrays beat the Florida Veterans 38-20 in Ft. Myers to advance to Saturday’s conference title contest, which they will host at Ruttenberg Park in Ft. Myers.
The Sarasota Millionaires defeated the Florida Stingrays 34-30 in Ft. Myers on March 9th in a tilt that seesawed back and forth until the final 1:29 when Patrick “Choo Choo” Brown scored on a two-yard run to seal the win for the Millionaires. Brown had a career best night rushing for 165 yards on 24 carries with three touchdowns and a two-pointer.
Saturday’s conference title matchup is a scheduled 7:00 p.m. kickoff and will be played on the Stingrays home field at Ruttenberg Park 6500 South Pointe Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33919
The game will be broadcast live online beginning at 6:45 p.m. with Doug Miles calling the play-by-play. Click here to access the broadcast, which will be available at Spreecast.com.
UFF Conference Championship Playoff Schedule for May 18th:
Brooksville Ballers (10-2) at Orlando Phantoms (10-1)
Sarasota Millionaires (9-3) at Florida Stingrays (10-2) 7:00 p.m.
(Pembroke Pines, FL) In the playoffs defense wins ballgames. The Sarasota Millionaires (9-3) defense came through with six interceptions, including two run back for touchdowns to defeat the Broward County Cowboys (9-2) 20-6 Saturday night in a UFF Divisional Playoff game in Pembroke Pines, FL . The victory puts the Millionaires in the United Football Federation conference championship next Saturday (May 18) in Ft. Myers against the Florida Stingrays.
Trailing 6-0 throughout a tightly played first half, Mike Ford intercepted a Daryle Hopper pass at the Millionaires goal line and returned it down the sideline 100 yards for a touchdown, tying the game at 6-6 as time expired in the first half.
“It was a surprise to everybody, the other team too. They didn’t know I was that fast”, Ford said about the play which switched the momentum back in Sarasota’s favor after the offense came up empty in the first 30 minutes of play.
“We struggled on offense in the first half”, said Millionaires Head Coach Ernest Givins. “We were having problems picking up certain types of blitzes. Once we settled down and got back to the basic fundamentals of the offense, everything started to gel for us.”
The Millionaires “Black Out” defense picked off half a dozen passes in the game frustrating the Cowboys who changed quarterbacks in the second half. Marvin “Mo” Harris and Frank Young had two interceptions each and wide receiver Gus Blanc, playing defense had another which gave the Millionaires the lead with 11:15 remaining in the third quarter. Blanc snatched the pass at his own 20 yard line and raced down the near sideline untouched for the touchdown that lifted the Millionaires to a 12-6 advantage.
Mike Ford tallied the Millionaires final score with a 2 yard touchdown run with 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter while Patrick “Choo Choo” Brown iced the cake with a two-point conversion.
“The defense won it for us tonight”, Coach Givens said. “The defense stepped up. We knew it was going to be a battle from the first quarter to the fourth quarter. In big games, ball players show up. We had some big ball players today. When it’s time to show up and take it to the house, that’s just what they did. This is not over, we have four more quarters to go. We have to stay focused.”
(Sarasota, FL) The Sarasota Millionaires travel across the state to face the Broward County Cowboys in the United Football Federation divisional playoff game Saturday night. The Millionaires (8-3) advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a 42-34 victory over the Bay Area Pirates last week on their home turf at Booker High School and will have to play the rest of their games on the road as they advance in the playoffs.
The Cowboys (9-1) had a bye in the first round by winning the UFF’s South Division. Broward County defeated the Millionaires 24-8 earlier this season on March 16 at Booker High School in Sarasota. The Cowboys only blemish in the 2013 regular season was a 20-18 loss to the Florida Stingrays on April 20.
Millionaires are unbeaten on the road this season at 4-0. They have struggled
at home with just two wins against three losses. The “Moneymen” will be
counting on running back Mike Ford to continue to lead the offense. Last week
he rushed for 151 yards and scored three touchdowns in his team’s win over the
Pirates in the UFF Wild Card game.
Saturday’s game is a scheduled 6:00 p.m. kickoff and will be played on the Cowboys home field at McTyre Park 3501 SW 56th Ave. Pembroke Park, FL 33023.
The game will be broadcast online beginning at 6:00 p.m. with Doug Miles calling the play-by-play and Calvin Williams doing the color commentary. Click here to access the broadcast, which will be available on Spreecast.com.
UFF Divisional Round Playoff Schedule for May 11th:
Brooksville Ballers (9-2) at
Suncoast Cobras (8-2)
I-4 Ironbacks (6-5) at Orlando Phantoms (9-1)
Florida Stingrays (9-2) at Florida
Sarasota Millionaires (8-3) at Broward County Cowboys (9-1)