July 7, 2010
The AIFA will have it’s conference championship games this weekend. Lets take a look at each game and provide a preview and prediction for each.
Eastern Conference Championship Game
Harrisburg Stampede @ Baltimore Mariners
The Baltimore Mariners will look to continue their quest for undefeated when they host the Harrisburg Stampede at First Mariner Arena. Both teams are extremely well coached and have outstanding talent. The Mariners have been an efficient and dominating force this season and they have defeated the Stampede twice this season including a blowout victory on May 2nd at the First Mariner Arena. Both teams feature efficient passing attacks, strong running games, stout defensive play, and powerful kicking games. I feel that this game will come down to two important match-ups; Harrisburg’s Skilled WR Corp vs. Baltimore’s Ball Hawking DB’s, and the outstanding pass rush of Baltimore vs. Harrisburg’s pass protection unit. Harrisburg has been a different team offensively with the addition of QB Aries Nelson and he has some outstanding weapons to get the football to in space. Baltimore will not make this easy on the Stampede as their pass rush led by Fearon Wright and Melik Brown will pressure the Stampede offense all game long. If this one comes down to the kicking game it would feature a dual from two of the leagues top kickers Baltimore’s J.R. Cipra and Harrisburg’s Phil Marfuggi. I would give an edge in that battle to Cipra who is no stranger to making clutch game winning kicks. This game could hinge on the turnover battle and the Mariners have dominated this season by taking care of the football and forcing turnovers by their opponents.
Harrisburg will bring their A Game to the First Mariner Arena, unfortunately so will the Baltimore Mariners. The Mariners have put together as special season, and it would take a monumental effort from the Stampede to blemish Baltimore’s perfect season.
Baltimore Mariners 57 Harrisburg Stampede 48