Indianapolis semi-pro football team wins national championship
The Hoosier Hurricanes invaded Homestead, Florida last weekend, Minor League Football News’ (MLFN) fourth annual Super Football weekend with much encouragement and walked away with the reigns.
In a game dominated by defense, the Hurricanes defeated the Carolina Express 41-0 to win the MLFN AA National Championship.
“Getting to this point so quickly is unbelievable,” Hurricanes head coach John Starlin said. “I really feel like a proud dad to all those guys.”
Although the ‘Canes’ offense was strong, their defense was dominant. The ‘Canes forced eight turnovers and controlled the Expreso offense, which surpassed them in size and power. Early in the match, it looked like the Express was going to use its Power I offensive attack to directly attack the ‘Hounds’ defense. However, when the Express was forced to launch, the fast secondary Hurricane was able to take the game. The first of four Express interceptions came in that opening series, and the Hurricanes never looked back.
“They were a tough team to scout, but I really think they underestimated our speed,” Starlin said. “Other coaches in his league were able to help me out as far as scouting, but I knew as strong as our defense was, we could play anyone.”
Keeping with the defensive theme of the game, linebacker Deon Smith was awarded the game’s MVP for his 12-tackle performance. He also intercepted a pass and forced a fumble.
The AA national title was the perfect ending to an already storybook season for the Indianapolis team, founded by Starlin co-owners David Day and NFL wide receiver Reggie Wayne. In their first year of existence, the Hurricanes were awarded Best New Team in the Midwest by MLFN after going 13-1 in the Ohio Valley Football League (OVFL). Their OVFL season ended with a Super Bowl win over the Charlotte Roughriders (MI), 21-0.
“This has really been a dream season for us,” Starlin said.
Starlin players have also earned numerous accolades from the MLFN. Four ‘Canes were honored with Midwest All-American status: Derrick Ellis was an honorable mention Midwest All-American at running back, wide receiver Scott Penick made second-team Midwest All-American, and Corey Crumpton and Charles Avant were first and second team at defensive back, respectively.
Ellis, a former “Mr. Indiana” while playing running back in high school, was also named MLFN’s Midwest Region Running Back of the Year.
The Hurricanes will return to the OVFL next season and will compete to become the first consecutive champions in league history, a feat no team has accomplished in 40 years of competition.
“We’re trying to develop something special here,” Starlin said.
It certainly looks like the hurricanes are off to a great start.