Steelhawks Unable to Quiet the Storm
In their first playoff game in franchise history, the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (6-9) were up against a dominant opponent in the Sioux Falls Storm (15-0). The Storm are the first team to have an undefeated season in IFL history, are defending United Bowl Champions and have only lost one game in the past two seasons.
The Storm remained in top form for the first round playoff game. The Steelhawks were no match for league leading QB Chris Dixon who had a remarkable game throwing for 8 tds and 278 yds on 19 for 23 passing attempts.
Sioux Falls jumped out to a sizable early lead in the first half and never let the Steelhawks into the game, finishing with a final score of 79-21. After being held scoreless in the first quarter, the Steelhawks put points on the board in the second quarter when QB Chris Malleo found WR Isaac West in the back of the endzone. After trailing 63-7 at the half, the Steelhawks played a much better second half, holding the Storm to only 16 points. The bright spot of Lehigh Valley’s offense came from RB Ryan Leafey who had 62 total yards and ran the ball in for two touchdowns in the third quarter. The Steelhawk defense was led by Jesse Cooper (8 tackles) and Marvin Johnson (7 tackles).
While the outcome of the game is not how the Steelhawks would have liked it, the entire organization is proud of the extraordinary season that they put together in only their second year of existence. Having made the playoffs is a great step forward that the Steelhawks are looking to continue into next year.
“I look back on this season and just smile,” stated Steelhawks General Manager Mike Clark. “I take a look at a Sioux Falls team (Defending Champions) who have been in existence for 13 years, but took four to make it to their first post season appearance. We made it to the post season in just our second year of existence, and I couldn’t be more proud of this entire organization. We have grown so much in just two years, and I just want to thank our staff, our amazing partners, our great fans, and the ENTIRE Lehigh Valley for helping us in 2012. Our hard work paid off in the form of two players being named to ALL-IFL Teams, winning Best Media Relations for the second straight year, and most importantly being recognized for all of our work in the community by being named the IFL’s Best Community Relations award winner for 2012. We cannot wait for 2013 and hope everyone in the Valley comes along for the ride with us!”
Fans are reminded that 2013 season ticket deposits are being accepted now to reserve your seats for next year. You can reserve your seats by calling the Steelhawks front office at 610-282-3100.