The Hoosier Hurricanes invaded Homestead, Florida for last weekend’s 4th annual Minor League Football News (MLFN) Super Football Weekend strong winded and left with reign.
In a game dominated by defense, the Hurricanes hammered the Carolina Express 41-0 to win MLFN’s AA National Championship.
“To reach this point so quickly is incredible,” said Hurricanes head coach John Starlin. “I really feel like a proud father to all of those guys.”
While the ‘Canes’ offense was strong, the play of their defense was dominant. The ‘Canes forced eight turnovers and controlled the Express’ offense, which towered over them in size and power. Early in the contest, it looked like the Express were going to use their Power I offensive attack to run right down the throat of the ‘Canes’ defense. When the Express were forced to throw, however, the speedy Hurricane secondary was able to take the game away. The first of four Express interceptions was thrown on that opening drive, and the Hurricanes never looked back.
“They were a tough team to scout, but I really think they underestimated our speed,” said Starlin. “Other coaches from their league were able to help me out as far as scouting, but I knew as solid as our defense was that we could play with anybody.”
Staying 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 end to a season that was already storybook for the Indianapolis squad, founded by co-owners Starlin, 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 finishing 13-1 in the Ohio Valley Football League (OVFL). Their OVFL season finished with a Super Bowl victory over the Charlotte (MI) Roughriders, 21-0.
“This has really been a dream season for us,” said Starlin.
Starlin’s players have also won numerous accolades from 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 Running Back of the Year in the Midwest Region by MLFN.
The Hurricanes will return to the OVFL next season and compete to become the first ever back-to-back champion in league history, a feat no team has accomplished in 40 years of competition.
“We are trying to develop something special here,” said Starlin.
It certainly looks like the Hurricanes are off to a roaring start.