Maulers come up short in playoff game

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

The Montgomery Maulers inaugural season came to a screeching halt Saturday night at the hands of the Rome Renegades, 47-31. Both the Maulers and the Renegades met in the second round of the National Indoor Football League championship playoffs. Rome will advance to the semi-finals.

While the National Indoor Football League is a relatively new league, the Maulers were the first team in the organization’s history to earn a divisional championship in their first year.

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The Renegades capitalized on five Maulers turnovers – four from the arm of quarterback J.R. Richardson and one fumble.

Rome scored on five of their first eight possessions and jumped out to a 30-13 halftime lead.

In the second half, Richardson forced a pass to Machion Sanders, which was picked off by Lew Thomas. Despite forcing another interception, the Maulers finally got their offense rolling and posted 18-points, but still came up short. Sanders, however, proved to be Richardson’s go-to-guy on the pass with 13 catches for 183 yards and three touchdowns. Richardson finished the night 15-of-28 passing for 185 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions.

The Maulers, who opened the season with losses, made a run at the end winning five of their last seven games.

Their accomplishments didn’t go unnoticed by league officials. Troy University’s David Philyaw was selected to play in the NIFL All-Star game.

Positives can also be drawn from the end of the season.

Shiver also said that Mareno Philyaw and Sanders are two Maulers who may earn invitations to try out with Arena Football or Canadian Football teams in the offseason.

As for next season, Shiver is happy with what he can look forward to.