Bulldogs blowout Generals for franchise’s third title
From the very start of the game the Philadelphia Bulldogs were not to be denied their league-best third SFL Championship. The Bulldogs earned a quick three and out to open the game. Then they scored a touchdown in response. They forced another punt after giving up only 11 yards, and then scored again on their next possession to take a 14-0 leader in the first quarter of the game.
Philadelphia was rolling early. Their defense and pass rush was overwhelming the Carolina Generals, their offense was ripping through a defense that they were able to wear down early in the game and they cruised to a 41-0 victory, the first shutout in SFL Grand Finale history, the greatest margin of victory in the title game, and the most points scored since Dallas scored 44 in the very first Grand Finale.
While Jay Ajayi capped off a marvelous second professional season with 135 yards and the first two touchdowns of the game, long-time professional football veteran Roddy White was named the Terrill Weil Grand Finale MVP after catching seven passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. The veteran who came to the SFL with the intention of finally getting a championship ring he never could get in the NFL. The championship was also the first for Bulldogs quarterback Michael Vick and SFL legend Clevan Thomas.
Thomas played 15 seasons in the SFL and participated in the 2005 Grand Finale with the New York Marauders, but was unable to capture a title until this season. All three players, White, Vick and Thomas, announced their retirements after finally winning titles.
James Ruffin had a monstrous defensive game, leading the Bulldogs with five tackles and three hurries to go with one sack, one pass deflection and one tackle for a loss. Terrance Taylor led the Bulldogs with two of their six sacks in the game. Those two also helped shut down the Generals running game. Rookie Kenneth Dixon finished the game with only 23 rushing yards and the team had only 27 in the game.
Part of the problem was that the growing deficit forced the Generals to pass the ball 50 times. Erik Meyer, who left the game with heartbreak after announcing it would be his final time out on the field before his retirement, dropped back 50 times and completed only half of his passes for 162 yards. He was picked off twice while trying to force throws when facing harsh pressure. On of those interceptions was taken back 10 yards by Jacquain Williams for a Bulldogs touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter and that was the moment it was clear there was no coming back for the Generals and the Bulldogs were going to be lifting up their third championship trophy.
SFL Draft Lottery Results
The 2017 SFL Draft Lottery was held on Monday, September 2. The San Diego Diablos were picked first and were given the fourth pick in the SFL Rookie Draft and first pick in the SFL Expansion Draft. The Iowa Threshers were next picked out and given the third pick in the Rookie Draft and second pick in the Expansion Draft. The Mississippi Cottonmouths were then picked for the second pick in the Rookie Draft and third pick in the Expansion Draft. The St. Louis Stallions were finally selected for a first pick in the SFL Rookie Draft and fourth pick in the Expansion Draft.
The Expansion Draft will begin no later than Monday, September 11. The deadline for teams to submit their four unprotected players is Saturday, September 9 at 11:59 pm EST. The SFL Rookie Draft will begin no later than Monday, October 2.
Free Agency starts soon
SFL teams will have the opportunity to exclusively negotiate with their own free agents from Saturday, September 9 to Sunday, September 17. On Monday, September 18, any player who did not agree to a new contract will enter free agency with every team able to offer them contracts.