06 Mar 2020
By: Bernard Hunt
Birmingham, AL – It’s week 2 of the season and that means Child Abuse Awareness across the APDFL. Although April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we at the APDFL feel it’s important to show awareness year round.
The most common type of maltreatment is neglect. In 2018, approximately 4.3 million reports were made to child protective services concerning the safety and well-being of approximately 7.8 million children. Last year, an estimated 678,000 children were found to be victims of child abuse or neglect nationwide.
We’re specifically highlighting three ways that you can make a difference in your local community and help prevent child abuse. We’re encouraging everyone to mentor a child or parent, advocate for family friendly policies, or donate time or money to child-serving organizations.
We all play a role in creating the safe, stable and nurturing relationships and environments that are central to the great childhoods that all children deserve.
With that, there are several amazing games scheduled for Child Abuse Awareness week that will both entertain and educate our fans from across the nation. Here is a look at this weeks games and predictions.
(NR) Oklahoma Bears @ (21) Oklahoma Wildcats (0-1)
2:00 PM CST
The Wildcats made the trip to New Orleans a week ago and, although the favorites, came up short on walking away with the victory. This week they will face a Bears team that is local and hungry. To be victorious they will need to find a way to win the battle of the trenches and that will be hard to do.
Oklahoma Bears – 28
Oklahoma Wildcats - 12
(18) Bayou Lacombe Cardinals (0-1) @ (20) Greater Pensacola Jets (0-1)
4:00 PM CST
Both the Cardinals and Jets are coming off of deflating defeats in their week 1 openers. Both were unable to defend their home turf and will seek to make amends this weekend. The Cardinals displayed a great deal of talent in their season opener accounting for over 6 defensive turnovers over the course of the game. The offense was simply unable to capitalize. To be successful this week they will need a similar style of pressure from the defense. With time comes chemistry so the offense should be a bit more prepared for their opponent. For the Jets it’s simply time to take flight. In their week 1 match up they were unable to find the end-zone and they will need to reverse that this weekend. If the offense is able to step their game up they have the ability to take off.
Bayou Lacombe Cardinals – 26
Greater Pensacola Jets – 12
(10) Louisiana Lightning (1-0) @ (24) Tri-City Savages (0-1)
5:00 PM CST
Lightning are coming off of a very tough contest as they defended their home turf while the Savages were forced back to the drawing board. To be victorious, the Savages will need to play their best game to date and be mistake free or they could find themselves overly disappointed once again. The Lightning come into this match-up highly favored. After an impressive off season, if they play their game they will be hard to defeat this weekend.
Louisiana Lightning – 32
Tri-City Savages - 12
(23) Tallahassee Unconquered (0-1) @ (25) Mobile 49ers (0-1)
6:00 PM CST
Two teams that are very comparable will face-off in Mobile, AL. The basic question here is how will Unconquered travel. 49Ers had a good showing in their lost on the road a week ago but will be expecting to have their complete roster in attendance for this weekend. Unconquered have a young and talented roster however, low numbers can allow fatigue to set in late in the game. If they are able to avoid the fatigue and play their game, they may be able to steal a victory.
Mobile 49ers – 16
Tallahassee Unconquered – 12
(11) Bay County Trailblazers (1-0) @ (5) Orlando Phantoms (1-0)Altamonte Springs, FL
7:00 PM EST
Both teams found themselves in tough battles in week 1 however both were able to find a way to pull out their first victory as members of the APDFL. Even in a win, it’s fair to say that neither team played up to their expectations. To pull out a victory the Trailblazers will need to play much better than they did a week ago. Playing at home is one thing, taking to the road to face a highly intense and competitive opponent is another. It’s fair to say that the Phantoms pulled out their first victory of the season while playing undermanned and in hostile territory. Being back at home this weekend should prove to be beneficial for the Phantoms and will allow them to perform up to their elite level of play.
Orlando Phantoms – 32
Bay County Trailblazers – 8
(22) Steel City Raptors (0-1) @ (4) Gulf Coast Gators (1-1)
7:00 PM CST
Gators will be looking to bounce back this weekend as they make their way home for their first home game of the season. Having relocated to the Pensacola area during the off season, this will be their first Pensacola home game in team history. A home welcoming could possibly be in the works. The Raptors will have faced two of the leagues top 4 teams after this weekend in as many weeks. Although this may not always be pretty in the win column, they should benefit from the level of competition as they progress through the course of the season. Another challenging game on the road for the Raptors.
Gulf Coast Gators – 36
Steel City Raptors – 0
(19) Georgia Noles (0-1) @ (16) Tuskegee Ayrmen (0-1)
5:00 PM CST
The Ayrmen made the trip to New Orleans a week ago and almost found themselves walking away with the victory. However, they came up just short. Playing at home this weekend should provide some added comfort as they will be fully loaded and playing at the top of their game. The Noles will need to bring their “A” game if they don’t want to find themselves fighting their way out of a 0-2 start. They have the skill and talent level to be victorious this weekend but mistake free football will prove to be the difference.
Tuskegee Ayrmen – 18
Georgia Noles – 12
(12) Selma City Vikings (1-0) @ (13) Alabama Tigers (1-0)
Red Level, AL
6:00 PM CST
Two teams that for the most part, are very evenly matched. The Vikings came out in their season opener and shocked their opponent by pitching a goose egg while showing how explosive they can be in 2020. The Tigers on the other hand, opted to gain a lead and then allow their back ups to bring the game home for the victory. Playing on the road can always be challenging however, the Vikings have always seemed to fine a way to travel well enough for that to not be questioned. To be victorious the Tigers will need to play much better than they did in their week 1 victory. They will need to get the Vikings on the defense and ensure that they are able to keep them guessing. If they are unable to, they may find themselves being the second team in a row to not find the end-zone against a much improved Vikings team.
Selma City Vikings – 16
Alabama Tigers – 14
(17) Redstone Raiders (0-1) @ (26) Columbus Storm (0-2)
Phenix City, AL
7:00 PM EST
Don’t get it twisted, the Storm may have dropped a great deal in the rankings however, they are still a top level competitor when it comes to Saturdays. In their first two outings they faced two of the leagues top 10 teams and were unable to pull out a victory. Repetitive mistakes at key moments in the game have led to their inability to be victorious. To keep from dropping another game, they simply must fix these mistakes. When playing Storm football, they look impressive. Over the first two games however, that has been followed up with a key mistake that has continued to cost them dearly. The Raiders are coming off of a close defeat themselves on their own home turf. This one won’t be any easier. To pull out the win they will need to force the Storm into bad situations and will need to play mistake free football of their own.
Columbus Storm – 20
Redstone Raiders – 16
(14) Crescent City Rampage (1-0) @ (9) Panhandle Crusaders (1-0)
7:00 PM CST
The Rampage are coming off of an impressive week 1 upset victory. This weekend however they will take to the road and face a much more determined opponent. Travel will be extremely important for the Rampage this weekend. If they are unable to travel with their full squad they will be setting themselves up for failure before boarding the bus. The Crusaders are on a mission and are focused and locked in on the 2020 season. 1 game at a time, 1 opponent at a time, 1 win at a time. If they come out and play Crusader football they should be able to defend their home turf this weekend.
Panhandle Crusaders – 28
Crescent City Rampage – 14
(8) Pike County Titans (1-0) @ (7) Crescent City Kings (1-0)
New Orleans, LA
7:00 PM CST
This match-up would have most likely been a game of the week contestant in any other week of the season however, it’s sure to be an action packed hard hitting contest nonetheless. The Titans made a statement in their week 1 thrashing of their opponent. They utilized that game to put the Western Conference on notice and to let their opponents know that they have arrived. This weekend however, they will face a different type of opponent. Another heavy weight of sorts. The Kings will match their intensity on the field and their caliber of play. Late in the game when fatigue can become an issue, the Kings will utilize a rotation that doesn’t skip a beat no matter who is on the field. Playing at home should provide them with a slight advantage.
Crescent City Kings – 17
Pike County Titans – 14
GAME OF THE WEEK!!
(1) Mississippi Dynasty (1-0) @ (3) Alabama Blackhawks (1-0)
7:00 PM CST
Some have looked to minimize the game. That’s expected! Some have called it a preview to the National Presidents Cup Championship. That’s highly possible! However you chalk it up, this is one for the ages. The 3-time Champions, Dynasty, haven’t tasted defeat in almost 2 seasons. With their backs against the wall they have time and time again found a way to be victorious. The have cruised through the blow out games and have chartered their way through the close games. In the end however, they have continued to be victorious. The Blackhawks on the other-hand, have fought their way to the Conference Championship twice in the previous two seasons but came up short in each. They fought the Dynasty to a double overtime in week 1 just a season ago but again, came up short. On each occasion their was one missing piece. A proven field general that has the ability to control the game from start to finish. A QB that commands attention and will require that all 11 players on the opposing team plays sound football. In steps Kyle Caldwell. For the Blackhawks to be victorious he will have to simply do what it is that he’s so accustomed to doing….. WIN!! Yet, that’s not it. That’s not the only thing that makes this match-up so intriguing. The Dynasty secondary has been rated out as 5 stars. To simply expect passing success would be problematic. With that, All-Purpose Athlete LeSteven Jackson has been moved to the defensive side of the ball full time and will add to the secondaries explosiveness. Yet, that’s not it. Both teams increased their running attacks during the off-season. The return of RB Jabari Baker to the Dynasty backfield proved to be impressive in their week 1 showing. While the Blackhawks added 2019 league leading rusher, Jarod Lewis, to their stable. With that said, the front seven of neither team is likely to give up close to 100 yards of rushing over the course of 1 game. They just simply don’t do it. Oh, we can’t forget the Blackhawks secondary. Two lock down Corners in Wesley Watson and Marquelle O’Neal will make it hard for the Dynasty passing game to take flight. Without a doubt, this is the game that you’ll want to see. It’s one of the most anticipated games on the 2020 schedule and it’s sure to be full of hard hitting and action packed football. In the end, the Dynasty simply seem to always find a way to win.
Mississippi Dynasty – 24
Alabama Blackhawks – 20
There you have it! The predictions are in and the only thing left to do is the play the games. Like I always say, don’t hate the predictions, SIMPLY PROVE THEM WRONG!!