The Hoosier Hurricanes invaded Homestead, Florida for the fourth annual Minor League Football News (MLFN) Super Football News (MLFN) weekend last weekend, breathless and reigning.
In a game dominated by defense, the Hurricanes beat Carolina Express 41-0 to win the MLFN AA National Championship.
“Getting to this point so fast is incredible,” Hurricanes head coach John Starlin said. “I really feel like a proud father to all those guys.”
Although the ‘Canes’ offense was strong, their defense was dominant. The ‘Canes forced eight turnovers and controlled the Express’ offense, which towered over them in size and power. At the beginning of the contest, it seemed that the Express was going to use its offensive Power I attack to pierce the throat of the ‘Canes’ defense. However, when the Express was forced to pitch, the speedy Hurricane secondary could take the game. The first of the Express’s four interceptions was thrown on that opening road, and the Hurricanes never looked back.
“They were a tough team to scout, but I really think they underestimated our speed,” Starlin said. “Other coaches in his league were able to help me when it comes to scouting, but he knew that as strong as our defense was, we could play anyone.”
Keeping with the defensive theme of the game, linebacker Deon Smith was awarded the MVP of the game for his 12-tackle performance. He also intercepted a pass and forced a fumble.
The AA national title was the perfect ending to a season that was already a storybook for the Indianapolis team, 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). His OVFL season ended with a Super Bowl victory over the Charlotte (MI) Roughriders, 21-0.
“This has really been a dream season for us,” Starlin said.
Starlin players have also earned numerous accolades from MLFN. Four ‘Canes was honored with Midwest All-American status: Derrick Ellis was an honorable mention Midwest All-American as a running back, wide receiver Scott Penick made the Midwest All-American team second, and Corey Crumpton and Charles Avant were first. and second team in defensive back, respectively.
Ellis, a former “Mr. Indiana” while playing a running back in high school, was also named Midwest Region Runner of the Year by MLFN.
The Hurricanes will return to the OVFL next season and compete to become the first consecutive champion in league history, a feat no team has accomplished in 40 years of competition.
“We are trying to develop something special here,” Starlin said.
It certainly looks like the hurricanes are off to a great start.