SAGINAW, MI - The Saginaw Sting 2014 regular season schedule has been officially announced by the CIFL and the Sting look to bring home a fourth title this coming spring.
Season tickets go on sale Monday, November 11th exclusively at The Dow Box Office and begin at only $40 for the 5 regular season home games starting in February.
Click here to download your season ticket ordering form!
Sunday – February 16 – 2:30PM tailgate, 4:00PM kickoff
vs. Port Huron Patriots
The Patriots enter the season with high hopes of making the playoffs for the first time in their existence and will be led by head coach Demar Cranford. The Sting put 110 points against the Pats last season in the two contests. The 2014 Michigan Cup will be on the line as they square off inside the The Dow Event Center.
Sunday – March 2 – 2:30PM tailgate, 4:00PM kickoff
vs. Erie Explosion
The Sting look to avenge their only home loss in the past two years as they square off against Minor League Football Hall of Fame inductee Shawn Liotta and his 2013 CIFL Championship team. The Sting, coming off their one-point defeat in the championship game to the Explosion last season will be ready to defuse the Explosion in front of the home crowd.
Friday – March 21 – 6:00PM tailgate, 7:30PM kickoff
vs. Detroit Thunder
The Thunder, led by former Sting assistant coach Terrence Foster, will square off with the Sting in their rematch from last season’s final regular season home game in which the Sting came out on top 52-34. The Thunder, also competing for the Michigan Cup, will try to play spoiler after giving up 115 points last season to the Sting in their two contests.
Saturday – April 12 – 6:00PM tailgate, 7:30PM kickoff
vs. Marion Blue Racers
The Blue Racers travel to Saginaw with aspirations of returning to their playoff contending form from years past after falling short of expectations last season. Marion suffered a defeat at the hands of the Sting to start the 2013 season 49-28.
Saturday – April 26 – 6:00PM tailgate, 7:30PM kickoff
vs. Chicago Slaughter
Returning to the CIFL for the first time since their undefeated 2009 season the Slaughter look to pick up where they left off in what could be the game of the season for the Sting. With potentially home field advantage for the playoffs on the line by this point in the season a victory over the Slaughter may be just what the Sting need to host a 2014 CIFL Championship game.
SAGINAW, MI -- The Saginaw Sting look to rebound from a one point defeat at the hands of the Erie Explosion in the 2013 CIFL Championship back in May; and to do so they're looking to local talent to make that happen.
The 2014 Season kicks off in February for the Sting, with training camp breaking late January. If you think you have what it takes to be part of the 3-time champion franchise visit one of the following links:
Saginaw Sting Official 2014 Season Tryout:
Saturday - November 23rd from 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Midland Civic Arena - 405 Fast Ice Drive, Midland, MI 48642
CIFL's Michigan Regional Combine (Try Out for the Sting, Port Huron Patriots and Detroit Thunder!):
Saturday - December 7th from 12:00PM - 2:00PM
The Perani Arena - 3501 Lapeer Road, Flint, MI 48503
BRIDGEPORT, MI -- The CIFL concluded its annual owners meeting this past weekend with all nine teams coming out of it with the same expectation: Continue to build the CIFL brand.
The CIFL will extend its streak as the longest consecutive running professional indoor football league in the United States when it enters its 9th season in February 2014. The 2013 season was capped off by the Erie Explosion's 37-36 victory over the Saginaw Sting. The Explosion will look to defend their title inside the newly $47 million dollar renovated Erie Insurance Arena in February.
Hosted at the Bay Valley Resort and Conference Center in Bay City, MI, the owners spent last weekend reviewing rules, policies and procedures, and sharing best practices to help promote consistency across all CIFL venues.
Teams also reviewed the 2014 regular season schedule during the course of the meeting, which will begin the day after the NFL’s season concludes. The schedule will run 14 weeks this season, with each team having 5 home and 5 road games.
“Attempting to find a balance between alternating home and away dates, arena availability, and reducing travel costs for each team is always a challenge,” said Co-Owner of the CIFL and Saginaw Sting Rob Licht, “We feel the 2014 schedule is the best fit for our entire league.”
Week one will feature a Monday night football (2/3/14) contest between the two expansion franchises as the Northern Kentucky River Monsters will travel to Lexington to take on the Bluegrass Warhorses.
The Sting will kick off the regular season at home on Sunday 2/16 against the Port Huron Patriots. Ticket information will be released in the upcoming weeks.
A full weekly schedule is listed here:
2014 Regular Season Schedule (all times EST)
NKY River Monsters @ Bluegrass Warhorses - 7:30PM
Detroit Thunder @ Port Huron Patriots - 7:30PM
Kentucky Xtreme @ Bluegrass Warhorses - 7:30PM
Erie Explosion @ NKY River Monsters - 2PM
Dayton Sharks @ Marion Blue Racers - 4PM
Detroit Thunder @ Dayton Sharks - 7:30PM
Marion Blue Racers @ Erie Explosion - 2PM
Bluegrass Warhorses @ NKY River Monsters - 2PM
Port Huron Patriots @ Saginaw Sting - 4PM
Saginaw Sting @ Detroit Thunder - 7:30PM
Dayton Sharks @ Erie Explosion - 2PM
Kentucky Xtreme @ Marion Blue Racers - 4PM
Northern KY River Monsters @ Port Huron Patriots - 4PM
Bluegrass Warhorses @ Kentucky Xtreme - 4PM
NKY River Monsters @ Marion Blue Racers - 4PM
Erie Explosion @ Saginaw Sting - 4PM
Bluegrass Warhorses @ Marion Blue Racers - 4PM
Kentucky Xtreme @ Dayton Sharks - 4PM
Erie Explosion @ Detroit Thunder - 4PM
Saginaw Sting @ Port Huron Patriots - 4PM
Dayton Sharks @ NKY River Monsters - 7:30PM
Saginaw Sting @ Erie Explosion - 2PM
Port Huron Patriots @ Kentucky Xtreme - 4PM
Marion Blue Racers @ Detroit Thunder - 4PM
Marion Blue Racers @ Saginaw Sting - 7:30PM
Dayton Sharks @ Bluegrass Warhorses - 7:30PM
Erie Explosion @ Port Huron Patriots - 7:30PM
NKY River Monsters @ Kentucky Xtreme - 4PM
Kentucky Xtreme @ Detroit Thunder - 4PM
Erie Explosion @ Dayton Sharks - 7:30PM
Saginaw Sting @ Bluegrass Warhorses - 7:30PM
Marion Blue Racers @ Port Huron Patriots - 7:30PM
NKY River Monsters @ Kentucky Xtreme - 7:30PM
Detroit Thunder @ Saginaw Sting - 7:30PM
Port Huron Patriots @ Erie Explosion - 2PM
Detroit Thunder @ Kentucky Xtreme - 4PM
Saginaw Sting @ NKY River Monsters - 7:30PM
Bluegrass Warhorses @ Dayton Sharks - 7:30PM
Bluegrass Warhorses @ Saginaw Sting - 7:30PM
Detroit Thunder @ Erie Explosion - 2PM
Port Huron Patriots @ Marion Blue Racers - 4PM
Dayton Sharks @ Kentucky Xtreme - 4PM
NKY River Monsters @ Dayton Sharks - 7:30PM
Port Huron Patriots @ Detroit Thunder - 4PM
Marion Blue Racers @ Bluegrass Warhorses - 7:30PM
BRIDGEPORT, MI -- The Continental Indoor Football League is proud to announce it has come to terms with the reigning CIFL Champion Erie Explosion to return for the 2014 season.
"The CIFL has been a good fit for the Erie Explosion," said Explosion owner Bill Stafford, "We are looking to defend our championship in 2014. The CIFL front office staff and other teams have been a pleasure to work with."
The Explosion, led by CIFL Coach of the Year Shawn Liotta, will play next season at the newly remodeled Erie Insurance Arena. The arena is currently in its final stages of an over $40 million dollar renovation and is set to reopen in August.
"The CIFL has tremendous stability, professionalism, and a vision to provide a platform for players and coaches to advance their professional careers," said Liotta, "We look forward to the challenge of defending our championship against top level competition each week during the 2014 season."
Yesterday the Explosion received a proclamation from Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott, recognizing them as only the fifth indoor football franchise to have an undefeated season in the history of the sport.
Along with the Explosion, the CIFL has come to terms with the Dayton Sharks, Port Huron Patriots, Detroit Thunder and Saginaw Sting.
The Dayton Sharks will return to Hara Arena for the 2014 season under the guidance of newly appointed General Manager LaVar Glover. Glover, a Dayton native and University of Cincinnati grad was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2002 and later signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. He also spent time with the Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos before making his way into the arena world as a member of the AFL's Columbus Destroyers and Orlando Predators. Most recently Glover played in the CFL for the Edmonton Eskimos. The Sharks are owned and operated by managing partner Corwyn Thomas. Thomas founded the Sharks in late 2012 and they finished the 2013 season with an 8-2 record led by CIFL Offensive Player of the Year Tommy Jones.
The Port Huron Patriots will continue their rebuilding process under its new ownership group lead by Jude Carter inside the McMorran Place for the 2014 season. Carter purchased the Patriots from its previous owners midway through last season and significantly improved the level of product both on and off the field including the CIFL's only 2013 OT thriller against the Dayton Sharks.
The Detroit Thunder, the CIFL's most recent expansion team completed a successful 2013 season under the guidance of co-owners Terrence and Lawrence Foster. The Thunder completed their ten game regular season schedule with a record of 4-6. They are currently in negotiations to locate a permanent home having played last season's contests at Taylor Sportsplex.
The Saginaw Sting, coming off a one point loss to the Explosion in the CIFL Championship earlier this month, will once again play host to opponents inside The Dow Event Center on Draper Auto Field. The Sting look to capture a fourth championship title in 2014, having won championships in three of their five seasons of play.
ERIE, PA -- In a game of epic proportions, two of the CIFL's finest teams battled tooth and nail to the final whistle; but at the end of the day the hometown fans of Erie stormed the field to celebrate with their team as the Erie Explosion defeated the Saginaw Sting 37-36 in front of nearly two thousand fans at the Erie Insurance Arena.
Erie took the lead early in the first quarter to go up 7-0 before the Sting marched back with a score and trick-play two point conversion to take the lead 8-7. The Sting tacked on another score with twelve minutes to go in the first half but failed on the two point conversion to take a 14-7 lead. With just under 7 minutes to go Erie's Shon Rowser kicked a field goal to close the gap to four with a score of 14-10.
The Sting fumbled late in the second quarter but Erie was unable to capitalize and turned the ball back over on downs. Sting QB AJ McKenna scored on a keeper and DeShawn Hayes added the two point conversion to go up 22-10 with twenty seconds to go in the half. The momentum changed in the favor of the Explosion with one second remaining on the clock as Erie QB Aaron Smetanka connected with Alfonso Hoggard to cut the lead to five with a score of 22-17 at the half.
The CIFL announced during halftime that the winners of their post season awards, as voted on by the coaches and owners, were as follows:
CIFL Players of the Year: Offensive – Tommy Jones, Dayton Sharks; Defensive – Kwaheem Smith, Erie Explosion; Special Teams – CJ Tarver, Saginaw Sting; CIFL MVP – CJ Tarver, Saginaw Sting
Erie added two more scores in the third quarter to lead Saginaw 30-22 at the end of three. The Sting scored to make it a two point game but failed on the two point try and the Explosion continued to lead 30-28. McKenna found Shaun Hldaki in the back of the end zone and added the two point conversion on a run play to put the Sting ahead for the final time 36-30. With 1:48 remaining on the clock Erie's Richard Stokes closed out the scoring when he plunged into the end zone to score the go-ahead touchdown putting the Explosion up for good 37-36. The Sting fought back to the Explosion six yard line but were unable to capitalize and turned the ball over on downs.
During the post game celebration the league also announced the CIFL Coach of the Year honors went to Shawn Liotta of the 12-0 Erie Explosion.
The Explosion capped off an undefeated season with the CIFL Championship, their first ever indoor football championship in Erie history. With the conclusion of the 2013 CIFL Championship, the Continental Indoor Football League would like to thank its fans, teams and corporate partners for helping complete its eighth consecutive season - continuing its tradition as the longest running indoor football league in the country.
SAGINAW, MI — AJ McKenna came to Saginaw to win a championship.
But he never thought he’d have to go through friends to see that dream happen.
McKenna leads the Sting into the CIFL championship on Sunday, May 12 at 2 p.m. against an Erie Explosion team that he suited up for just last year.
“It’s definitely a storybook ending,” he said. “I’ve talked to a couple of those guys. We’re friends before kickoff, we’ll be friends after kickoff, but once the game kicks off — we’re not friends.”
The championship game marks the culmination of a season of highs and lows as the Sting jumped out to a fast start before faltering in the middle of the season and rising again at the end in pursuit of a third straight championship.
And they’re not ready to give it up.
Saginaw hosted the Dayton Sharks and former quarterback Tommy Jones in the CIFL semifinals on Saturday, May 4 at The Dow Event Center where the Sting scored two touchdowns in the final 35 seconds before a Jamaal Hibler interception secured a spot in the CIFL championship with a 66-63 win.
“They believed in what we’re trying to do and accomplish,” Saginaw coach Fred Townsend said. “That second half, we came together as a team and started executing.”
The Sting fell behind by 21 points after Jones plunged in from 6-yards out to put the Sharks ahead 35-14 five minutes into the third quarter, however, Saginaw came charging back with five passing touchdowns by McKenna to draw within a touchdown on two separation occasions in the second half.
Dayton answered each time and took a 63-50 lead with 46 seconds left on an 11-yard touchdown run by Jones.
But that was the beginning of the end.
McKenna hooked up with Daryl Gooden on a 4-yard touchdown pass 11 seconds later to make it 63-58.
Sting kicker Chris Kollias had been ejected for arguing with officials, but linebacker Enrique Shaw took his place and kicked a successful onside attempt, recovered by CJ Tarver, that became a game-winning 14-yard touchdown pass from McKenna to Gooden with eight seconds left.
“We responded to the critics who said Dayton was going to come out and handle us,” McKenna said. “We came out of here with a big, big win.”
Jones threw one last desperation toss for the Sharks into the end zone that Hibler tipped and came down with to secure the win.
“I’ve got to be honest,” Hibler said. “He's the greatest quarterback I’ve ever faced in my life. I knew that if you give him something, he was going to take advantage of it. But I knew that I could make one play in the game.”