#ThunderTopPlay, New Orleans Final

Never give up. The 2014 Portland Thunder never did, and these two plays provide an example of the great things that happened because of that effort.

First, Eric Rogers fights off being wrapped up when he catches the ball and punches it into the end zone between two defenders that just can’t catch up.

Secondly, KC Obi gets deep on his assignment with one of the AFL’s top return men, Larry Beavers Jr taking it up the opposite side of the field. Obi shows why hesitation kills and comes out of nowhere to end the return.

To vote in the Florida Final, click here.

To sign up for the Thunder’s 2014/15 Open Tryout and earn your chance to make 2015’s #ThunderTopPlay, click here.

#ThunderTopPlay, Florida Final

It’s all about the chalk in Florida.  1 vs. 2 in the Florida final. Just purely incredible plays, both of which left announcers in disbelief.

The top overall seed, Douglas McNeil provided some Odell Beckham, Jr.-caliber hands when snagging this pass with one hand.

But oh, the wacky greatness of this two seed. Teamwork on incredible defensive plays…it just warms the heart.

To vote in today’s other contest, the New Orleans Final, click here.

You could make the Thunder’s top play in 2015! To sign up for our open tryout on Dec. 1-2, click here.

#ThunderTopPlay, Los Angeles Final

The fans determined that 3 > 2, in that three Douglas McNeil TD’s were better than two Varmah Sonie picks. However, they also determined that 2 > 3, in that the two seed, the forced fumble recovery in the end zone, beat out Antron Dillon’s fourth-down sack to put a dagger in the KISS’ comeback hopes.

So which is true this week? Does Dougie dash away with the LA’s entry into the semifinals?

Or will KC Obi and Bryce Peila combine to take that spot away?

Did you vote in the San Antonio Final? You should. You can find it here.

#ThunderTopPlay, San Antonio Final

San Antonio stayed true to form, continuing to be the upset bracket. We’re left with the 4 seed and 7 seed battling each other to face our Los Angeles finalist on Friday.

Here are your San Antonio finalists:

In this corner, here’s the 4 seed, the infamous Sonie/Peila tag team striking the Talons. Big reception? How about no, says Sonie, and Peila returns it into the red zone.

In the other corner, we have the longest touchdown run in Thunder history. We suspect QB Danny “Lightning” Southwick is rigging the vote somehow, but he just keeps getting through…kind of like he got through the Talons’ defense.

To vote in the Los Angeles final, click here.

Thunder Top Play, FLA Region 1 vs 4

No upsets in the Florida bracket, which is probably the strongest bracket of the four, since we were able to use highlights from two games and battle them against each other.

Both of these are fantastic catches; we can probably assume that McNeil’s catch is going to continue a run to the regional finals, but let’s not underestimate the difficulty level in managing to stay under the bars on the jump, then getting down in time to tap the toes before hauling in the INT.

To vote in today’s other matchup, click here.

Thunder Top Play, FLA Region 2 vs 3

Two great plays, both end up with Thunder players on the ground. Eric Rogers got there organically, flying over the wall to make a touchdown catch and landing in the VIP section. Great catch, great touchdown, everyone’s happy.

But there’s just so much more going on with this Crocker/Sonie play. First Crocker gets the INT and a big return. Then Michael Lindsay, as part of his THREE forced fumbles in the game, pops the ball out. Sonie chases it down and eventually corrals it, then turns around and finishes the return and ends it with a consummate Thunder Roll.

Which moves on – the classic AFL touchdown or the crazy one? You get to decide!

To vote in today’s other #ThunderTopPlay matchup, click here.

Thunder Top Play, NO region 1 vs. 4

Eric Crocker picked off the most passes for the Thunder. Eric Rogers scored the most touchdowns. That Crocker and Rogers would help the Thunder pull off their fourth win of the season is no surprise -Crocker’s pick-six started the game against the Voodoo off right for the defense, and Rogers’ final touchdown was the final offensive score of the game.

Which big play moves on to the regional finals?

To vote in today’s other matchup, click here.

Thunder Top Play, NO Region 2 vs 6

With the second big upset of the tournament, KC Obi caught that Sonie interception completely unaware like it was a kick returner.

Now he’ll have to go up against…the Thunder’s only kick return for a touchdown this year, when Jamar Howard took the onside kick from the Voodoo and didn’t just secure it, but completed a mad dash for the end zone to give the Thunder the game-winning score. A quick four-and-out later and the Thunder sealed their second home win of the season.

Which special teams highlight will move on?

To vote in today’s other competition, click here.

Coach Hohensee goes Inside the Huddle

Yesterday, Coach Hohensee called in and talked to Thunder color analyst Brian Perkins while Perkins filled in as host on In the Huddle with Ragz on 750 AM.

Here are some highlights from the interview:

On the Thunder’s penalty issues last year:

“We didn’t play smart. We didn’t make good decisions. We were the most penalized team in the history of Arena Football…that’s just a recipe for failure. We won’t be that way this year…Everything we do will be with a purpose.”

Coach Hohensee’s Iowa Barnstormers surrendered the fewest penalty yards of any team in the AFL last season, so he definitely has a reputation for discipline.

On open tryouts and what he’s looking for:

“A man among boys. Someone who looks like they don’t belong there…they’ve got to understand how to play their positions so we can teach them our system and the Arena game itself.”

Does that sound like you? Sign up for the Hampton Inn Portland/Clackamas – Portland Thunder Open Tryout today and save $20 on registration fees!

 

Thunder Top Play, LA Region 2 vs 3

Another thing Thunder fans seem to love is watching the defensive line beat former KISS quarterback Aaron Garcia up.

KC Obi knocked the ball free from Garcia’s grasp and it landed in the end zone, where Bryce Peila pounced on it to put the Thunder back in charge of the playoff-critical game against Los Angeles. That was a big enough play to take it past Obi’s other hits, where he stopped a fullback for a three-yard loss and ended kick returner AJ Cruz’s night on a clean, hard tackle in special teams.

Meanwhile, a pretty big fumble return was eliminated in the first round in favor of Antron Dillon’s fourth-quarter smackdown of the veteran QB.

“Hit the quarterback really hard” is no longer the tiebreaker – you’ll have to find another reason to send one of these two to the regional finals. Who moves on, Portland?

To vote in today’s other contest, click here.