2014 Thunder Top Play, Day 4: Dillon vs. Jackson

When Dwight McLean popped the ball free and Marquis Jackson returned the ball inside the KISS five-yard-line to close out the first half, the game swung back in the Thunder’s favor. Dillon’s sack put an exclamation point on the win, ending the KISS’s last real opportunity to come back and set off a Rip City celebration.

Which huge defensive play heads to Round 2?

Want to vote in today’s other battle? Click here.

Thunder in the Offseason, Pt. 2

Douglas McNeil III hauls in a pass at Denver Broncos practice.
Douglas McNeil III hauls in a pass at Denver Broncos practice last week.

A few former Portland Thunder players are  making an impact in other leagues as well.

WR Eric Rogers got his first CFL action a couple of weeks ago, catching five passes for 72 yards (second-most on the team), helping Calgary notch its 14th win of the season. Unfortunately for those tuning in to see him last week, he wasn’t active for that game – however, it seems as though he’s going to be starting at WR again for the Stampeders this week.

Former LB T.J. Fatinikun is still on the active roster with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Douglas McNeil III continues to participate on the Denver Broncos’ practice squad.

Here’s this week’s schedule for their new teams for those who want to keep up with  their exploits!

  • Calgary at BC: Sat., Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. PDT. (ESPN3)
  • Tampa Bay vs Atlanta: Sun., Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. PST. (FOX)
  • Denver at Oakland: Sun., Nov. 9 at 1:05 p.m. PST. (CBS)

2014 Thunder Top Play, Day 3: BattlePicks

The Thunder defense made a ton of plays against the Los Angeles KISS. Varmah Sonie started things off with a couple of interceptions in the first quarter, and Dwight McLean took advantage of a Donte Paige-Moss tip to help seal up the win and a virtual lock on a playoff berth for the Thunder.

Which pick will Thunder fans pick?

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

2014 Thunder Top Play, Day 3: McNeil vs. McNeil

This battle between Douglas McNeil III plays highlights the age-old battle in determining greatness – do you value one bright, shining moment, no matter how fleeting? Or do you prefer consistently good plays? McNeil provided both against the KISS – now it’s your turn to decide which YOU value.

Which of McNeil’s moments move on to Round 2?

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

2014 Thunder Top Play, Day 2: Sonie vs. Southwick

Let’s close out the San Antonio bracket with a couple of great plays. Sure, Varmah Sonie’s interception was great – but what really makes this play is the way he takes the tackle, finishes with a roll, and sticks the landing. Danny Southwick, meanwhile, holds the Portland Thunder record for longest touchdown run. He taught opposing defenses a lesson with this run: Never sleep on Southwick!

Which play earns the final spot in Round 2?

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

2014 Thunder Top Play, Day 2: Solo vs. Solo

Two big plays from WR Jeffrey Solomon square off here in the San Antonio region, which is only fitting, as he killed the Talons, catching 10 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns that night. One-handed catches are pretty great, but as Jordan Kent points out, it was a fourth-down play that didn’t get converted anyway. Check out that shoestring grab, though – Solomon holds it off the ground with just one hand as he approaches the wall. Maybe that’s why they call him “Solo” – he only needs one hand.

Which catch moves on to Round 2?

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

2014 Thunder Top Play, Day 1: Rookies vs. Rogers

Which is more important, offense or defense?

The No. 4 seed for Thunder Top Play in the San Antonio region, Varmah Sonie’s strip of a Talons WR turned a big play for San Antonio into a big play for the Thunder when Bryce Peila picked the ball up and returned it into the Talons’ red zone.  It goes up against one of Eric Rogers’ 27 touchdown grabs, this one going against the wall and railing in the Moda Center. The wall is undefeated? Looks like Rogers beat it on this play.

Which side of this matchup moves on to the next round? Offense or defense?

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

2014 Thunder Top Play, Day 1: Rumble vs. Robinson

It’s hard out there for Alvance Robinson. You go out, you make a great catch while getting pushed towards the wall…and you get rewarded by having to go up against a big man touchdown in the first round. Stanley Daniels’ TD couldn’t have been much easier, but the ski jump celebration pushes it into the top seed in the San Antonio region of the bracket.

Which play moves on to Round 2?

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

2014 Thunder Top Play Tourney!

The Portland Thunder made a ton of fantastic plays in the 2014 season, and some of them didn’t quite get the attention they deserved throughout the year.

We’re rectifying that issue with the 2014 Portland Thunder Top Play Tourney, pitting the top 32 (or so) plays from our wins in our inaugural season against each other.

At the top of the graphic, we have plays from our victories over foes from the Western Conference – the San Antonio Talons and Los Angeles KISS. Each region’s top play will meet in a semi-final. On the bottom of the graphic, we have plays from our wins over Eastern Conference teams – with a couple of Florida road wins, those teams got combined into their own region – battling it out for a spot in the final.

TourneyBracketOfficialThe bracket can be made into an attractive desktop background; just click on it to open the full-size image before right-clicking and saving.

Here’s the schedule for the month:

  • First round: Nov. 4-7, 11-14 (2 matchups/day)
  • Second round: Nov. 18-21 (2 matchups/day)
  • Third round: Nov. 25-26 (2 matchups/day)
  • THANKSGIVING BREAK
  • Semifinals: Nov. 28
  • CIVIL WAR BREAK
  • Finals: Nov. 30

Get ready to celebrate what was a great year all over again!

If you think you can make the Thunder’s top play in 2015, we’re having an open tryout on December 1 (QB, WR, DB) and December 2 (OL, DL, LB, FB)! At least one person is guaranteed to make it to training camp from open tryouts – why not you? Register before Thanksgiving and save $20!

Thunder in the Offseason

A few former Portland Thunder players aren’t just playing arena football – they’re making an impact in other leagues as well.

WR Eric Rogers got his first CFL action last week, catching five passes for 72 yards (second-most on the team), helping Calgary notch its 14th win of the season.

Former LB T.J. Fatinikun got his first game on the active roster for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Minnesota Vikings and WR Douglas McNeil worked out for, and got picked up by, the Denver Broncos and added to their practice squad.

Here’s this week’s schedule for their new teams for those who want to keep up with  their exploits!

  • Calgary: Sat., Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. PDT. (ESPN3)
  • Tampa Bay at Cleveland: Sun., Nov. 2 at 10 a.m. PST. (FOX)
  • Denver at New England: Sun., Nov. 2 at 1:25 p.m. PST.

Covering Arena Football, DFW food, and odd things that interest me, Brian Beaudry.