2009, 2012, & 2014 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Colors: Cardinal / Black
Home Field: Concordia University
2015 Record: 9-1 (Overall 10-3)
Lifetime Record: 145-37-1
General Manager/ Head Coach
The Big game out West had the Warriors visiting the Pioneers, while out East the Rough Riders hosted the Force in a battle of undefeated teams; the Predators took on MSFL's Door County Destroyers, seeking a win for the NEFL.
2pm - Invaders 29, Sting 6
Fargo started the scoring early, with a pick six just a minute into the game. Followed by another TD & a safety still in the 1st. By halftime the Invaders found themselves up 22-0 in the rain. Fargo added another touchdown in the opening drive of the 3rd for a 29-0 lead, before the Sting found the endzone towards the end of the quarter. A scoreless 4th quarter ended the game at 29-6. -> Full Stats
5pm - Pioneers 17, Warriors 0
The Pioneers showed why they're the 7x Defending Champions, after knocking off the Warriors via Shutout. St Paul got a short touchdown in the 2nd quarter to take a 7-0 lead into the half. The back-and-forth defense by both teams continued, as the Pioneers were able to pick up two interceptions. A field goal, followed by a touchdown were more than enough for the Pioneers to remain undefeated in league play.
6pm - Rough Riders 31, Force 14
River City hosted the two remaining undefeated teams in the East, in a rematch from the 2016 playoffs. Unlike that match-up, the Rough Riders defense was able to shut the Force down & setup a short field for the offense. River City had a 24-14 lead late, before getting a late turnover and another touchdown for good measure.
6pm - Bulls 52, Thunderhawks 6
Northland played host to the Hudson T-Hawks in River Falls, WI. After a tough loss by the Bulls last week in River City (Lacrosse), they showed no mercy in this one. Northland scored early & often, going up 31-0 by the halftime horn. The Bulls tacked on 3 more touchdowns in the 2nd half; while only giving up 6 points in the 4th quarter.
In non-league action:
6pm - Predators 24, Destroyers (MSFL) 14
After the Destroyers started their season (2-0) against the NEFL, they were looking for the season sweep in Eau Claire. The Predators had other plans though, as they themselves were (2-0) lifetime against Door County. Chippewa Valley was able to show why they're the defending East Champions, getting back to form & jumping out to a 17-0 lead. The game went back-and-forth in the 2nd half, as the Predators were able to maintain their lead and secure a win for the NEFL, 24-14.
Next Week - (6/3; 5/27 - league bye for Memorial Day)
1pm - Rough Riders (3-0) @ Warriors (1-2) [cross-division game]
6pm - Bulls (1-1) @ Predators (1-1)
7pm - Invaders (3-0) @ Pioneers (2-0)
7pm - Thunderhawks (0-3) @ Force (1-1)
7pm - Sting (0-2) @ Brawlers (0-2)
The St. Paul Pioneers rode a smothering defense and two Cleve McCoy touchdown passes -- one early and one late -- to defeat the Minneapolis Warriors 17-0 Saturday at a cold and wet Sea Foam Stadium.
McCoy hit running back Daireus Mock with a short pass into the end zone after eluding the Warriors with a creative scramble. The improvised play gave St. Paul a 7-0 halftime lead.
Later in the game, kicker Jay Harding made it a two score game with a 30-plus yard field goal. The 10-0 cushion would be enough, as the Pioneers' defensive line and linebackers hounded the Warriors quarterback all day and St. Paul's defensive backs played tight coverage.
The defense was helped immensely by the booming punts of Eric Ellestad. The former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher did an excellent job getting the Pioneers out of their own zone and pinning the Warriors deep.
Linebacker Phil Breidall and safety Shaq Theus had interceptions and linebacker Michael Juberian was a bone-crushing tackling machine.
When McCoy hit receiver Justin Miles late in the game with another touchdown pass, the only intrigue left in the contest was whether St. Paul would preserve the shutout. It did.
The Pioneers are now off for a week in recognition of the Memorial Day holiday and will return to action at Sea Foam on June 3 against the undefeated Fargo Invaders.
Players of the Game:
Offense - Cleve McCoy
Special Teams - Eric Ellestad
Defense - Michael Juberian
It's time for the inaugural Northern Elite Power Rankings.
Two weeks into the season doesn't paint a great picture, but there certainly are some teams that stand-out.
1. St. Paul Pioneers (1-0) +0
As the 7-time Defending Champions, it's going to take a loss for them to move out of the #1 spot. They pick up where they left off in Week 2.
2. Fargo Invaders (2-0) +0
Strong debut against the Brawlers, followed by a victory over the Warriors shows that the Invaders mean business.
3. River City Rough Riders (2-0) +2
An opening win against the Thunderhawks, followed by a victory at home over the Bulls put the Rough Riders in position to contend for the East Title in 2017.
4. Fox Valley Force (1-0) +2
Knocking off the defending East Champion Predators in Week 1, and the Force have re-loaded to contend for that illusive crown
5. Minneapolis Warriors (1-1) +2
The Warriors handled the Sting in Week 1, but came up 2 yards short in Fargo Week 2. They will be a team to watch as the season progresses.
6. Chippewa Valley Predators (1-1) -3
After a tough trip across Wisconsin, the Predators rebounded nicely in Week 2 dismantling the Thunderhawks in the 4th quarter.
7. Northland Bulls (0-1) -3
It should be a strong season for the Bulls, but they were unable to pull out the Week 2 victory in River City.
8. Battle Creek Sting (0-1) +2
After joining forces with the South Metro Patriots, the Battle Creek Sting look to compete in the West. They look to rebound from a Week 1 loss against the Warriors.
9. Minnesota Brawlers (0-2) -1
The first two weeks have come against the Top 2 Ranked teams, so look for the Brawlers to pick up some wins after their Bye Week.
10. Hudson Thunderhawks (0-2) -1
The Thunderhawks held their own against two of the best in the East, but weren't able close-out. 2017 should be an improved season once the team gets rolling.