Sioux Falls, SD – The Spokane Empire went on the road for the 2016 IFL United Bowl Championship and were unable to pull off the upset in their inaugural season as they fell to the Sioux Falls Storm by a final of 55-34 at the Denny Sanford Premiere Center.
The Empire struck first as quarterback Charles Dowdell found receiver J.J. Hayes before the Spokane defense held the Storm to a failed 29-yard field goal attempt on their opening possession. The Sioux Falls defense then came up with a key stop to avoid a two score deficit as they recovered an Empire fumble to close out the first quarter with Spokane leading 7-0.
Sioux Falls went on to score 20 points in the second quarter as they held the Empire to a failed field goal attempt. Spokane was able to find the end zone once before the end of the half, but a Storm touchdown with three seconds left on the clock would give Sioux Falls the 20-13 halftime lead.
The five-time defending IFL champion Storm took control in the second half as they would find the end zone on their first play from scrimmage via a 49-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Lorenzo Brown to receiver Mike Tatum.
Through the remainder of the game, the Storm would find the end zone four more times while limiting Spokane to only 21 points.
The Empire were able to bring the game back within two scores with just under three minutes remaining, but the Storm found the end zone via a two-yard run by receiver Korey Williams and then recover a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to allow them to run out the clock for theirCharles Dowdell IFL championship win.
Empire quarterback Charles Dowdell completed 20-of-24 pass attempts for 184 yards and four touchdowns in the air while adding five rushes for 18 yards and one rushing score. Dowdell connected with three receivers for touchdowns on the night as Pierce and Hayes reach recorded a touchdown reception. Samuel Charles added three Lorenzo Brownr 67 yards and two scores.
Sioux Falls quarterback Lorenzo Brown connected on 10-of-16 passes for 161 yards and four passing touchdowMike Tatumo added 13 carries for 59 yards and three rushing scores. Mike Tatum led the Storm receiving effort Korey Williamsptions for 84 yards and two scores while Caleb Holley and Korey Williams each recorded one receiving touchdown.
Linebacker Tyler Knight led the Sioux Falls on defense as he recorded 9.5 total tackles (six solos), one sack, and one tackle for loss. J'Vonte Blackmon added 8.5 total tackles (eight solos) on the night.