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Monday, August 3, 2015

Pioneers to take on Predators in quest for 6th NEFL, 7th league title in a row

In case you didn't know, the St. Paul Pioneers are vying for their sixth consecutive NEFL crown -- and seventh straight league title overall -- Saturday when they take on the Chippewa Valley Predators at 6 p.m. at SeaFoam.

Miles scores a touchdown.
Travis Griffin blocks a punt.
The Pioneers defeated the North Bank Bulls 35-7 last weekend in the second round of the NEFL playoffs. Chippewa Valley beat the River Cities Rough Riders in Winona. The teams, frequent foes in the playoffs ever since the Pioneers joined the NEFL in 2010, feature powerful offenses and opportunistic defenses.

St. Paul reached the title game behind the legs of running back Riza Mahmoud, who topped the 1,000-yard mark for the season and scored two touchdowns. He was joined in the end zone by receiver Justin Miles, quarterback Cleve McCoy and receiver Juice Akins.

Players of the Game:
Alex Christen blocks for Mahmoud.

Offense: Riza Mahmoud and the entire offensive line, which did not allow a sack.

Defense: Rob Wills, who had a sack and several quarterback hurries.

Special Teams: Bobby Wright, who made tackles all over the field.

The Pioneers are expecting their biggest crowd of the season Saturday. You will not want to miss this one.

Chippewa Valley is the last NEFL team to defeat St. Paul, in a game in Eau Claire in 2013. The Predators won the league championship, the Elite Bowl, in 2009 -- the same year the Pioneers won the NAFL National Championship before coming to the NEFL.

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