Non-league “Clash of the Titans” Announced

Two of the best semi-pro football teams in the country will clash on May 4, 2013 in St. Paul, Minn., as the St. Paul Pioneers, winners of three consecutive Northern Elite Football League championships and the 2009 NAFL National Championship, take on the Des Moines Blaze, winners of the past two Midwest Football Alliance championships and 2011 Semi-Pro BCS National Champions, in a non-league game.

The matchup will be played at 7 p.m. at Seafoam Stadium at Concordia University-St. Paul, home of the Pioneers.

“Our fans, our families, our players, have been asking for a challenging non-league schedule and quality opponents,” Pioneers Head Coach Mark Heiser said Monday. “They don’t get much better, or more challenging, than Des Moines.”

The Blaze showcases one of the best offensive players in the United States in all-world quarterback Demario Darrah. The signal-caller passed for 2,923 yards and an eye-popping 32 touchdowns in 2012.  As a team, the Blaze has been dominant in the MFA, finishing undefeated two years in a row. They won a game last season 91-0. Wideout Randy Blackford and running back Larry Taylor are top talents. The Blaze also boasts one of the best placekickers in the country in Brent Tisl.

The Pioneers finished the 2012 season with their first undefeated record in team history at 12-0. The Pioneers’ record since the team was founded in 2002: 102-29-1, with seven league championships, a national runner-up finish and a national championship.

It is a game that promises fireworks on both sides of the ball, as the Pioneers boast one of the country’s best defenses, strongest offenses and most consistent special teams. Pioneers running back Isaac Odim was named NEFL Western Division Offensive Player of the Year and totaled more than 1,000 yards rushing in 2012. Quarterback Michael Spriggs was runner up for league MVP honors and Jeff McGaster, the Pioneers’ dominant defensive tackle, was NEFL Western Division Defensive Player of the Year. Wideout Marcus Foster, cornerback Lionel Lamarre and defensive end Garrett Johnson are game- changers.

The Pioneers won the 2009 North American Football League National Championship before joining the NEFL in 2010. They have won the NEFL title each year they have been in the league and they will travel to Daytona Beach, Fla., to play the North Texas Longhorns on Jan. 19th for the USA Bowl Spring/Summer National Championship.

To find out more about the Des Moines Blaze, go to