On Saturday July 10, the Baltimore Mariners of the American Indoor Football Association made history by defeating the Harrisburg Stampede 63-15, continuing their perfect season and securing home field advantage for AIFA Bowl IV. It marks the first time since the 1959 that a Baltimore football franchise will host a championship.
The Mariners began the Eastern Conference Championship without their starting linebacker Brian Bradford who was sidelined with an injury, but were able to still hold the Stampede to one touchdown per half.
The hard fought match between the two rivals was lopsided for the first time in two seasons. Going into Saturday’s match up, the average margin of victory was just six points or less.
Led by quarterback E.J. Nemeth, who threw five touchdown passes for 236 yards, the Mariners were up to put up 17 in the first and third quarters, 23 in the second and 6 in the fourth to defeat the 12-4 Stampede.
Baltimore also put forth a quite a defensive effort in this win, with five interceptions for 74 yards. The Mariners will host the AIFA Bowl on July 25th against the winner of the Wyoming Cavalry or the San Jose Wolves game.