The Utah Valley Thunder joined the AIFA in 2009 and were the only team to challenge and defeat the Wyoming Cavalry in the West division. Mike Affleck led the team at quarterback, passing for 58 scores to just 13 picks. Akamu Aki caught 30 of the touchdowns. The team also rushed for 36 scores, as it defeated Ogden and New Mexico handedly except for a 70-69 overtime win at home to the Knights. The Thunder defeated Wyoming twice during the regular season, finishing at 11-3 and earning the right to play Wyoming for a sixth time to decide which team would host AIFA Bowl III. The Cavalry prevailed in a 43-31 contest. Following the 2009 season, the Thunder joined the AF1.