The Erie Explosion moved to the CIFL from the UIFL. The team used a three touchdown fourth quarter to win their first CIFL game 42-40 at Marion. The team would not be challenged again until a 32-29 home victory against the Kentucky Xtreme. Dayton and Erie would enter the next to last week of the regular season, both undefeated. Erie came out of Dayton with a 21-14 victory in a thrilling defensive battle. It was widely believed that the two would rematch again for the CIFL title. However, while Erie dispatched the Xtreme 55-6 in the first round of the playoffs, Dayton was defeated by Saginaw, 66-63. Saginaw traveled to Erie for a Mother's Day championship bout. Saginaw took an early 22-10 lead, but Erie stormed back, defeating Saginaw in the final two minutes, 37-36. Statistics for the season were incomplete. The team returned to defend their title in 2014 with the motto "Explode and Reload!" Eight new starters joined the team, but success remained the norm. Offensive player of the year and quarterback Aaron Smetanka threw for 19 touchdowns to just one pick in the regular season, leading Erie to a 5-2 record, with other games being forfeited by the opponent. The team allowed just 35 second quarter points during the regular season, en rout to a second place finish in the CIFL North division behind Saginaw. Richard Stokes led the league in rushing, with 516 yards and 18 scores. Erie would advance to the postseason and played their first game at Saginaw. The Sting were thwarted by Erie 46-15 and Erie would defend its CIFL title. After taking an early 19-0 lead at Marion, Marion stormed back on a 26-0 run. However, Erie matched their earlier 19-0 run and won going away 38-26.