Fairbanks Grizzlies



Years of Existence: 2009-
Venue: Carlson Center (Fairbanks, AK)
Accomplishments
2009 Quarterfinal appearance
2010 - Playoff appearance
2011 - Pacific Division champions, playoff appearance
Lifetime Record: 27-19
Home: 17-6
Away: 10-13
Playoffs: 1-3
Average Attendance: 1,900

The Fairbanks Grizzlies joined the new IFL from the old Intense league. Justin Rummell led the team, throwing for 55 scores and 18 picks. Josh Crawford, Keith Smith, and Lonnie Sanders were the star wide-outs, combining for 54 scores. Statistically, the team only outscored opponents in the fourth quarter, but nevertheless, went 7-7 on the year and due in part to the division the team played in, would earn a first round home playoff game against Colorado. The Grizzlies dismantled the Ice 42-14, despite losing four of their last six regular season games. The Grizzlies advanced to a second round game in Billings. In a game where only 283 total yards of offense were amassed, the Grizzlies struck first and led 7-0. Three turnovers and five turnovers on downs led to Billings scoring 50 straight points to blast the Grizzlies out of the postseason. The team returned in 2010, going 9-5 in the regular season. The Grizzlies were involved in three one point games, including a 56-55 victory over Billings. Fairbanks also was a contestant in the league's first-ever overtime game. The game stretched into four overtimes when the Grizzlies beat Tri-City 69-67. Justin Rummell quarterbacked the team for eleven games, throwing for 1,408 yards, 33 scores, and just nine interceptions. Lonnie Sanders caught the most touchdowns, with 21. Denny Kimmel and Antwan Harris each ran for five scores. The team qualified for the playoffs one game shy of hosting a game. Instead, the Grizzlies were forced to travel to San Angelo. The team trailed 35-12 in the third quarter, but was able to cut the deficit to 35-32. Unfortunately, San Angelo was able to pull out a 45-35 victory. The Grizzlies returned in 2011, but amidst much off-field trouble. Due to changes in state laws, the team's workman's compensation charges skyrocketed and it was announced that the team would fold. However, with a community effort and help from other league owners, the team was saved. After dropping the first three games of the season, the Grizzlies won ten of their final eleven contests to qualify for the playoffs and win a division crown. Donovan Porterie and Ryan Ratekin combined to throw for 1,894 yards, 44 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Porterie also scored 12 times on the ground, while star runner Romandre Gibbs gained 858 yards and scored 15 times. Tony Tyrod Taylor and John Hallman combined for 1,265 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns. On defense, James Romain picked ten passes and returned one for a score. The only other game the team would lose in the regular season came at the hands of Lehigh Valley, which was a shock. After having a bye week to end the regular season and a first round bye in the playoffs, the Grizzlies hosted the Allen Wranglers. The time off may have been a contributing factor, as the Wranglers led 21-20 at half, but would rout Fairbanks in the second half to take a 72-54 victory.