Reading Express



Years of Existence: 2011-
Venue: Soveriegn Center (Reading, PA)
Accomplishments
2011 Atlantic Division champions, quarterfinal appearance
2012 -
Lifetime Record: 11-19
Home: 9-7
Away: 2-12
Playoffs: 1-1
Average Attendance: Not Reported

The Reading Express joined the IFL for the 2011 after leaving the defunct AIFA. Quarterback Chris Malleo led the new Express as a dual threat quarterback. He threw for 1,588 yards, 32 touchdowns and 14 picks, while running for 554 yards and 14 more touchdowns. However, he struggled midseason, giving way to Bill Winters for a handful of games. Winters threw for nine scores and two picks. Jeff Willis and Collin Taylor combined to catch 30 touchdowns, racking up 1,249 yards. Clarence Curry and Jesse Cooper combined to pick 13 passes on defense, while Mike and Ian Dell combined for 15 sacks. The Express was a team that struggled on offense. Losses of 62-19 and 73-40 to Green Bay and 44-14 to Bloomington would keep the team from beating a regular season opponent that had a winning record. The Express played in one of the weakest divisions in indoor football history, with expansion teams Lehigh Valley and Richmond. In the final regular season game, the Express played outdoors at Richmond in a lightning storm. Prior to kickoff, lightning took out the scoreboard and America One camera crews would not risk showing the game. Richmond ultimately won the game 21-14. The Express won the Atlantic division and would host the Chicago Slaughter. In a meeting in Chicago, the Express lost a late lead and fell 59-55. This time, the Express sacked famed Illinois quarterback Juice Williams nine times en rout to a 76-33 bludgeoning of the Slaughter. The Express returned to Green Bay for a third meeting. A back-and-forth affair raged late into the fourt quarter. A missed call in the second quarter allowed the Express to return an interception for a touchdown, keeping them in a 38-30 game, instead of going down 45-23. A goal line stand as the half ended kept it close. With a 58-51 deficit and the Ball, quarterback Chris Malleo was sacked in the enzone with 1:39 to go in the game. The Blizzard advanced, 68-51. After the team went up for sale in the 2011-2012 offseason, the original owners kept the team and the Express returned for 2012. However, the franchise reached a low milestone, winning just two games. In their first game with Lehigh Valley on the season, Reading trailed 34-0 after one quarter. The team's lone wins came against Lehigh Valley and Cedar Rapids. In their final game, the team allowed a record 89 points to Green Bay. Tim Bailey quarterbacked most of the team's season, throwing for 1,876 yards, 36 touchdowns and 23 picks. Chris Shubert caught 14 touchdowns and piled up 637 yards. The team went dormant for the 2013 season.