CASPER, Wyoming (July 26, 2009) – The Reading Express turned in an overpowering second-half performance in winning AIFA Bowl III over the Wyoming Cavalry, 65-42. In a stunning reversal of the first half, the Express defense shutout the powerful Wyoming offense in the second half until the game was no longer in doubt late in the fourth quarter.
The Express showed a disciplined game in overcoming a boisterous Wyoming crowd. The Cavalry took an early lead and went to the locker room ahead, 34-30. But in the second half, Reading picked up an early score with Rob Flowers firing a seven-yard TD pass to Carmelo Ocasio. With an ensuing Erik Rockhold uno kick, Reading took a 38-34 lead. Rockhold connected on four singles for the night.
Then, in perhaps the key moment of the game, Reading's Jo Jo Polk intercepted an errant pass by Wyoming quarterback Matt Strand and returned it ten yards for another score and a 45-34 lead. The powerful Cavalry offense remained stuck on 34 until the final minute of the game.
AIFA Bowl III marked an intriguing match up of former AIFA Bowl participants. The Cavalry lost to the Florence Phantoms in AIFA Bowl II, while the Express lost AIFA Bowl I to the Lakeland Thunderbolts. With the victory, the Express moved to the winning side of the ledger in AIFA championship play.
“From an AIFA perspective, you always hope that your championship game demonstrates the very best of what the league is all about,” said AIFA co-founder John Morris. “This game certainly did that. It captured the imagination of football fans across the country.
"The Express overcame every obstacle to earn this championship. I'd like to over my hearty congratulations to both teams on their great seasons. And I'd like to compliment the Wyoming Cavalry organization, the community of Casper and the State of Wyoming for an outstanding effort in hosting this game."