Tri-City Rush are 2021 AWFC Champions after a dominant inaugural season
PASCO, Wash. — Closing out its introductory season on a five-game winning streak, the Tri-City Rush indoor football team defeated the Idaho Horsemen 37-26 to claim the 2021 American West Football Conference (AWFC) Championship.
The championship game, which was held at the HAPO Event Center in Pasco on Saturday, September 4, solidified a perfect 7-0 season at home for the Tri-City Rush. Quarterback Les Obie finished his sensational year with four touchdowns in the championship game including a game-sealing rushing touchdown off a read-option play in the fourth quarter.
Obie was dominant throughout the year, passing for 1,888 yards and 47 touchdowns during the regular season. He led the entire league in both of those categories this year thanks to some nifty playmaking by the likes of Antoinne Wafer and Dashun Salgado Jr., who combined for 82 receptions and just under 1,110 receiving yards in the regular season.
This was a statement victory for the Tri-City Rush, which is in its first season as part of the AWFC. Much of its defensive success can be credited to a monstrous season by former WSU Cougar Marcellus Pippins—a shutdown cornerback who led the conference in interceptions (13) by a margin of eight picks.
Shortly after Pippins on that list are his teammates, Tyler Merkel and A.J. Smiley, who ranked second and tied for third in regular-season interceptions respectively.
From start to finish, the Tri-City Rush put everything into the 2021 AWFC season, culminating in the highest honor of this league. It was a triumphant return from the Tri-Cities after the region’s former AWFC team, the Tri-Cities Fire, folded ahead of the 2020 season.
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