Slaughter win CIFL championship

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL -- The Chicago Slaughter finished the season in perfect fashion on Saturday, defeating the Fort Wayne Freedom 58-48 in the Continental Indoor Football League title game.

The Slaughter capped off an undefeated 14-0 season at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates to win the championship.

According to a team release, head coach Steve McMichael thanked the "true football fans of Chicago," during the trophy presentation.

"Celebrate the championship of Chicago because it's your team to," McMichael said, according to the release. "Undefeated, the Chicago Slaughter are here to stay. Now, let's go party."

The Slaughter led 51-42 midway through the final quarter and held Fort Wayne to a missed field goal. Wide receiver Donovan Morgan broke the game open with a 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Russ Michna, giving Chicago a 58-42 lead. Fort Wayne couldn't recover, and the Slaughter held on for the win.

Michna, who was named MVP of the game, went 14-for-20 with 182 yards and seven touchdowns. Morgan caught three and fellow receiver Bobby Sippio added two.

Chicago was shut out in the first quarter for the first time all season. The Freedom received the opening kickoff and scored 1:40 later on a 38-yard pass from quarterback Randy Hutchison (27-for-48, 355 yards) to Luther Stroder (109 yards, three touchdowns).

On the Slaughter's first possession of the game, Michna was hit and fumbled while running toward the end zone. Fort Wayne recovered the ball, but could not capitalized and was stopped on downs inside the 10-yard-line.

After the first quarter ended with Fort Wayne leading 7-0, the teams traded touchdowns for most of the second quarter. Chicago's Reggie Gray returned a kickoff 46 yards for one score, while Michna fired three passing touchdowns in the first half. Morgan grabbed two of those, while receiver Dontrell Jackson got the other. On the final play of the first half, Chris Nednick hit a 52-yard field goal, which was the longest in CIFL history. The Slaughter also set a CIFL record for points in one quarter with 31. Chicago also scored the most points in CIFL Championship Game history with 58, which beat out the previous record of 41.