2022 USA Bowl National Champions
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Saturday, January 15th the Erie Express kicked off the 2022 season the same way they finished the 2021 season, as "National Champions". After finishing the 2021 season undefeated and as GDFL National Champions, the Express accepted an invitation to play in the USA Bowl Summer Division National Championship Game against the Iredell County Warriors out of North Carolina. The Warriors earned their invitation by winning the 2021 Sunshine Bowl Summer Division National Championship as well as the Carolinas Elite Football Alliance title.
Erie jumped out early with a 19-0 lead but the Warriors never stopped fighting and scored as time expired to pull within 1. With no time remaining on the clock the Warriors went for 2 points and the win. Erie's defense once again stepped up and stopped the conversion to secure the 25-24 victory. Erie stopped all 4 2pt attempts by the Warriors.
Express QB Brandon Hanna connected with Terry Jackson and twice to Corey McWilliams. Linebacker Mike McKinnon recorded the opening touchdown by recovering a fumble in the end zone. Mike, Safety Ashton Jones and cornerback Kameron Rubin all recorded interceptions for the Express. Defensive Back Marlon Tyree led the defense with 12 tackles for the game and Ashton Jones was named USA Bowl Player of the Game for his efforts.
"This was a very exciting game between two very good football teams. I've always said that if we play in a bowl game it will be the Express and no one else in our uniforms. That was the case Saturday. We dressed 42 guys all of whom played with us last season or have signed for this season, half of them I had not seen since our game against the Blackhawks. I was happy to see them Saturday though that's for sure. Basically our first team practice of the 2022 season, was for a Summer Division National Championship. Not a bad day at all."-Director of Operations Paul Pennington