The Quad City Steamwheelers rallied with two touchdowns in the final 1:10 to beat the Frisco Fighters 48-41 Friday night and clinch the IFL’s Eastern Conference championship.
QC trailed 41-26 before scoring the final 22 points of the game.
The Steamwheelers will face the winner of Saturday night’s Western Conference championship game between the Arizona Rattlers and the Northern Arizona Wranglers in the IFL Championship Game on August 13 in Las Vegas.
Down 7 with 1:10 to play, Steamwheelers quarterback E.J. Hilliard scrambled on 3rd and 10 for a 17-yard run (that took him back to the opposite 17 before escaping) to tie the game at 41.
After QC recovered a Frisco fumble on the next drive, Hilliard found Keyvan Rudd on 2nd and 20 for 40 yards with 3 seconds left.
The Steamwheelers survived a heave into the end zone and the celebration could begin.
The previous Steamwheelers franchise won af2 titles in 2000 and 2001. This is the first title game appearance since the team returned in 2018, playing first in the CIF and in the IFL since 2019.