Erie Explosion
LeagueAIFA (2007-2010)
SIFL (2011)
UIFL (2012-present)
Team historyPittsburgh RiverRats (2007)
Erie RiverRats (2008-2009)
Erie Storm (2010)
Erie Explosion (2011-present)
ArenaLouis J. Tullio Arena
Based inErie, Pennsylvania
Team colorsBlack, Orange, White
Head coachShawn Liotta

The Erie Explosion is a professional indoor football team. It is a member of the Ultimate Indoor Football League, and plays its home games at the Louis J. Tullio Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania.


The Explosion began play in 2007 as the Pittsburgh RiverRats, playing that season's home games at the Rostraver Ice Garden in Rostraver Township, Pennsylvania. The "RiverRats" name and logo were originally supposed to be used by the Reading Express, but that team chose the Express branding instead, freeing it up for use by another AIFA team.[1]

On August 20, 2006, the RiverRats signed quarterback David Dinkins, formerly of the Erie Freeze of the AIFA, and designated him as the team's franchise player for the 2007 season.

The RiverRats played their first game on February 3, 2007 on the road in Tupelo, MS, but lost 54-34 to the Mississippi Mudcats. Their first home game was on February 18, 2007 which they lost 35-28 to the Reading Express.

Pittsburgh won its first home game by beating the Danville Demolition 47-21 on March 4, 2007, and then won its first away game by beating Danville a second time, on March 9, 2007, by a score of 34-29.

The team finished their inaugural season at a respectable 7-7 record, good for fourth place in the Northern Conference and a wild-card playoff berth. Unfortunately, the Rats were eliminated in the first round, losing 42-24 to the eventual conference champions Reading Express.

On January 8, 2008 the RiverRats announced they would be leaving the Mon Valley in favor of Erie for the 2008 season, renaming themselves the Erie RiverRats. They replaced the city's previous AIFA team, the Erie Freeze.[2] The RiverRats have several Freeze connections, including many of the Freeze's best players: QB/WR David Dinkins, cornerback Jovon Johnson (himself an Erie native), ace kicker J.R. Cipra, center Jonathon Sitter, and defensive tackle Roosevelt Benjamin. League owner Michael Mink stated that he considers the RiverRats to be a consolidation of the original RiverRats and the Freeze[3] with the team retaining the RiverRats name, franchise and management structure.

The team signed Rod Rutherford, a former NFL backup, as the starting quarterback in the middle of the 2008 season. It is said that Dinkins recommended Rutherford to the team, and Dinkins (who originally was playing quarterback) moved to wide receiver to accommodate his arrival.

At the end of the 2008 season, five RiverRats (QB Rod Rutherford, OL Anthony Peluso, K J. R. Cipra, LB Glenroy Watkins, & LB Roosevelt Benjamin) were named onto the AIFA Eastern Conference All-Star team.[1]

In 2009, Dinkins departed for the Wheeling Wildcats, and as a result, the RiverRats struggled all season to score points and missed the playoffs for the first time, finishing with a 3-11 record under head coach Steven G. Folmar.

On September 8, 2009 the RiverRats announced that Shawn Liotta would return to Erie as the head coach for the 2010 season. In December, it was announced that owner Jeff Hauser had sold a stake in the franchise to a local group that included Jeff Plyler (owner of Plyler Overhead Door of McKean, PA) and Bill Stafford (owner of several Subway restaurant locations in Erie), among others. Hauser will maintain a smaller stake in the team, which immediately dropped the RiverRats name. The team will remain in the AIFA, and the team adopted the corporate name "Erie Professional Football, Inc." in December 2009, in anticipation of a new franchise name to be announced in January 2010.[4]

On January 5, 2010, the team announced the four finalists of the name-the-team contest; Storm, Blizzard, Pulse, and Punishers. On January 14, 2010 the team was officially named the Erie Storm via a press conference, in which the team logo and colors were also released.

Aided by Dinkins's return, the briefly rechristened Storm rebounded to an 8-6 season in 2010, before losing to the Harrisburg Stampede in the playoffs. Dinkins retired at the end of the season.[5]

On May 5, 2010, Lake Erie College based in Painesville, Ohio has asked a court judge to order the Erie Storm not use the Erie Storm name due to similarities with their own name the Lake Erie Storm. As of October 2010, the name "Storm" has been dropped, and the team is once again using the name "Erie Professional Football," which remains the name of the team's corporate entity.

On December 3, 2010, the team announced its new identity as the Erie Explosion, including a new logo, but retaining the same color scheme as the Storm previously had. After dealing with the legalities of the previous name, the ownership of the Explosion have secured the legal trademark of the new name, ensuring that this will be the last re-brand in the foreseeable future.[6] The Erie Explosion was also one of 6 AIFA teams which were merged with the SIFL prior to the 2011 season. The Explosion announced the signing of Quarterback, Adam DiMichele, along with former local Erie Strong Vincent star, Maurice Williams, and college star receiver David Ball.

On May 21, 2011, the Explosion set a single-game franchise record, including an unofficial indoor football record, for the most points scored in a 138-0 blowout win over the Fayetteville Force after the Force was forced to restock its team with scrubs in an ownership change.[7] The margin of victory is the third-highest in all of professional football, and the highest in over 100 years: only the 1903 Massillon Tigers (who won a game 148-0) and 1904 Watertown Red & Black (who won a game 142-0) have had wider margins of victory

Erie was only one of the six charter AIFL markets to have continuously held an AIFL or AIFA team since the AIFL's founding in 2005, counting both the Freeze and the RiverRats/Storm.

On August 25, 2011, the Explosion left the SIFL and joined the Ultimate Indoor Football League. The change reunites Erie with Andrew Haines, who founded the city's previous indoor football team, the Erie Freeze.[8] (The Explosion's departure came two weeks before the SIFL broke up into the Lone Star Football League and the Professional Indoor Football League, neither of which included Pennsylvania in their territories.)

Current rosterEdit

Erie Explosion rosterview · talk · edit
  • Currently vacant

Running Backs

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Wide Receivers

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Offensive Linemen
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Defensive Linemen

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  • Currently vacant
Defensive Backs
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Injured Reserve
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Exempt List

  • Currently vacant

Practice Squad

  • Currently vacant

Rookies in italics
[2] updated August 26, 2011</br> 0 Active, 0 Inactive, 0 PS

More rosters

Season-by-season Edit

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties

Season W L T Finish Playoff results
Pittsburgh RiverRats (AIFA)
2007 7 7 0 4th Northern Lost NC Round 1 (Reading)
Erie RiverRats (AIFA)
2008 10 4 0 2nd EC Northern Lost ECN Round 1 (Reading)
2009 3 11 0 5th Northern --
Erie Storm (AIFA)
2010 8 6 0 3rd Eastern Lost EC Round 1 (Harrisburg)
Erie Explosion (SIFL)
2011 9 3 0 1st EC Northeast Lost EC Round 1 (Albany)
Erie Explosion (UIFL)
2012 -- -- -- -- --
Totals 37 35 0 (including playoffs)

2007 Season ScheduleEdit

As the Pittsburgh RiverRats

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
February 3 Mississippi Mudcats Away Lost 34-54
February 18 Reading Express Home Lost 28-35
February 23 Canton Legends Away Lost 11-45
March 4 Danville Demolition Home Won 47-21
March 9 Danville Demolition Away Won 34-29
March 17 Johnstown Riverhawks Away Lost 13-43
March 30 Johnstown Riverhawks Home Won 47-42
April 14 Florence Phantoms Home Won 66-60
April 21 Huntington Heroes Away Lost 34-55
April 28 Canton Legends Home Won 62-33
May 6 Reading Express Away Lost 40-57
May 12 Erie Freeze Away Won 52-45
May 19 Erie Freeze Home Won 86-72
May 25 Huntington Heroes Home Lost 26-69
June 9 Reading Express (Playoffs) Away Lost 24-42

2008 Season ScheduleEdit

As the Erie RiverRats

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
March 9 Carolina Speed Home Won 42-21
March 15 Canton Legends Away Won 38-24
March 22 Columbus Lions Away Won 54-48
March 31 Reading Express Home Lost 34-44
April 11 Huntington Heroes Away Lost 24-54
April 18 Baltimore Mariners Home Won 55-40
April 25 Baltimore Mariners Away Won 49-17
May 3 Canton Legends Home Won 50-48
May 9 Huntington Heroes Home Won 47-43
May 17 Huntington Heroes Away Won 52-31
May 24 Florence Phantoms Away Lost 27-57
May 31 Canton Legends Home Won 45-37
June 7 Reading Express Home Won 51-32
June 14 Reading Express Away Lost 26-66
June 21 Rochester RaidersAway Lost 6-41
July 3 Reading Express (Playoffs) Away Lost 57-67

¶ Exhibition match

2009 Season ScheduleEdit

As the Erie RiverRats

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
March 15 Baltimore Mariners Away Lost 32-60
March 28 D.C. Armor Home Lost 30-34
April 4 Carolina Speed Away Lost 12-38
April 11 Reading Express Away Lost 13-47
April 18 Harrisburg Stampede Home Lost 31-34
April 26 Reading Express Home Lost 48-66
May 2 Fayetteville Guard Away Lost 28-58
May 10 Baltimore Mariners Home Won 53-50
May 23 Harrisburg Stampede Home Won 54-44
May 30 Harrisburg Stampede Away Lost 29-53
June 6 Carolina Speed Home Lost 21-51
June 13 Reading Express Away Lost 27-45
June 20 D.C. Armor Away Lost 28-47
June 27 Florence Phantoms Home Won 60-20

2010 Season ScheduleEdit

As the Erie Storm

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
March 7 Reading Express Home Won 41-28
March 14 Harrisburg Stampede Home Lost 34-41
March 27 Reading Express Away Lost 51-53
April 3 Harrisburg Stampede Away Lost 19-58
April 16 Richmond Raiders Home Won 44-35
April 25 Reading Express Home Won 41-34
April 30 Richmond Raiders Away Won 53-39
May 8 Harrisburg Stampede Away Lost 35-54
May 14 New Jersey Revolution Home Won 40-38
May 22 Fayetteville Guard Home Won 55-52
May 29 New Jersey Revolution Away Won 68-58
June 5 Baltimore Mariners Away Lost 51-34
June 13 Baltimore Mariners Home Lost 39-37
June 19 Fayetteville Guard Away Won 65-58

2011 Season ScheduleEdit

Date Opponent Home/Away Result
March 20 Harrisburg Stampede Away Won 46-25
March 26 Trenton Steel Away Won 76-73
April 1 Carolina Speed Away Won 39-36
April 9 Trenton Steel Home Lost 62-65
April 15 Harrisburg Stampede Home Won 89-35
April 23 Richmond Raiders Home Won 74-54
April 30 Harrisburg Stampede Away Lost 40-41
May 7 Richmond Raiders Away Won 65-50
May 13 Trenton Steel Home Won 90-79
May 21 Fayetteville Force Home Won 138-0
May 26 Trenton Steel Away Lost 78-53
June 4 Harrisburg Stampede Home Won 71-32
June 18 Albany Panthers (Playoffs) Away Lost 43-68

2012 Season Edit


Date Opponent Home/Away Result
March 3 Danville Dragons Home
March 10 Johnstown Generals Away
March 17 Canton Cougars Away
March 24 Canton Cougars Home
March 31 Johnstown Generals Home
April 7 Western Pennsylvania Sting Home
April 14 Johnstown Generals Away
April 21 Western Pennsylvania Sting Home
April 28 Northern Kentucky Monsters Home
May 5 Canton Cougars Home
May 19 Canton Cougars Away
May 26 Cincinnati Commandos Away
June 2 Western Pennsylvania Sting Away
June 9 Marion Blue Racers Away
June 16 Danville Dragons Away


2012 Northern East Division
view · talk · edit W L T PCT PF PA DIV GB STK
Canton Cougars 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0-0 --- --
Erie Explosion 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0-0 --- --
Johnstown Generals 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0-0 --- --
Western Pennsylvania Sting 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0-0 --- --


External links Edit

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