The Albany Empire are now tied for first place in the Arena Football league after beating the Baltimore Brigade 61 - 53. This week will be for sole possession of first as they play the team they're tied with for first place the Baltimore Brigade. If last week's game was any indication then this week's game will be a fight. That's why this week's Players to watch are the Empire Offensive line.

Last week Empire Quarterback Tommy Grady was named offensive player of the week after completing 19-of-30 passes for 248 yards and eight touchdowns. To beat the Brigade for the second straight week he'll need to be that good again. Which means the O Line needs to keep him upright. The Empire Roster is always available at their website.

#68 Ryan Cave: Cave is a big man and possibly my daughter’s favorite.  He debuted in the AFL with the Spokane Shock, where he spent his first two seasons in the league. In 2015, Cave was assigned to the Orlando Predators, where he played in 16 games, and added a touchdown reception as an eligible tight end. After spending the 2016 season with the Jacksonville Sharks, Cave was assigned to Tampa Bay and helped lead the Storm to an ArenaBowl appearance

#75 Hayworth Hicks: After graduating, he was signed and played on the practice squads of teams such as the Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs. In 2014, Hicks was assigned to the Orlando Predators, where he played under Keefe. The following season, he was assigned to the Arizona Rattlers, and helped lead the team get to the ArenaBowl.

# 72 Bret Piekarski: Bret Piekarski made a brief stop in the AFL in 2017, joining the Cleveland Gladiators for the playoffs. He joined the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks for the 2017 season where he was named second team All-NAL and helped lead his team to the championship game.

#58 Kyle Steuck: Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Steuk attended Northern Michigan for college. In his four years at college, he started nearly every game from his sophomore year through his senior year. He racked up awards such as Newcomer of the Year, All-Conference and All-American honors, and was the lineman MVP of the National Bowl.

 #13 Wesley Mauia: Wes is listed as a LB but I always see him mowing down defenders so I added him.  After graduating, Mauia began his professional football career with the San Antonio Talons. He bounced around year to year from San Jose, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Philadelphia, where he won a championship with the Soul in
2016. Mauia spent 2017 playing in the NAL in Mexico with the Monterrey Steel. He has never been to New York State before and is looking forward to coming to a new area.


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