Posted on July 24, 2012 at 8:29 AM
Wednesday, Jul 25 at 10:03 PM
Their 11-game winning streak snapped by the Iowa Barnstormers on Saturday night, the Talons returned to practice Monday morning to start preparing for the Arena Football League postseason.
The Talons (14-4) play the Utah Blaze (12-6) in a first-round National Conference playoff game at 7 p.m. Friday at the Alamodome.
Eight teams --- four from the National Conference and four from the American Conference --- advanced to the playoffs. The conference champions meet in ArenaBowl XXV on Aug. 10 in New Orleans.
San Antonio, which won the Central Division, clinched the No. 1 seed in the National Conference and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs by beating Arizona on July 13.
Utah, the No. 4 seed in the National Conference, was trounced 69-34 Sunday night by the Philadelphia Soul. The Soul (15-3) won the Eastern Division in the American Conference and finished with the best record in the AFL.
The Talons are 2-0 against the Blaze this season, winning 54-48 in the teams' season opener March 10 at the Alamodome and 64-61 May 26 in Salt Lake City.
No. 2 seed and Western Division champion Arizona (13-5) will host No. 3 San Jose in the other National Conference quarterfinal game Saturday.
In the American Conference, No. 1 seed and Eastern Division champion Philadelphia hosts No. 4 New Orleans and South Division champion and No. 2 Jacksonville entertains No. 3 Georgia. Both games are Saturday night.
Jacksonville beat Arizona 73-70 in last year's ArenaBowl. The Sharks were led by quarterback Aaron Garcia, who threw the winning touchdown pass as time expired.
Garcia, who was named MVP of ArenaBowl XXIV and was the league's offensive player of the year last season, signed with the Talons in the offseason.
Arena Football League Playoff Schedule
National Conference Quarterfinals
Utah Blaze (12-6) at San Antonio Talons (14-4), 7 p.m., Friday
San Jose SaberCats (12-6) at Arizona Rattlers (13-5), 9 p.m., Saturday
American Conference Quarterfinals
New Orleans VooDoo (8-10) at Philadelphia Soul (15-3), 6:05 p.m., Saturday
Georgia Force (9-9) at Jacksonville Sharks (10-8), 6 p.m., Saturday
Note: The National Conference and American Conference champions play in the AFL's championship game, Arena Bowl XXV, on Aug. 10 in New Orleans.