Thunder Crowned Impact North Division Champs


Tulsa, OK- The Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) national playoffs begin on Saturday July 20 when the (7-1) three-time reigning GDFL National Champion Oklahoma Thunder will host the Joplin Crusaders (4-4).

“We’ve done exactly what we set out to do, wanted to do and said what we felt,” said Thunder offensive tackle Brandon Brown. “I know sometimes my voice is louder, but everybody is in this together. We’re are a proud, strong and defiant group of men. Getting to play in the top minor professional league in the country the (GDFL) and to do it with the team we have is just awesome experience.”

The Thunder look to win their four straight Gridiron Bowl.  Last season they defeated the Middle Tennessee Bulldawgs 29-15 on a hot and muggy Saturday night in Birmingham. The Bulldawgs got a little revenge winning 26-13 on June 29 in Nashville. Last season, Oklahoma suffered two losses in the regular season. This year they hope to once again overcome a loss to “four-peat”. 

“To be able to compete with my teammates on the field and back up all of our words with performances and to back up those performances with positive results, is incredible,” said Brown. “I feel like this team is in the midst of another run and we are on a quest to four-peat.”

Joplin is not a newcomer to the GDFL playoffs. They have over 20 years of experience on the minor league level. Their trophy case is filled with eight championships trophies from previous leagues. 

They opened their inaugural season with an impressive victory over the Memphis Blast. The GDFL showed the Crusaders how tough it was, as they suffered four division losses. The Crusaders playoff hopes where slim and they needed help to make it in. The victory over the Blast coupled with a win against the Texas Raiders propelled them to the postseason. 

“It’s been a up and down season,” said Sam Sturgis. “We are just excited to get the opportunity to compete for another national title.”


Joplin Crusaders vs Oklahoma Thunder

Playoff Picture


The Gridiron Developmental Football League is a Professional Developmental Football League based in Memphis, Tennessee. This League was established to provide the community with high quality sports entertainment and to provide athletes the opportunity to participate in professional sports. We are looking at partnering with national and local area businesses in our pursuit of excellence and commitment to our community. Our commitment, dedication, and vision are set on building a firm foundation for professionalism and quality. The Gridiron Developmental Football League continues to strive to provide a quality minor professional level of football throughout the United States and beyond giving area athletes and fans the opportunity be a part of history. Our organization would like to thank you for your support. We are excited about the upcoming season and look forward to “Making AN IMPACT” in our Community.

Fans can visit our website at for upcoming announcements, ticketing info, and player tryouts.

The GDFL Communications Office contributed to this article.