CIF Power Rankings, May 19
Author Note: Due to providing coverage of the NCAA Division II Softball Championship, this is appearing a lot later than it should. My apologies for the inconvenience.
With the postseason mere weeks away now, there’s still quite a bit of excitement in Champions Indoor Football. So far, only one team has stamped their place in going to the playoffs. That team? The Texas Revolution, who still sit on top of this week’s CIF Power Rankings.
The movement belongs to the top of the order this time around, as Wichita leaps two spots to the number two slot, due to their 23-19 win against the Sioux City Bandits at the Tyson Event Center. However, Sioux City isn’t penalized harshly for the close loss, dropping to the third spot in the poll.
Amarillo and Omaha switch spots this week, based on the Venom’s dominating second half performance over the Duke City Gladiators while the Beef needed a blocked field goal in the final seconds to prevail over the Chicago Eagles.
As for playoff spots, there are still plenty of teams in the Northern Division and Southern Division who are still in contention. In the northern six, Omaha has the edge on the final playoff spot with Bloomington closing in fast after their stellar win over Salina. Even with the loss, Chicago is still not out yet, but will need to win out and for Omaha and Bloomington to stumble down the stretch.
Salina dropped out with their loss to the Edge this past weekend.
In the Southern Division, Duke City is still very much alive while Amarillo and Dodge City are currently vying for second place and a postseason home game.
With playoff implications still up in the air, and without further delay…
Texas Revolution (8-1): Remaining atop of the CIF mountain is the Texas Revolution, who return to action after their bye week. The “Red Hot Revs” have kept up to their recent namesake, holding onto the top spot in total offense with 2,587 yards in 423 plays. Slice that nine different ways, Texas averages 287 yards per game. And let’s not forget about those 78 touchdowns that the Revs have garnered. The defense isn’t a slouch either, as defensive back Anthony Webb is among the CIF leaders in the interception department, with six picks this year. Texas will host lowly Mesquite on Friday night at the Allen Event Center. The Revs have a solid 2-0 season series advantage over the Marshals. Last Week’s Ranking: 1 (None)
Wichita Force (7-2): In a defensive battle for CIF Northern Division supremacy, Wichita defeated Sioux City on the road this past weekend, 23-19. The Force were able to grab the late lead over the Bandits with a one-yard touchdown run by running back Julian Hayes. The Force then preserved their lead in the waning moments of the game via a kickoff forced fumble by defensive back Evan Ray and the recovery by wide receiver Brett Soft. Linebacker Jason Catchings also provided a boost, hauling in seven tackles and blocking a Sioux City field goal to become the CIF Defensive Player of the Week. Wichita will now travel to Amarillo, where they will face off against the Venom at 7:05 p.m. this Saturday at the Amarillo Civic Center Cal Farley Coliseum. Last Week’s Ranking: 4 (+2)
Sioux City Bandits (7-3): Despite the 23-19 home loss to Wichita, Sioux City didn’t far very far in this week’s poll. The Bandits held onto the lead for a majority of the game, and had it not been for a late fumble on the kickoff, Sioux City would have had the chance to prolong their five-game winning streak to six. Tailback Drew Prohaska led Sioux City against the Force, gaining 76 yards and a touchdown in 14 carries. Also, quarterback Chuck Wright was alright in his showing, completing all of his passes save for eight, along with a touchdown. The Bandits will look to recover going into the bye week, before traveling to Wichita to battle the Force once more for CIF Northern Division title on May 28. Last Week’s Ranking: 2 (-1)
Dodge City Law
Dodge City Law (6-3): Along with the majority of the CIF Southern Division, the Law sat idle this week, following a heartbreaking 72-64 road loss to the Texas Revolution on May 7. On the bright side, the Law has run rampant with their number one rushing offense, generating more than 1,200 yards this season. All thanks to the super-mobile quarterback Derrick Bernard and running back Dominique Carson, who led the CIF in rushing. Bernard averages 78 yards per game, while Carson hauls in 62. Dodge City will aim to cement their place in the playoffs, hosting San Angelo on Saturday night at the United Wireless Arena. The chances are good for earning a postseason spot, as the Law currently owns a 2-0 season series advantage over the Bandits. Last Week’s Ranking: 3 (-1)
VENOM graphic - color
Amarillo Venom (6-3): Home sweet home. That’s what the Amarillo Venom has been pleased about following a victory over Duke City at home by the score of 48-27. The Venom have now won two straight on the back of their defense, who saw defensive backs Leroy Trahan and Ronnie Goforth grab interceptions. New addition Jevin Colbert also provided a healthy boost with a fumble recovery. The wide receiver duo of Raymond Johnson Jr. and Tommy Curry provided help to the offense, putting up 82 and 73 yards respectively with each providing a touchdown. Amarillo hopes to continue their success in the defensive aspect of the indoor game, as the Venom will host Wichita at home this Saturday. Last Week’s Ranking: 6 (+1)
Omaha Beef (5-4): As a great coach once said, “wins are like girlfriends, not all of them around going to be pretty.” That proved to be the story of the game for the Omaha Beef, who needed a huge field goal block by linebacker/defensive back Devon Bridges to edge out the Chicago Eagles at home, 43-42. Even though Brandon Steed threw three picks against Chicago, the Bethel College product tossed for 225 yards and five touchdowns. Steed also led the Beef with 48 rushing yards. Omaha now has its sights set on making the playoff push, host a reeling Salina at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Slaughterhouse. Last Week’s Ranking: 5 (-1)
Bloomington Edge (4-5): Bloomington’s chances of getting to the postseason improved this past weekend by routing Salina at home, 61-29. The Edge jumped off a 23-0 start and didn’t look back, as quarterback Caleb Holbrook went 16-of-35 with 147 yards and three TDs. Orlandus Harris Sr. and Daron Clark Jr. each earned the CIF Offensive Player of the Week and CIF Special Teams Player of the Week honors respectively. Harris tabbed five catches for 58 yards and two trips to paydirt, while Clark made an electrifying touchdown return following a missed field goal by Salina. The Edge also saw two picks from defensive back Mike McGee. Bloomington will seek to better their playoff chances by hosting Chicago at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Last Week’s Ranking: 8 (+1)
Duke City Gladiators
Duke City Gladiators (5-5): Fell to Amarillo on the road, 48-27. Since starting the 2016 season with a 4-1 record, the Gladiators have been brought down to earth, winning just one of their last five games. Injuries are mostly to blame for this one. While being plagued by injuries, wide receiver Dello Davis could be regarded as one of the best wideouts in the league, catching eight passes for 60 yards and touchdown against the Venom. However, the Gladiators will have to get over their second half woes, as Duke City only scored six points in the third and fourth quarters. Duke City will have a chance to redeem themselves, taking a week off before hosting the Amarillo Venom on May 28 at the Tingley Coliseum. The season series is tied at one game apiece. Last Week’s Ranking: 7 (-1)
Chicago Eagles (3-7): While their chances of reaching the postseason in their inaugural campaign is still there, the chances are fast becoming dim for the fledgling Chicago Eagles. The Red, White and Blue had a solid chance to force overtime against the Omaha Beef on the road, as kicker Jules Harshbarger’s tying boot was blocked in the closing seconds. This turn of events handed Chicago a 43-42 loss. While Harshbarger became the first female kicker in CIF history (Congrats, by the way), quarterback Anthony Iannotti has proved to be the backbone of the Eagles, going 12-of-22 with 123 yards passing and four TDs. Running back Chris Perry was stellar as well, rushing for 104 yards on 13 carries. Chicago will take a shorter trip this week, traveling to Bloomington to face the Edge on Saturday night. Last Week’s Ranking: 9 (None)
Salina Liberty (2-8): If the Liberty weren’t out of the playoff picture last week, they certainly are now after losing to Bloomington on the road by the score of 61-29. Wide receiver Zach McClain led the Liberty receiver corps against the Edge, totaling six catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, the Liberty had amounted three turnovers in the tough loss – as Salina quarterback Derek Racette tossed two picks while backup quarterback Keahn Wallace coughed a fumble. Salina will aim their sights on salvaging their season, traveling to the Slaughterhouse in Ralston to take on the Omaha Beef at 7 p.m. this Friday. Last Week’s Ranking: 10 (None)
San Angelo Bandits (2-7): The rest was well deserved for the San Angelo Bandits, after falling to the Amarillo Venom by the score of 52-35. Compared to their rough start, the Bandits have improved in the past few weeks, due to a change of offensive coordinators. But with a loaded CIF Southern Division, San Angelo will be forced to play for pride from here on out, as the Bandits was clearly too far behind the likes of Duke City and Amarillo to steal the final postseason spot. The Bandits will head north this weekend to take on Dodge City at 7 p.m. Saturday at the United Wireless Arena. The Bandits will seek to chip away at the 2-0 season series record held by Dodge City. Last Week’s Ranking: 11 (None)
Mesquite Marshals (1-8): As with most of the CIF Southern Division this past week, Mesquite was given a short break in their season. While the Marshals have come close to winning on numerous occasions, with the latest being a 47-43 loss to Duke City, Mesquite has been competitive. If anything, Head Coach Larry Hendrix, who has extensive playing and coaching experience for numerous indoor football teams, will have Mesquite improve in their second campaign. So don’t give up hope, Marshal fans. You will see some vast improvement in 2017. Mesquite will travel to Allen to take on the Texas Revolution at 7 p.m. on Friday. Last Week’s Ranking: 12 (None)