CIF Power Rankings, May 9
At long last, there is some stability in Champions Indoor Football. At least, according to this week’s poll. Also, a hearty congratulations should be sent toward the direction of the Texas Revolution, who is the first team in the CIF to attain a playoff berth.
To the surprise of no one after this past weekend, the “Red Hot Revs” are still on top of the CIF Mountain in this week’s Power Rankings. Sioux City, who trail close behind the Revs should be no issue either, having won five straight victories now.
But what will turn some heads could be the lack of a drop for the Dodge City Law. It will be explained as the run down goes on.
Despite a lack of movement, Chicago did jump two spots with their 51-50 victory over the Salina Liberty this past weekend. The Eagles leapt from 11th to ninth, swapping places with the San Angelo Bandits. Due to the nature of Salina’s loss, the Liberty dropped one spot while the Bandits’ four interceptions threw them back to the bottom of the heap.
And here we go…
Texas Revolution (8-1): Just when the Revs were trailing with time running out, Texas had the right things go their way in a 72-64 thrilling victory against the Dodge City Law last Saturday. This one lived up to the hype as two of the best in the Southern Division collided in Allen. While quarterback Robert Kent continued to make his case for being the CIF MVP with 256 yards and six touchdowns, wide receiver Clinton Solomon had a huge game. The former Iowa Hawkeye caught six passes for 117 yards and two scores in the victory. The Revs will now go into the bye week atop of the CIF Southern Division, before hosting Mesquite on May 20 at the Allen Event Center. So far into the 2016 campaign, the Revs have won all of their meetings against the upstart Marshals. Last Week’s Ranking: 1 (None)
Sioux City Bandits (7-2): It’s safe to say that as of right now, the defending champions are the hottest team in Champions Indoor Football. The Bandits extended their winning streak to five, following a convincing 61-33 win over Bloomington this past Saturday. Quarterback Chuck Wright is now the main man for the Bandits, completing all but three of this 21 passes with 170 yards and three TDs against the Edge. Sioux City’s defense also remains one of the opportunistic in the CIF, as the Bandits amassed one interception, recovered one of two Edge fumbles and sacked Bloomington quarterback and Week 10 Offensive Player of the Week Caleb Holbrook twice. Next up will be a battle for command of the CIF Northern Division, as Sioux City will host the Wichita Force at 7 p.m. on Saturday night in the friendly confines of the Tyson Event Center. Last Week’s Ranking: 2 (None)
Dodge City Law
Dodge City Law (6-3): With a half of a minute left in their battle against the Texas Revolution, Dodge City had a chance to be in the CIF Southern Division driver’s seat. However, the ending was less to be desired for the Law and their shot to take lead of the division. In Dodge City’s defense, it doesn’t take a division champion to bring home the gold. While Derrick Bernard, the sensational rookie signal-caller, didn’t put up the best numbers, the Sul Ross grad posted seven touchdowns through the air and on the ground. Wide receiver Daniel McKinney also turned in three touchdowns on just four receptions. The Law will take a breather this weekend and will retool before hosting the San Angelo Bandits on May 21 at the United Wireless Arena. Last Week’s Ranking: 3 (None)
Wichita Force (6-2): Goodbye, bye week. It’s been nice. Following a battle between two of the top teams in the CIF’s Southern Six, there will now be a fight for the supremacy of the CIF Northern Six – which features the Wichita Force on the road. Saturday evening will mark the beginning of a two-game season series with postseason implications between Wichita and the Sioux City Bandits. With quarterback Steve Panasuk gone, David Olson filled the role quite nicely in the Force’s 52-42 victory over the Chicago Eagles on April 30, tossing for 173 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for three more scores. To gain the inside edge toward a top seed in the north portion of the playoffs, the Force will need Olson to continue powering the well-tuned engine that is the Wichita offense. Last Week’s Ranking: 4 (None)
Omaha Beef (4-4): Another team who sat pat during their bye week is the Omaha Beef. While being the only team in the CIF with a .500 record, Omaha is sitting quite nicely in the CIF Northern Division playoff picture. But it is known that Head Coach and former Nebraska running back Cory Ross wants more from his squad. Plenty of credit has to go to defensive back Stephan McCord, who is second in the league with five picks while defensive lineman/linebacker Devon Bridges leads the league in the sacks department. With the help of the third-best scoring defense and second-best total defensive squad in the CIF, the Beef could very well be in the postseason for the first time since 2013. That push begins this week, as Omaha hosts the Chicago Eagles at 7 p.m. Friday at the Slaughterhouse in Ralston. Last Week’s Ranking: 5 (None)
VENOM graphic - color
Amarillo Venom (5-3): After their worst letdown of the 2016 season, Amarillo’s defensive unit roared back in the Venom’s 52-35 triumph over archrival San Angelo last weekend. Defensive back Jemichael Williams deserves plenty of props, picking off Bandits quarterback Chris Mitchell three times. On top of his spectacular effort, Williams did this with a broken wrist. With that said, Williams should be an easy choice for the CIF Defensive Player of the Week. Tied for second in the CIF Southern Division, head coach Julian Reese’s squad could make the trend upward should they defeat Duke City on Saturday evening at the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Cal Farley Coliseum. The Gladiators won the first meeting in disputed fashion by the score of 53-42 in Albuquerque. Last Week’s Ranking: 6 (None)
Duke City Gladiators
Duke City Gladiators (5-4): Duke City finally put the brakes to their four-game skid this past weekend, holding off Mesquite by the score of 47-43 on the road. With a slim four point lead with less than eight minutes remaining, the Gladiators used defense to keep the Marshals from getting the go-ahead score while the offense generated two drives that soaked up the clock and sealed the victory. It helped that Mesquite made a two critical penalties in the game’s closing moments as well. See, the author does take time out of his Saturday nights to watch the streams. Sorry, not sorry. Quarterback Taylor Genuser has finally settled down, going 22-of-33 for 282 yards and six touchdowns. Out of those six trips to paydirt, wide receiver Dello Davis captured five of those passes, along with 12 catches and 182 yards. Duke City will embark on their second consecutive road trip, paying the Amarillo Venom a visit this coming Saturday night. Last Week’s Ranking: 7 (None)
Bloomington Edge (3-5): Until halftime, it looked like Bloomington could hang with the CIF defending champions a second time. Then, the second half – and Sioux City wide receiver Fredrick Bruno – happened. The Edge offense got locked out, managing just six points against the toughest defense in Champions Indoor Football. Now, it wasn’t like the Edge cranked out a dud, as Caleb Holbrook generated 191 yards and three touchdowns. However, Bloomington will need to eliminate their mistakes, especially if the Edge want to go deep into June. The Edge will aim to make that push at home, hosting the Salina Liberty on Saturday night at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Last Week’s Ranking: 8 (None)
Chicago Eagles (3-6): Running back Chris Perry may have just saved the Chicago Eagles inaugural season, taking back a 53-yard field goal by kicker Mike Georgetti with 32 seconds left for a huge 51-50 victory in Salina this past weekend. The Eagles also dodged a bullet when Georgetti went wide left in what would have been a 20-yard game winner for the Liberty. Quarterback Anthony Iannotti passed for 195 yards and four touchdowns, and also ran for two more. Rashaun Simonise aided Iannotti big time, nabbing six receptions for 70 yards and two TDs. The Eagles will look to string the big win into many, this time making the trek west to Omaha, where the fledging squad will face off against the Beef on Friday night at the Ralston Arena. Last Week’s Ranking: 11 (+2)
Salina Liberty (2-7): I can’t help but feel for the Liberty. Salina kicker Mike Georgetti has to feel the weight of defeat, as his shot at getting the Liberty to their third win of 2016 went wide left in the waning moments of last week’s game at the Bicentennial Center. On the bright side, Salina may have found their quarterback with Keahn Wallace, who passed for 193 for five touchdowns. Once Wallace finds wide receiver Joe Kassanavoid and a stable of talented wide receivers, Salina still has a chance of at least playing the role of spoiler. That role could start on the road, as the Liberty take the long trip eastward to take on the Bloomington Edge on Saturday night at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Last Week’s Ranking: 11 (-1)
San Angelo Bandits (2-7): Luckily for the Bandits, they only had to play the Amarillo Venom just once at the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Cal Farley Coliseum. Because it wasn’t pretty, as quarterback Chris Mitchell tossed four interceptions in their 52-35 loss to the Venom this past weekend. Two of which were ran by touchdowns. Ouch. Take away those interceptions, Mitchell did pass for 246 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receivers Antonio Bray and Stephen Alfred were impressive as well, as Bray caught eight passes for 74 yards and two TDs while Alfred grabbed seven passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. The Bandits will have a tough ending stretch in front of them after the bye, traveling north to battle the Dodge City Law on May 21 at the United Wireless Arena. Last Week’s Ranking: 9 (-2)
Mesquite Marshals (1-8): Don’t let the bad record deceive you, as the Marshals have lost quite a few close matchups. Looking back, if Mesquite did take those close contests, they would be sitting in the middle of the CIF Southern Division playoff race with a 4-4 record. Don’t worry Marshal Fans, this could happen next year. Quarterback Kolton Browning continues to put Mesquite on his back in the loss to Duke City, passing for 162 yards and three TDs through the air while getting two more scores with his wheels. Mesquite will now take a week off, but will have a tough road ahead. They will head north and west to stall the Texas Revolution on May 20 at the Allen Event Center. Last Week’s Ranking: 12 (None)