CIF Power Rankings, April 25
In a “little later than scheduled” edition of the weekly Champions Indoor Football Power Rankings, the top is relatively stable while positions five through 12 have been fluid. At the proverbial midpoint of the 2016 season, there’s still time for teams to enter rough stretches and still time for teams to make themselves known in the playoff race.
With five weeks left, there’s still a heated race for the top spot in the CIF Northern Division which is led by defending champ Sioux City, with Wichita and Omaha in hot pursuit. In the Southern Division, the Texas Revolution are holding firm on the division lead, while Dodge City, Duke City and Amarillo are each fighting for the second and final wildcard spots.
This week, the Texas Revolution are still the top team determined by their number of losses compared to the rest of the league. The Revs, who held off the Duke City Gladiators on the road, saw Robert Kent Jr. have another stellar game with the help of a highly talented receiver corps.
Omaha is the team on the up and up this week, jumping from seventh to fifth with a strong 50-27 home win against the expansion Chicago Eagles. Since dropping to archrival Sioux City on April 9, the Beef have won two straight in their four-game stretch at the Slaughterhouse in Ralston.
Meanwhile, the Amarillo Venom suffered the greatest drop in the poll this week, falling two spots after being shellshocked by the previously winless San Angelo Bandits on the road. Amarillo will have a chance to rest up and adjust, all before having a rematch with the Bandits on May 7 at one of the tougher venues in the league – the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Cal Farley Coliseum.
So without further ado…
Texas Revolution (6-1): Whether at home or on the road, the Texas Revolution continue to reign supreme in the CIF Southern Division. In their “too close for comfort” 68-63 victory over the Duke City Gladiators at the Tingley Coliseum last Saturday in Albuquerque, quarterback Robert Kent Jr. completed all but seven passes for 198 yards and seven touchdowns. Wide receiver Joe Adams also had a big day, making the most of his three catches with touchdowns and 105 yards. Would it be safe to dub Texas “Red Hot Robert and the Revs?” They could make it so when the Gladiators pay the Revolution a visit at 7 p.m. Friday at the Allen Event Center. Last Week’s Ranking: 1 (None)
Sioux City Bandits (6-2): Could we see a rematch of last year’s Champions Bowl? If the season ended today, the answer could be a resounding “yes.” The Bandits are the second team to reach the six-win pinnacle, along with the Texas Revolution, by outlasting the Salina Liberty 41-39 at the Bicentennial Center in Salina. Tailback Drew Prohaska was stellar, scoring three touchdowns in the victory. Coach Erv Strohbeen will continue to fine-tune his squad going into the bye week, before hosting the Bloomington Edge on May 7. Last Week’s Ranking: 2 (None)
Dodge City Law
Dodge City Law (5-2): After their bye week, the Law are sitting firm on second place in the CIF Southern Division with the losses by Duke City and Amarillo. Dodge City is also on a collision course with the Texas Revolution at the Allen Event Center in two weeks’ time, with the division on the line. However, they will need to keep their eyes focused on the Salina Liberty this weekend at the United Wireless Arena, who has the capability to be very, very dangerous at home or on the road. However, as long as Dodge City has quarterback Derrick Bernard under center, the Law will be just as dangerous. Last Week’s Ranking: 3 (None)
Wichita Force (5-2): Returning to their winning ways in a 32-27 slugfest with the Bloomington Edge last Saturday, the Force will have to thank defensive back Kendrick Harper big time for the late interception. Force Faithful will have to bid quarterback Steve Panasuk farewell, who threw 199 yards and three touchdowns in his CIF swan song. Panasuk will join the Arena Football League’s Cleveland Gladiators, where he should make an immediate contribution. Now, Wichita will look to a new face to continue their 2016 success as they will host the Chicago Eagles on Saturday evening. Last Week’s Ranking: 4 (None)
Omaha Beef (4-3): So where’s the Beef? The answer is easy: Third place in the CIF Northern Division standings. Omaha has now won two straight, this time using the help of quarterback Brandon Steed. Steed made his presence known in a big way in the Beef’s 50-27 home victory over the Chicago Eagles, completing all but five passes with 161 yards and five touchdowns. What will be better for one of the longest running franchises in indoor football? Being in the Slaughterhouse in the third game of their four-game home stretch this Saturday, hosting the other Chicagoland squad – the Bloomington Edge. Last Week’s Ranking: 7 (+2)
Duke City Gladiators
Duke City Gladiators (4-3): Amidst their potentially season-defining stretch against the hierarchy of the CIF Southern Division, the Gladiators haven’t had much luck, falling short in a 68-63 decision to the Texas Revolution at home. Despite losing quarterback Bryan Randall, Taylor Genuser held his own with 148 yards passing with five touchdowns. On another positive note, wide receiver Dello Davis continues to be one of the league’s best wideouts, nabbing 11 catches for 120 yards and five TDs. Duke City will finish out that tough stretch on the road, traveling to face the Texas Revolution on Friday evening at the Allen Event Center. Last Week’s Ranking: 6 (-1)
VENOM graphic - color
Amarillo Venom (4-3): As Venom head coach Julian Reese warned in his weekly press conference last week, the Venom didn’t want to sleepwalk into their matchup against San Angelo last Saturday. Unfortunately, the Venom succumbed to a rejuvenated San Angelo offense in a shocking 78-33 loss this past Saturday at the Foster Communications Coliseum. The good news for Amarillo is that they can fix some issues going into their bye week. Even better news? They’ll host San Angelo in a rematch on May 7 at the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Cal Farley Coliseum, as part of a huge three-game home stretch. Last Week’s Ranking: 5 (-2)
Salina Liberty (2-5): Just as Liberty are currently 2-5, they could have been easily 4-3 and running neck and neck with Omaha for the final playoff spot in the CIF Northern Division. Sadly, the Liberty came up shorthanded in their 41-39 setback against the Sioux City Bandits. Salina will have a chance to shift their 2016 campaign in the right direction, traveling south to Dodge City to take on the Law at 7 p.m. Saturday at the United Wireless Arena. Last Week’s Ranking: 8 (None)
Bloomington Edge (2-4): Here’s another team who have fallen to a bit of tough luck as of late. The Edge, who barely sit above Salina and Chicago in the CIF Northern Division standings, were one late score away from handing Wichita their third consecutive loss in the Edge’s heartbreaking 32-27 loss. On a positive note, veteran wide receivers Daron Clark Jr. and Ryan Pahos combined for 11 receptions for 116 yards. Bloomington will have a chance to ascend the standings this weekend, traveling to Omaha to battle the Beef on Saturday evening at the Ralston Arena. Last Week’s Ranking: 10 (+1)
Chicago Eagles (2-5): So far, their five-game road stretch hasn’t been the best for the Eagles. Against the Omaha Beef, Chicago suffered one of the few blowouts from this past weekend with a 50-27 loss. However, fullback Calvin Phillips did just fine, gaining 70 yards on 13 carries. Quarterback Anthony Iannotti was quite alright also, passing for 150 yards and two touchdowns. But it’s easy to point out that the defense could use a little help. Ahead of the Eagles will be a road trip to Wichita, where they will battle the Force on Saturday night at the Intrust Bank Arena. Last Week’s Ranking: 10 (None)
San Angelo Bandits (1-6): Having a refreshed offense is one thing, but a big home victory over your rival to the north was even sweeter for the Bandits. San Angelo got their two-game home stretch off on the right foot, dispatching Amarillo 78-33 last Saturday at the Foster Communications Coliseum. Quarterback Chris Mitchell had a field day against the Venom defensive unit, while the Bandits kept a lid on a highly talented Amarillo offense led by quarterback Nate Davis in the season-saving victory. Now the Bandits can build on that performance by hosting the Mesquite Marshals at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Foster Communications Coliseum. Last Week’s Ranking: 12 (+1)
Mesquite Marshals (1-6): With the bye week out of the way, Mesquite will seek to save their season, just as San Angelo did. With quarterback Kolten Browning leading the charge, the Marshals will have a chance in every single game from here on out. Currently, the former Louisiana-Monroe Warhawk currently sits at fifth place in the CIF in total offense. Standing in the way for Browning and Mesquite is the resurgent San Angelo Bandits, who toppled the Amarillo Venom 78-33 at home this past weekend. That could be a tall order, because the Marshals have been winless on the road so far this season. Last Week’s Ranking: 11 (-1)