CIF Power Rankings, April 11
In the early life of the weekly Champions Indoor Football Power Rankings, the top spot has always been in flux, as well the overall pecking order. This week is certainly no different, and that’s what makes the CIF a very fun league for the coaches, players and fans. In laymen’s terms, it’s still anyone’s ballgame.
The Texas Revolution made the most out of their trip to Wichita, notching a huge road win against the Wichita Force. This prompted the Revs to jump from number three to the top spot for this week. Luckily, the proverbial “game of the week” was the only blowout, as every other game made the race for the Champions Cup all the more heated and unpredictable.
Along with Texas, Salina receives good news this week as the Liberty jumped from number 10 to the seventh spot. This was all thanks to a 44-37 home victory against the Dodge City Law that saw the Liberty pick off quarterback Derrick Bernard four times.
While no team has dropped more than two spots in the Power Rankings, the Omaha Beef has been hurt the most. Since capturing the fourth spot in late March, the Beef have dropped two straight and now sit at ninth. The Dodge Law also fell two spots, along with an idle Bloomington.
Texas Revolution (4-1): With the huge 74-42 win on the road over the previously undefeated Wichita Force, the Revs can finally call themselves the proverbial king of the Champions Indoor Football Mountain. Quarterback Robert Kent Jr. is scorching hot behind center right now, tossing for 276 yards and nine touchdowns along with rushing for 22 yards and another score. You can also credit defensive back Quinton Abron for nabbing two interceptions for the winning cause. Without jinxing Texas, they could be billed as the most dangerous team in the CIF. Also without jinxing the “Red Hot Revs,” they could very well be 5-1 after they host the lowly San Angelo Bandits on Friday night at the Allen Event Center. Last Week’s Ranking: 1 (+2)
Wichita Force (4-1): The Force were finally brought down on earth this past week, falling to the Texas Revolution by 32 points at the Intrust Bank Center in Wichita. Quarterback Steve Panasuk, who has been nothing but stellar over the past several weeks, threw four interceptions in the humbling loss. Despite the hiccup, the Force didn’t fall very far in the CIF Power Rankings this week, which should give the Force Faithful a sigh of relief. Wichita may remain at the top of the CIF heap… should they come away from the Ralston Arena on Saturday night with a victory over the struggling Omaha Beef. Last Week’s Ranking: 1 (-1)
Sioux City Bandits (4-2): Without playing a down last weekend, Sioux City is back and challenging for the top spot of the CIF Northern Division following a two game losing skid. However, Bandits head coach Erv Strohbeen will have to decide between quarterbacks Anthony Graham and Chuck Wright moving forward, as the position has posed a few question marks as of late. Together, Graham and Wright have been picked off 11 times, which ties Salina at the bottom of the CIF table. Strohbeen will indeed make the right call, and has Drew Prohaska, John Bentley and a smothering defense to make a potential run to repeat as CIF Champions. They’ll travel to the UIC Pavilion this weekend against a now-surging Chicago Eagles. Last Week’s Ranking: 4 (+1)
Dodge City Law
Dodge City Law (4-2): While the Law got snipped at the Bicentennial Center by the Salina Liberty, Dodge City didn’t tumble down too far in this week’s poll. Quarterback Derrick Bernard was uncharacteristic in his outing up north, getting picked off four times by a rejuvenated Liberty defensive unit. There was a bright spot in the shortcoming, as running back Dominique Carson rushed for nearly 100 yards and a touchdown. Along with Bernard’s 78 yards on the ground, the Law totaled 176 yards. That’s rare in indoor football. However, Dodge City will be put to the test at the United Wireless Center on Saturday, when the Duke City Gladiators will pay the Law a visit. Last Week’s Ranking: 2 (-2)
Duke City Gladiators
Duke City Gladiators (4-1): In the midst of all of the controversy surrounding their home victory over the Amarillo Venom the weekend before, Duke City was able to vault past the San Angelo Bandits last Saturday. All thanks to a late touchdown connection between quarterback Bryan Randall and wide receiver Sedrick Johnson. The Gladiators didn’t get much love from the poll though, as San Angelo nearly pulled the upset. That and the Gladiators could have easily been 3-2, or at least 3-1-1. It depends on who you ask. Duke City will be up to the test this weekend, as they will travel to Dodge City to battle the Law. Last Week’s Ranking: 5 (None)
VENOM graphic - color
Amarillo Venom (3-2): Okay, so let’s put this controversial stuff off to the side. Venom head coach Julian Reese and his team certainly did, as kicker Jacob Felton booted the game-winner against the Mesquite Marshals on Saturday night. Even though quarterback Nate Davis came in during the second quarter, the Ball State grad still threw for 214 yards and four touchdowns. However, the Venom defense had issues containing Mesquite quarterback Kolton Browning. But the long three-game road stretch comes at an end when the Venom will host a rebounding Salina Liberty on Saturday evening at the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Cal Farley Coliseum. Last Week’s Ranking: 6 (None)
Salina Liberty (2-3): Hello there, Salina. Due to a major upset at home, the Liberty leapt up this week’s CIF Power Rankings. Converted quarterback Derek Racette passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another, while Kansas State grad Joe Kassanavoid (who has arguably the best name in the league, by the way) led the Liberty on the ground with 42 yards and a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass. Salina will have to be more aggressive on offense, or at least less conservative, as they will travel south to the Texas Panhandle to face the Amarillo Venom on Saturday night. Last Week’s Ranking: 10 (+3)
Chicago Eagles (2-3): Slowly but surely, the Chicago Eagles are beginning to take flight. They did so in a thrilling manner last Saturday at the UIC Pavilion, putting together a 34 point fourth quarter to push past the Omaha Beef by the score of 49-48. Despite throwing two interceptions, quarterback Anthony Iannotti tossed for 166 yards and four touchdowns. And you also have to take off your hat for fullback Calvin Phillips and Chris Perry, who rushed 80 yards and earned the game-winning pick six respectively. The Eagles will have one last home game until May 28 on Saturday at the UIC Pavilion, facing off against a surging Sioux City Bandits squad. Last Week’s Ranking: 8 (None)
Omaha Beef (2-3): Ever since getting ranked as high as number four in the March 21 CIF Power Rankings, the Omaha Beef have taken a beating. In their heartbreaking loss against Chicago last Saturday, quarterback Joshua Floyd Jr. held his own with 196 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Wide receiver Kayne Farquharson did well as well, leading the Beef with 97 yards and three TDs on just five catches. On defense, linebacker/defensive back Devon Bridges had a solid performance with three sacks and an interception. So there were plenty of positives. The Beef will need to put all of their positives together to get a home victory against the Wichita Force at the Ralston Arena on Saturday night. Last Week’s Ranking: 7 (-2)
Bloomington Edge (1-3): Hanging at the 10th spot on the poll is the Bloomington Edge. They sunk down a spot, due to the close losses against both the Chicago Eagles and the Omaha Beef in previous weeks. However, Edge fans shouldn’t be discouraged one bit. Over the course of the 2016 season so far, Bloomington has only been outscored by five points. The Edge even owns an advantage in average rushing and passing yards over their opponents. The Edge could turn very well their season around, as they will have a home date against the reeling Mesquite Marshals this Saturday at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Last Week’s Ranking: 8 (-2)
Mesquite Marshals (1-5): The Marshals are in a funk right now. A four game funk, that is. It culminated in a gut-wrenching 60-59 loss to the Amarillo Venom in the game’s closing moments. Quarterback Kolton Browning put Mesquite on his back against the Venom last Saturday, throwing an astounding seven touchdowns, 223 yards as well as rushing for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Sadly, the Marshals defense and special teams didn’t do the team any favors. Mesquite will seek to change that when they make the long trip north to play the Bloomington Edge on Saturday evening. Last Week’s Ranking: 11 (None)
San Angelo Bandits (0-5): Finally, there’s that ray of hope for the Bandits. San Angelo hung tough all throughout last Saturday’s game in Albuquerque before falling victim to a late touchdown pass. New quarterback Chris Mitchell may be the remedy the Bandits need, as the Alabama State Hornet recorded nearly 200 yards and four touchdowns. However, the defense is still dealing with giving up 48.8 points per game. The Bandit defensive unit will have to figure out their woes in a hurry as they will travel to the Metroplex on Friday to deal with the Texas Revolution. Last Week’s Ranking: 12 (None)