CIF Power Rankings, March 28
The past few weeks have seen plenty of movement within Champions Indoor Football. Save for the proverbial musical chairs between certain squads, the dust has settled. For the moment, at least. This time around, no one has risen more than two spots in this week’s poll and no one fell no more than three spots.
This week also proved that bye weeks can absolutely be a team’s friend. This week, Wichita and Salina were idle and while the Force continue to reign supreme in the CIF, the Liberty moved up a peg from ninth to eighth.
Chicago holds the honor of moving up the furthest this time around, earning the ninth spot with their first franchise victory last Saturday. Bloomington, the team who the Eagles defeated, fell the hardest after giving a late lead in the game’s final moments at the UIC Pavilion in the Windy City.
Dodge City and Texas, who combined for 160 points this past weekend, merely traded their spots compared to last week’s Power Rankings. Omaha was the other team to drop significantly, sinking from fourth to sixth with a tough home loss to Sioux City.
The only team to feel rightfully slighted by the ranks may be Duke City, who only ascended one spot following a 70-24 drubbing of Mesquite at home.
Wichita Force (3-0): In this week’s set of CIF Power Rankings, Wichita is still sitting pretty at the top position. Quite a nice reward for being the last undefeated squad in Champions Indoor Football. With the Bloomington Edge coming into the INTRUST Bank Arena on April Fools’ Day, there’s definitely a strong impression that the Force could very well prolong their reign atop of the poll. Then again, anything goes in the CIF, as demonstrated so far in an exciting 2016 season. Last Week’s Ranking: 1 (None)
Dodge City Law
Dodge City Law (4-1): The Law rebounded in a big way in a shootout this past week against Texas, as wide receiver Daniel McKinney certainly made their presence felt at the United Wireless Arena. McKinney had his best game of the year; capturing four touchdown passes from quarterback Derrick Bernard, recovering a Revolution fumble for a touchdown and returning a kickoff for a touchdown. If the former Florida Atlantic Owl doesn’t get the CIF Offensive Player of the Week honor, that would be a travesty. The Law will take a small break before traveling to Salina on April 9. Last Week’s Ranking: 3 (+1)
Texas Revolution (2-1): In the face of an 89-71 loss to Dodge City, the Revs merely drop down one spot in this week’s rankings. Even though quarterback Robert Kent Jr. tossed two interceptions, he still threw for 269 yards and a whopping eight touchdowns. Should the defense recover from giving up 318 yards, Texas will still be a contender for the Champions Cup. All in all, Revs fans, your team will be just fine. Better yet, Texas won’t have to travel outside of the Metroplex this time around, as they head to the Mesquite Arena on Saturday to play the Mesquite Marshals. Last Week’s Ranking: 2 (-1)
VENOM graphic - color
Amarillo Venom (2-1): Since their season opening loss, the Venom have recuperated quite nicely, easily defeating San Angelo 62-48 last weekend. Quarterback Nate Davis has since found two reliable targets in a pair of former West Texas A&M Buffaloes in Tommy Curry and Raymond Johnson Jr., and defensive back Kory Stamps had four pass break ups and one forced fumble to anchor an already hungry defensive unit. Kicker Jacob Felton also contributed to the complete effort, drilling a career best 51-yard field goal. Next up for Amarillo will be another CIF Southern Division test, as they will travel to Albuquerque on Sunday to take on the Duke City Gladiators. Last Week’s Ranking: 5 (+1)
Sioux City Bandits (3-2): The CIF defending champions finally rebounded this past week, defeating long-time rival Omaha 45-33 on Friday in the Ralston Arena. Down 14-0 halfway through the first quarter, Sioux City finally awakened and scored 24 unanswered points. While touted wide receiver Fredrick Bruno did grab a touchdown pass, he still rushed for one score and returned a 50-yard kickoff for another. With the two-game skid off of their back, looks for the Bandits to be dangerous the rest of the way. They’ll return home to the Tyson Events Center to face the Salina Liberty on Saturday evening. Last Week’s Ranking: 6 (+1)
Omaha Beef (2-2): Despite dropping their season series to Sioux City in a tough home loss, the Beef only dropped two spots in this week’s power rankings. Quarterback Joshua Floyd Jr. is continuing to put up strong performances, passing for three touchdowns and rushing for another against archrival Sioux City. But the Beef cannot rely on Floyd Jr. alone, as his offensive line allowed five sacks. Fortunately, Omaha will have a week off to rest up before heading east to Chicagoland to battle the Chicago Eagles on April 9. Last Week’s Ranking: 4 (-2)
Duke City Gladiators
Duke City Gladiators (2-1): As promised, the Gladiators are gradually ascending the CIF ranks. However, they did so by pounding a Kolton Browning-less Mesquite squad at the Tingley Coliseum by the score of 70-24. Duke City did make a move that could be pivotal going forward, as Head Coach Dominic Bramante picked up quarterback Bryan Randall. Randall, hailing from Virginia Tech, passed for nearly 200 yards and five touchdowns in the dominating victory over the Marshals. There is no doubt that the Gladiators will want to pick up more blowout victories, as they will host the Amarillo Venom on Sunday afternoon. Last Week’s Ranking: 8 (+1)
Salina Liberty (1-2): While sitting idle, the Salina Liberty did make a nice step up in this week’s poll. Ahead of the Liberty will be a three-game stretch that could ultimately decide if they can be contenders for a CIF Northern Division playoff spot or not. This week, they will be on the road at Sioux City to face a rejuvenated Bandits squad, host top-notch Dodge City at the Bicentennial Center on April 9 and then go back on the road battle the Amarillo Venom on April 16. Should the Liberty continue to win on the road like they have been so far, Salina will definitely shoot up the poll here within the next few weeks. Last Week’s Ranking: 9 (+1)
Chicago Eagles (1-3): After three close losses, the Chicago Eagles must be feeling good after a big 40-37 victory over the Bloomington Edge at the UIC Pavilion on Saturday. But the Eagles’ first franchise victory had to see a 30-yard connection between quarterback Anthony Iannotti to wide receiver Jordan Boykin with 17 ticks left on the clock. While Iannotti’s numbers weren’t the greatest against the Edge, going 14-of-21 with 102 yards passing, two touchdowns and one pick, he certainly got the job done for the Eagles. The reward for the Eagles will be a bye week, before hosting the Omaha Beef on April 9. Last Week’s Ranking: 11 (+2)
Bloomington Edge (1-2): In a back and forth battle with the Chicago Eagles this past weekend, the Edge came up a tad short. Quarterback Caleb Holbrook and wide receiver Ryan Pahos are forming a strong connection, hooking up for 52 yards and two touchdowns against Chicago. But Bloomington will have to amplify its firepower on Saturday, when they will make the long trip to Wichita to face the last undefeated team in the CIF. Last Week’s Ranking: 7 (-3)
Mesquite Marshals (1-3): You would figure that the Facebook post made by wide receiver Eddie Johnson Jr. would provide the spark needed to jumpstart Mesquite’s inaugural campaign. The result? A 70-24 beat down at the hands of the Duke City Gladiators in New Mexico. Ouch. That’s not the worst part, though. The Texas Revolution, fresh and possibly not too happy with their 89-71 shootout loss to Dodge City, will make the Metroplex trek to the Mesquite Arena on Saturday evening. Should Mesquite continue to frustrate the Revs and get another home upset, then the Marshals could get things going in the right direction. Last Week’s Ranking: 10 (-1)
San Angelo Bandits (0-4): For all of the CIF teams who just one big play or one win away from getting on a hot streak, none need that spark more than the San Angelo Bandits. San Angelo, currently stuck in the CIF Southern division cellar, made things worse by handing the Amarillo Venom a 62-48 victory on their own home turf. The Bandits will look for answers during their bye week, before heading over to Albuquerque on April 9 to play Duke City. Last Week’s Ranking: 12 (None)