If this was the final home game of the season for the Sioux City Bandits, it was one heck of a way to go out.
If it wasn't, Sioux City fans will have plenty to be excited about in a few weeks.
The Bandits scored an important victory on Saturday night at Tyson Events Center, as some second-half heroics on both sides of the ball boosted Sioux City to a 35-28 win over arch-rival Omaha.
The game got off to a quick start, as the Bandits scored a touchdown on the fourth play of the game. Omaha quarterback Andrew Jackson threw a 20-yard pass to Anthony Jones, Jr., and the Beef led the Bandits, 7-0, just over a minute into the game.
On the very next play, Bandits veteran returner Xavier Spann took the kickoff and ran it back 43 yard for a touchdown, tying the game at 7-7.
The Beef offense managed to score three more points before the end of the quarter, on a 21 yard field goal from kicker Jeremy Reynolds, and then three more at the 11:23 mark in the second, as Reynolds hit one from 20 yards.
Five minutes later, Omaha scored again, as Jackson hit wide receiver Norman Darden for a 19-yard touchdown, putting Omaha up by a 20-7 score.
Sioux City scored its first offensive touchdown with 2:15 left in the first half, when quarterback Dillon Turner threw a 10-yard scoring pass to Braden Meints. The PAT was no good, as Tyler Stolen’s kick clanked off the left upright, but Omaha’s lead was trimmed to 20-13 as the teams went to halftime.
Omaha outgained Sioux City in total offense in the first half, 121 yards to 49. Jackson had 117 yards through the air in the first half for Sioux City, while Turner went 7-for-11 for 53 yards.
On defense, Omaha held Sioux City to -4 yards rushing in the first two quarters, while finishing with three tackles for loss.
After a rouge point put Omaha up 21-13, Sioux City's offense finally clicked with 10:40 left in the third. Turner capped off a six-play, 45 yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run to pull Sioux City within two. Bandits newcomer Tyler Knight then tackled Jackson in the end zone for a safety, tying the game at 21-21 at the 8:51 mark of the third.
The Beef took the lead back with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Jones at the start of the fourth quarter, but Sioux City tied it up again with 12:50 remaining.
Spann broke off another big run on special teams to give the Bandits the ball at the six yard line. Turner trotted into the end zone on the very next play, and after the PAT, the game was tied at 28-28.
Turner put the Bandits ahead for good with 6:10 left in the game, this time on a one-yard touchdown run, to put Sioux City up by the final score of 35-28.