Playoff Implications in Amarillo: The Wichita Force, fresh off a huge win over Sioux City last week, will take to the road again to face off with a surging Amarillo team. Wichita, 7-2, could punch their ticket to the post-season with a win over the Venom on Saturday night. A loss by the Force would push them into a first place tie with the Bandits. For Amarillo, its all about keeping pace with Dodge City for the second place spot in the Southern Division. The Venom, 6-3, are deadlocked with the Law for the second place spot. Amarillo, after starting 2-2, have won 4 of their last 5 and are currently one of the hottest teams in the league.
Chicago Debuts Female Kicker: The Chicago Eagles made CIF history last week when they signed the league’s first female player. Kicker Julie Harshbarger was inked to a deal by the team on May 12th. In her debut against Omaha the following night, Harshbarger was just 1 for 4 on field goal attempts and 3 for 6 on extra points. Two of those were blocked. Harshbarger was the first woman to both score a point and make a field goal in professional indoor football, something she accomplished in 2010 as a member of the Chicago Cardinals of the Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL). Harshbarger was named the 2014 CIFL Special Teams Player of the Year as a member of the Chicago Blitz. She led the league in field goals made for that season.
Playoff Update: With the just three weeks to go in the regular season, the playoff races are heating up. The top three teams in each division will qualify for the post-season. Here is what is known so far: the Texas Revolution have clinched a playoff spot and are currently the only team that have done so. Wichita could clinch a playoff spot as early as this week with a win. Despite having the week off, Sioux City can also clinch a playoff spot this week with a Bloomington loss. Salina, Chicago, Mesquite and San Angelo have all been eliminated from playoff contention.
Transactions: The Bloomington Edge signed wide received Ayrius Justin on Monday, defensive lineman Derrick Okafor on Tuesday, and wide receiver LaShawn Simmons on Thursday. The Mesquite Marshals signed wide receiver Brandon Rasco on Thursday. The Salina Liberty signed defensive back Josh Lewis on Wednesday. Defensive back Ira Autrey left the Salina Liberty for undisclosed reasons earlier in the week. He signed a contract with the Dodge City Law on Thursday.
Week 12 Results
Omaha 43, Chicago 42: The Beef escaped with the narrowest of wins last Friday night over Chicago. A blocked extra point late in the 4th proved to be the difference. With the win, Omaha improved to 5-4 on the season and they remain in the driver’s seat for the final playoff spot in the Northern Division. The loss drops the Eagles to 3-7 on the season and effectively eliminated them from post-season contention.
Bloomington 61, Salina 29: Bloomington kept themselves within a game of Omaha in the race for the final playoff spot in the Northern Division. The Edge improved to 4-5 with a dominating win over Salina. The Liberty, losers of five straight, are now 2-8 on the season.
Amarillo 48, Duke City 27: The Venom have now won two games straight and have improved their record to 6-3 on the season with the win over Duke City. More importantly, they moved into a second place tie with Dodge City in the Southern Division. Amarillo and the Law will meet in the final week of the regular season on June 4th in a game that could determine who will host a playoff game. For Duke City, the loss dropped them to 5-5 on the season. While not out of the playoff hunt, the Gladiators find themselves a game and a half back of Dodge City and Amarillo. Duke City and Amarillo will meet again on May 28th.
Wichita 23, Sioux City 19: Last week’s marquee matchup lived up to expectations. It took a touchdown with just 24 seconds to play for Wichita to take the lead and the win. The Force, winners of three straight, improved to 7-2 and took over first place in the Northern Division by a half game. The loss, which snapped Sioux City’s five game winning streak, cost the Bandits the top spot in the standings. The Bandits are now 7-3 and a game and a half ahead of third place Omaha.
Week 12 CIF Players of the Week
Offensive Player of the Week: Orlandus Harris Sr, WR, Bloomington Edge – Harris caught 5 passes for 58 yards and 2 touchdowns in Bloomington’s win over Salina.
Defensive Player of the Week: Jason Catchings, LB, Wichita Force – Catchings had 7 total tackles, 3 of them solo, and 3 tackles for loss and was a key factor in Wichita’s win over Sioux City.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Daron Clark Jr, KR, Bloomington Edge – Clark returned 4 kicks for 46 yards in Bloomington’s win over Salina. He also returned 2 missed field goals for 49 yards, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
Updated CIF Standings
|*Clinched Playoff Berth|
Week 13 Schedule
Friday, May 20:
Salina at Omaha – 7:05 p.m.
Mesquite at Texas – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, May 21:
San Angelo at Dodge City – 7:05 p.m.
Chicago at Bloomington – 7:05 p.m.
Wichita at Amarillo – 7:05 p.m.
BYES: Duke City, Sioux City