On Friday, March 2nd, the Omaha Beef will host the Texas Power from the Champions Edge Indoor Football League (CEIFL) at Ralston Arena at 7:05 P.M. This will be the only preseason game before the regular season opener next Saturday.
The Beef finished the 2017 regular season at 7-5. The Beef clinched one home playoff game against the Bloomington Edge who they beat 43-30. The following week the Beef traveled to Sioux City, who had beaten them twice earlier during the season. The Beef were able to win 55-45 and went into the championship game against the Texas Revolution. The Beef lost to the Revolution in The Champions Bowl III 56-49 in a hard-fought game. The Beef look to make it back to The Champions Bowl and finish business.
Players To Watch
Quarterback Anthony Iannotti- Iannotti will be back under center for the 2018 season. Iannotti is a dual-threat quarterback and one of the priorities for the Beef was to bring in more weapons so he wouldn’t have to scramble as much. Head Coach Mike Bonner said, “He’s a leader on and off the field and he’s all about the team.” Iannotti passed for 2,056 yards and 33 touchdowns last season. Also, he led the Beef in rushing with 676 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Running Back Jeffrey Mack- Mack is a new face this season, but has previously played for the Beef. Mack was a primary weapon for the Sioux City Bandits in 2017. He finished with 418 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. He also added nine catches for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with a kickoff return for a touchdown. Bonner said, “He is an explosive running back with speed and hands and looks impressive in camp.”
Wide Receiver Chris Perry– Perry played running back in high school and college. He was plenty of experience playing D1 football at Troy and Arena 1 football. With an abundance of weapons on the offensive end, he took on the challenge of playing defensive back last season, and it paid off. Perry led the Beef defense with 6 interceptions, but now looks to get back to what he knows best on the offensive end.
Offensive Lineman Olu’Kayode Akinmoladun Jr.- This 6’3” 315-pound man is the anchor of the offensive line. He will be playing center and protecting Anthony Iannotti for a 2nd consecutive season.
Defensive Lineman Brandon Jenkins- Jenkins is one of the veterans on the team. He has been all around the arena football scene and even played Arena 1. Jenkins is a quiet guy but leads by example with an open mind about change. Some veterans have a take it or leave it mentality, but Jenkins has been patient with the process. In 2016, he won a championship with Defensive Coordinator Rod Miller.
Defensive Back Paul Dobson Jr.- Dobson is a long and rangy defensive back standing at 6’2 200-pounds. Dobson was second on the team in total tackles with 63 and led the team with seven pass breakups.
Coach Bonner stresses to his players the 3 C’s: communication, compromise and commitment. When his players are firing on all “C’s” this team can be a championship contender. Bonner is pleased with the players on the team. Additionally, he feels that teams that are the most successful don’t have many transactions, but he won’t hesitate to bring in new talent. In this preseason game, Bonner is looking for three things; who can play, where the team is at and can they put on a show and entertain the fans. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the fans. We want Ralston Arena to shake and the players to play off of the fans’ energy. All I want from my players is to do their job, have fun and make sure whatever fan you come across is smiling when they walk away.”