News: Champions Bowl 8 preview

News: Champions Bowl 8 preview


Salina Liberty @ Omaha Beef

June 17, 2023 – 6:35pm CT

Liberty First Credit Union Arena

June 16, 2023  

The Omaha Beef will face a familiar opponent in Champions Bowl 8 on Saturday June 17th at Liberty First Credit Union Arena when the Salina Liberty visit for a 6:35pm kickoff. The undefeated Beef (11-0) beat the Billings Outlaws 42-6, while the Salina Liberty (9-2) defeated the Gillette Mustangs 37-30 this past Saturday. This is the third straight time these two teams meet in the Championship and is Salina’s fourth straight appearance. In 2021 the Beef defeated the Liberty when a last second FG was blocked by Omaha and the Beef won 40-39 in Champions Bowl 6. The Liberty returned the favor in Champions Bowl 7 when they won 38-34. The Liberty in Champions Bowl 5 were defeated by the Duke City Gladiators in 2019, 35-29, when the Gladiators scored with 17 seconds left in the game.

Omaha continues to shut teams down with strong defensive performances as they allow the league’s best 19.9 points per game, 135.3 yards per game, a plus 29 turnovers margin, 83.7 yards allowed on pass defense, pass defense efficacy 32.1, 25 interceptions, 1st down allowed at 10.3, 3rd down conversion rate of 22.0, and sacks with 23.  Leading the Beef defense is defensive lineman JayShawn Washington, three-time Defensive Player of the Week, who leads the team with 54 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and four fumbles recoveries which he has returned three for touchdowns. Joining Washington on the line is Tamar Heart (48 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 12.5 TFL), Jamar Claibourn (14 tackles, 1 sack, 2.5 TFL) and Javari Nichols (11 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 TFL). Linebacker Cameron Hunt, who continues to pressure opponents to make bad passes, has 33 tackles along with 3 sacks, 6.5 TFL. The defensive backs are comprised of CIF leader in interceptions Dreko Statham, who has 13 interceptions in 2023 and set a Beef and CIF single season record, Aaron Jackson (50 tackles, 4 INT), Ponce Deleone (35 tackles, 3 INT), Trey Dudley-Giles (30 tackles, 3 INT), and Chris Perry (30 tackles, 1 INT) have the Beef leading the CIF with 25 interceptions as a team. They need two more interceptions to tie the CIF team single season record of 27 set by three teams.

Quarterback Tommy Armstrong, 3-time Offense Player of the week, leads the very efficient offense with 348 yards of rushing (71 attempts), while Tabyus Taylor has gained 179 yards in averaging 35.8 yards per game. Armstrong ranks second in the league in passing efficiency. He has thrown for 1190 yards and 31 touchdowns with only four interceptions and a completion percentage of 62.1.  Gourney Sloan leads the team with 40 catches for 526 yards and 12 touchdowns, while Devanaire Conliffe (17-171, 5 TD), Jordan Barton (6-95, 3 TD), Traveon Samuel (5-90, 2 TD), and Terrance Tolbert-McIntyre (11-180, 3 TD) around out the balanced receivers group. Paul Ortiz, 3-time Special Teams player of the week, continues to be a weapon for the Beef. Ortiz, the CIF leader in field goals and extra points percentage, has made 12 of 20 field goals and 32 of 39 extra points.

Salina is 5-0 since quarterback Ed Crouch joined the team in April, a week after the Beef defeated the Liberty 36-31. Crouch has thrown for 457 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, and rushed for 149 yards and six touchdowns. 2021 CIF MVP Tracy Brooks leads the CIF with 609 rushing yards (142 attempts) and 19 touchdowns, while averaging 18.6 yards per kickoff return. Brooks is just sitting outside the top 10 in CIF single season rushing yards. He is 27 yards behind the 10th place rushers. Brooks for his CIF career has rushed 586 (ranked 1st) times for 2297 yards (ranked 3rd) and 82 touchdowns (ranked 2nd). He has scored 648 points (ranked 3rd) on 105 touchdowns (ranked 3rd) and 5808 all-purpose yards (ranked 5th). Brooks also has 104 kick returns (ranked 10th) for 1799 yards (ranked 9th).

The Liberty have the most balanced attack in the league as they have run the ball 232 times and passed 231 times. The leading receiver for Salina is Demarius Washington (30-434 yds, 13 TD) ranked 5th in yards per game, while Anthony Love (37-378 yds, 7 TD) is ranked 3rd in receptions per game with 4.1. Mustaful Strong (25-180 yds, 7 TD), Ed Smith Jr (17-167 yds, 4 TD), and Rashad Pargo (1-10 yds, 1 TD) round out the group or receivers.

Defensive the Liberty are ranked in the middle of the pack as they are 5th in scoring defense (38.0), and 5th in total defense (210.2). Defensive lineman Travis Taylor (83 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 13 TFL) is 2nd in the CIF, averaging 7.5 tackles per game and first in sacks at 1.05 per game. The Liberty front includes Keenan Gibbs (17 tackles, 1 sack, 3 TFL), Jacquille Bradford (26 tackles, 1 sack, 8 TFL), and Parker Clemons (10 tackles, 1 sack, 3 TFL). Donavyn Jackson, who had a big interception vs Gillette, has 24 tackles and 3 TFL. The Salina defensive backs are led by CJ Jones (65 tackles, 2 INT), Dontra Matthews (56 tackles, 6 INT), Antoine Brown (41 tackles), and Cedarius Rookard (28 tackles). Salina has strong kicking with James Kazalski who has made 4 of 8 FG’s and 36-44 extra points.

Liberty head coach Heron O’Neal is the second most winningest coach in CIF history with a record of 50-37 since 2016 when he took over the team. O’Neal has his team in the championship for the fourth time in seven years.

OTHER NOTES

The playoffs have returned to the Slaughterhouse! Tickets are now on sale starting at just $18.00, you can buy them by visiting the arena box office or online at Omaha Beef Football | Liberty First Credit Union Arena

Help us pack the Slaughterhouse and be there for our quest to win the championship at home! Any questions call the Beef office at 402.346.2333

2023 Omaha Beef Schedule (11-0)

March 4, 6:30pm CT

Vs Omaha Stockman (EX)

W 71-0

Salina

Omaha

March 10, 7pm CT

Vs Billing Outlaws

W 47-19

Avg Pts Scored/G

46.5 (2)

51.8 (1)

March 18, 6pm CT

@ Southwest Kansas

W 68-15

Avg Pts Allow/G

38.0 (5)

19.9 (1)

April 1, 7pm CT

@ Topeka Tropics

W 60-22

Total Offense/G

218.7 (2)

204.8 (3)

April 8, 7pm CT

Vs Gillette Mustangs

W 52-29

Total Defense/G

210.2 (5)

135.3 (1)

April 15, 6:35pm CT

@ Salina Liberty

W 36-31

Turnover Margin

+6 (3)

+29 (1)

April 22,7:30pm CT

@ Billings Outlaws

W 45-12

April 29, 6:30pm CT

Vs Rapid City Marshals

W 62-12

Home Record

5-1

6-0

May 6, 7pm CT

@ Sioux City Bandits

W 48-45

Road Record

4-1

5-0

May 13, 7pm CT

Vs Topeka Tropics

W 66-13

All-time Record

Salina 11-9 (Beef Lead 9-7 as the Liberty)

May 27, 6:30pm CT

Vs Sioux City Bandits

W 44-15

Last Meeting

April 15, 2023 – Beef 36-31

June 10, 6:30pm CT

Vs Billings (semi-finals)

W 42-6

Champions Bowl

Vs Liberty 1-1

June 17, 6:35pm CT

Vs Salina Liberty (Championship)

Championships

Liberty 1, Omaha 1

(CIF rank after semi-finals)

Projected Starters

Omaha Beef

 

Salina

 

QB

#10 Tommy Armstrong

95-153, 1190 yds 31 TD 4 INT

Rush: 71-348 yds 17 TD

#5 Ed Crouch

53-91, 457 yds, 13 TD, 4 INT

Rush: 25- 159, 6 TD

RB

#20 Tabyus Taylor

Rush: 47-179 yds, 5 TD

Rec: 8-97, 3 TD

#2 Tracy Brooks

Rush: 142-609, 19 TD

Rec: 21-213, 1 TD

WR

#80 Terrance Tolbert-McIntyre

Rec: 11-180 yds, 3 TD

#1 Demarius Washington

Rec: 30-434, 13 TD

WR

#5 Devanaire Conliffe

Rec: 17-171 YDS 5 TD

Rush: 8-71 YDS 2 TD

#3 Ed Smith Jr

Rec: 17-167 yds, 4 TD

Rush: 2-3, 0 TD

WR

#8 Gourney Sloan

Rec: 40-526 YDS 12 TD

Rush: 14-67 yds

#9 Anthony Love

Rec: 37-378 yds, 7 TD

OL

#50 Olu’kayode Akinmoladun

1 sack allowed

#70 Kelvin McCoy

2 sacks allowed

OL

#70 Reggie Patrick

#79 Aleki Tapa

OL

#68 Clifford Porter Jr

#93 Kamalie Matthews

 

 

 

DL

#2 JayShawn Washington

54 TACK, 8.5 Sacks, 15.0 TFL, 3 PB, 4 FR, 4 FF,2BK

#8 Travis Taylor

83 TACK, 11.5 sack, 13 TFL, 2 QBH, 2 FR, 2 FF, 2 BK

DL

#15 Tamar Heart

48 TACK, 5.5 Sacks, 12.5 TFL, 1 INT, 6 PB, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 BK

#66 Parker Clemons

10 TACK, 1 sack, 3 TFL, 2 PB

DL

#55 Jamar Claibourn

14 TACK, 1 Sacks, 2.5 TFL, 1 PB, 1 QBH

#7 Keenan Gibbs

17 TACK, 1 sack, 3 TFL, 1 FF

LB

#7 Cameron Hunt

33 TACK, 3 Sacks, 6.5 TFL, 3 QBH, 2 FR

#33 Donavyn Jackson

24 tack, 3 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PB

DB

#3 Chris Perry

30 TACK, 4.5 TFL, 1 INT, 3 PB

#4 Dontra Matthews

56 tack, 1 TFL, 6 INT, 5 PB, 1 FF

DB

#4 Aaron Jackson

50 TACK, 1 TFL, 4 INT, 6 PB, 2 FR

#15 CJ Jones

65 TACK, 1 TFL, 2 INT 4 PB

DB

#6 Dreko Statham

44 TACK, 13 INT, 3 PB

#23 Antoine Brown

41 TACK, 1 TFL

DB

#21 Trey Dudley-Giles

30 TACK, 3 INT, 8 PB

#24 Cedarius Rookard

28 TACK

 

 

 

K

#16 Paul Ortiz

12-20 FG, 32-39 PAT Kick

#92 James Kazalski

4-8 FG, 36-44 PAT kick

CIF Player of the Week Awards-

Tommy Armstrong (3)– Week 2, Week 10, Week 11 – Offensive

JayShawn Washington (3)– Week 3, Week 6, Week 8 – Defensive

Paul Ortiz (3)– Week 5, Week 7, Week 13 – Special Teams

Dre’Sonte Dorton (1)– Week 3 – Special Teams

Tamar Heart (1) – Week 11 – Defensive

Visit https://omaha.footballshift.com/ for more information.

Livestream – https://www.youtube.com/@ChampionsIndoorFootballNetwork/featured

Salina and Omaha Championship results

Champions Bowl 5 (2019) – Salina @ Duke City – Gladiators 35-29

2020 – no game due to Covid-19

Champions Bowl 6 (2021) – Omaha @ Salina – Omaha 40-39

Champions Bowl 7 (2022) – Omaha @ Salina – Salina 38-34

Champions Bowl 8 (2023) – Salina @ Omaha -?

 

 

 

2023 Salina Liberty (9-2)

Mar 04, 2023

TOPEKA TROPICS

W

75-45

Mar 11, 2023

at Sioux City Bandits

L

39-45

Mar 25, 2023

at Topeka Tropics

W

66-65

Apr 02, 2023

at Rapid City Marshals

W

42-18

Apr 08, 2023

BILLINGS OUTLAWS

W

33-30

Apr 15, 2023

OMAHA BEEF

L

31-36

Apr 22, 2023

SW KANSAS STORM

W

45-38

May 06, 2023

at SW Kansas Storm

W

52-31

May 20, 2023

SIOUX CITY BANDITS

W

48-39

May 27, 2023

at Gillette Mustangs

W

43-41

Jun 10, 2023

GILLETTE MUSTANGS

W

37-30

Jun 17, 2023

at #1 Omaha Beef

All-Time vs Salina (9-11)

vs Salina Bombers (0-4)

5/31/2014

at Salina Bombers

L

43-50

ot

2496

Salina, Kansas

3/14/2015

SALINA BOMBERS

L

33-47

3717

Ralston, NE

3/28/2015

at Salina Bombers

L

7-49

Salina, KS

5/9/2015

at Salina Bombers

L

13-59

Salina, KS

Overall: 0-4
Conference: 0-1
Home: 0-1
Away: 0-3
Neutral: 0-0

vs Salina Liberty (9-7)

Date

Opponent

 

Score

Site

3/19/2016

at Salina Liberty

W

43-41

Salina, KS

5/20/2016

SALINA LIBERTY

W

35-18

Ralston, NE

3/10/2017

SALINA LIBERTY

W

76-44

Ralston, NE

4/29/2017

at Salina Liberty

W

26-23

Salina, KS

3/10/2018

SALINA LIBERTY

W

42-37

Ralston, NE

4/14/2018

at Salina Liberty

L

43-69

Salina, KS

6/1/2019

at Salina Liberty

L

34-54

Salina, Kan.

6/15/2019

SALINA LIBERTY

L

33-50

Ralston, NE

6/29/2019

at Salina Liberty

L

42-44

Salina, Kan.

4/10/2021

at Salina Liberty

L

8-26

Salina, KS

6/12/2021

SALINA LIBERTY

W

39-35

Ralston, NE

7/17/2021

at Salina Liberty

W

40-39

Salina, Kan. – CHAMPIONS BOWL 6

3/26/2022

at Salina Liberty

L

31-36

Salina, KS

5/14/2022

SALINA LIBERTY

W

14-11

Ralston, NE

6/25/2022

at Salina Liberty

L

34-38

Salina, KS – CHAMPIONS BOWL 7

4/15/2023

at Salina Liberty

W

36-31

Salina, KS

 
Overall: 9-7
Conference: 5-2
Home: 5-1
Away: 4-6
Neutral: 0-0



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