Champions Indoor Football League Playoffs Final Round Set

The Gillette Mustangs have won the first playoff game in team history in dramatic fashion. In a game that ended a lot closer than most expected, with the Mustangs winning 40-35. Mike Pina was doing his best to defeat his old team. If not for a strong third quarter from the Mustangs we might have watched the Storm advance.

On the other hand we have the Billings Outlaws. The Outlaws have gotten hot at the right time behind the amazing play of Jamario Benson and Lorenz Stefan at quarterback. They ended up sneaking into the 4 seed which meant they would host Sioux City and not vice versa. This proved to be the difference in a Monday night match up that saw Lorenz Stefan pick apart this Bandits defense in front of his home crowd on his way to round two in the playoffs.

This means that the opponents awaiting Steven Titus’s teams are the 10-0 Omaha Beef who will welcome Billings to town, and the 8-2 Salina Liberty will face the Gillette Mustangs once again just two weeks removed from the matchup that decided who would get home field advantage in this game. We are in for two amazing games this weekend.

Billings Outlaws vs Omaha Beef

Omaha scored a league leading 528 points in 10 games this season, thanks to 70 touchdowns which also led the league. Billings ranks third in average defense, and stands in a tie for first in rushing defense. This could be one of the tougher units this Beef team has faced this season led by coordinator Tae Brooks. Turnovers will be a key in this game, if Billings can create a turnover, that the offense is able to capitalize on that will go a long way toward giving them the edge in this game.

Watch out for the rushing attack from Billings. Coach King wants to use play action, and has a very capable dual threat back in Josh Batiste to lean on. Game flow has allowed the Beef defense to dominate the opponents rushing offense and allow just 53 yards per game. I expect the Outlaws to top that number but it will be up to the Beef to prevent the big plays Billings has produced on play action.

With weapons like Josh Best, Kalib Woods, and Batiste at Stefan’s disposal this Beef team isn’t in for an easy path to the championship. One thing is for certain, if any secondary is prepared for this game it’s the Beef’s that intercepted Stefan three times when he was a member of the Tropics, and led the league with 20 ints in 10 games.

Gillette Mustangs vs Salina Liberty

Just two weeks ago Gillette allowed a last second score that sealed home field advantage and a first round bye for the Liberty. This has led to home field advantage in what seemed like an inevitable match up with Gillette once again. The Mustangs have been one of the hottest teams in the league most of this year but this loss could prove crucial.

Having given up home field advantage the Mustangs must do their best to defeat the Liberty in front of their own crowd. The Liberty have won four straight games, and their only loss at home has come to the undefeated Beef. The Mustangs to their credit matchup well with Salina. Their high flying offense may have traded in their Beugatti (Mike Pina), for a McLaren (Aaron Aiken), but their offense has still produced 196 points in the last four games although they hold a 2-2 record.

Two of the most recently signed quarterbacks in the CIF in Aiken, and Ed Crouch will face off once again in what should end up an epic shoot out. Aiken sits second in passing yards per game with 129.7 while Crouch is 6th with 105.8. However Crouch has 13 touchdowns through the air and 5 on the ground in his short time with the Liberty, while Aiken has 5 passing and 9 rushing. Crouch might be the edge that Salina needs in this game, but only time will tell. These scoring offenses are separated by just one point on the season standing second and third.


While the Mustangs offense sits third in points scored, their defense makes up for it. They have allowed 45 points less than the Liberty’s defense this season. Allowing 320 points in the year or an average of 32 points per game. Salina allowed 365 points on the year, this too is a factor to watch in this game. If the Mustangs defense can stop Crouch from seeing the end-zone his average of 4.5 times per game it will go a long way toward helping the Mustangs claim victory.

Watch for Jaylen Jefferson and Aaron Aiken to have big days on the ground against the Liberty defense that allowed 72.5 yards per game this season. The Mustangs are the top ranked rushing attack in the league, and Jefferson leads the league in average yards per carry from a running back. He also stands second in rushing yards and touchdowns to Tracy Brooks from Salina. Brooks is the key to Salina’s offense, with 16 rushing touchdowns, and 129 carries you can expect him to be a focal point in this game.

It’s going to be an exciting weekend of CIF Playoff Football as we find out who will advance to the Championship. Don’t forget to check out our 3 team dedicated pre-game shows and make sure to subscribe to the Shady Sports Network YouTube channel for your chance to win CIF Gear from the team of your choice. The more active you are liking and commenting, the more likely you are to win!

Prime Cuts of Omaha Beef Featuring Aaron Jackson

The Stampede

Billings vs Omaha

Gillette vs Salina 6 pm CT or 7 pm ET

Leave a Reply