The Force’s postseason chances weren’t badly damaged by last weekend’s loss at home to Sioux City, but Wichita might not be able to afford another defeat.
Wichita can likely secure a top-two seed in the four-team Champions Indoor Football playoffs with a win in its regular-season finale on Saturday at Omaha. A loss would probably put the Force on the fringe of the playoff picture, with five teams jockeying for four spots.
The postseason scenarios will crystallize next weekend, when most CIF teams play their final regular-season games. For now, the Force (7-4) is most concerned with rebounding from last Saturday’s 55-45 loss to Sioux City.
Wichita lost a chance to secure home-field advantage, a privilege the Force ceded temporarily, at least, to Sioux City, which has two games remaining. The Force fell behind by 21 points on Saturday before a second-half comeback came up short.
“I’m not panicking, because I know we don’t need to change anything on offense,” Force coach Paco Martinez said. “We just need to execute better. That’s all it comes down to – discipline and execution.”
Those were clear issues for the Force on Saturday. Wichita was penalized seven times in the first half, offering Sioux City’s already-potent offense better field position as Sioux City built a 34-13 halftime lead with 24 straight points.
After starting with six completions in seven attempts, Force quarterback Emmanuel Taylor had one string of three straight completions over his final 42 passes.
The Force got energy from Clarence Anderson, who had two receiving touchdowns and a kick return touchdown, but Wichita’s offense wasn’t as balanced as that of Sioux City, which rushed for more than 100 yards and had three passing touchdowns.
“We had several opportunities where we felt like we were back into it, we’re going to knock this thing out,” Martinez said. “Then something else bad would happen. We just didn’t have enough answers for them.”