Omaha Beef at Bloomington Extreme game preview
Site: U.S. Cellular Coliseum, Bloomington
Kickoff: 7:05 p.m.
Records: Beef 5-6; Extreme 5-6
Scoring — Peter Christofilakos (2 TD, 38 XP, 25 FG, 125 points); Rushing — James Fuller (81 carries, 314 yards, 5 TD), Dusty Burk (46 carries, 187 yards, 7 TD); Passing — Dusty Burk (85 of 150, 928 yards, 20 TD, 7 INT); Receiving — Glenn Johnson (42 catches, 547 yards, 11 TD), Dwayne Smith (41catches, 454 yards, 11 TD).
Scoring — R.J. Rollins (20 TD, 2 XP, 122 points); Rushing — Rollins (147 carries, 572 yards, 12 TD); Passing — Chuck Wright (79 of 162, 901 yards, 22 TD, 10 INT); Receiving — Micah Arnold (26 catches, 411 yards, 7 TD), Rollins (30 catches, 290 yards, 7 TD).
Extreme roster changes/injuries
QB Dusty Burk returned from a knee injury last week but will be out again today. He is headed to the altar instead of the line of scrimmage and will marry Julie Washburn today. Kenton Carr, who won two of three games as a starter while Burk was injured, will start with Brian McCaslin the No. 2 signal caller.
The Bloomington receiving corps continues to be a revolving door. Former Northern Iowa receiver Patrick Hunter was signed this week and will be activated today. He will be joined at receiver by Sam D’Alie, Craig Kastning and Reggie Gray. Returning from an injury a week sooner than expected, Gray caught six passes for 64 yards in the first Omaha game. The Extreme also signed former Illinois State player Sesamir Yearby and is trying him at wide receiver, although he will not play today.
Dwayne Smith underwent knee surgery this week and will miss the remainder of the season, while fellow receiver Glenn Johnson may return from a broken foot for the June 24 game at Rock River.
Two-way lineman Chris Hummel will be activated after missing time with an ankle injury. Offensive lineman J.D. Sheldon could be inactive this week because of a hamstring injury. Colin Christopher would take over Sheldon’s guard position.
Free safety Mike Rhone is expected to miss two more games with an injury. Sam Yeargin will continue to start at the position. Defensive lineman Martin Wilson will play despite suffering a neck injury last week.
What to watch for
In a game with heavy playoff implications, Bloomington goes for the season sweep over Omaha after claiming a 46-40 victory over the Beef on May 20 at Omaha, Neb. Carr completed 15 of 25 passes for 127 yards and three touchdowns in his first Extreme start.
“This is big for our playoff hopes. This is a playoff game,” Bloomington coach Ted Schmitz said. “We’re tied with them and we beat them once so if we beat them again we’ll have the tiebreaker (for a playoff spot). We took the run away from them last time and it played into our hands. Now they’ve got a new guy who can throw it, too. Their new quarterback (Andy Majors) is pretty darn good.”
Majors is the reigning UIF Offensive Player of the Week after completing 7 of 11 passes for 108 yards and four TDs. He also ran for two scores in a 70-54 win over Rock River. R.J. Rollins is the current Special Teams Player of the Week after returning four kickoffs for 133 yards and a touchdown.
Bloomington kicker Peter Christofilakos is second in UIF scoring with 125 points.
Around the UIF
Sioux Falls (11-0) tries to remain undefeated and hand the playoff hopes of Sioux City (5-6) a blow at Sioux Falls, S.D. The teams also meet next week at Sioux City, Iowa, for the last of four scheduled matchups.
Ohio Valley (6-5) could put itself in fine position for a wild card playoff bid and close within two games of East Division leader Lexington (9-2) with a home victory. A Lexington win clinches the East title and no worse than the No. 3 seed in the playoffs.
Rock River (7-4) attempts to strengthen its hold on the Central Division lead with a home win over Fort Wayne (3-8). The Freedom, which has former Illinois tailback Rocky Harvey back from an ankle injury, has lost eight straight.
Smarting from last week’s 71-0 pounding at the hands of Sioux Falls (the first shutout in UIF history), hapless Peoria (0-11) travels to Evansville (4-7).
Compiled by Randy Reinhardt