Wichita Set for Champions Bowl II
June 19, 2014 - Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) - Wichita Wild News Release
WICHITA, Kan.-The Wichita Wild (11-2) will play host to the Sioux City Bandits (10-3) for the CPIFL Champions Bowl II this Saturday, June 21st in Hartman Arena; kick-off scheduled for 7:05 p.m. This is the second year of the Champions Professional Indoor Football League existence and the second year that the Wild have hosted the championship game. The conclusion of the 2013 season saw the Wild take the championship with a 47-35 win over the Salina Bombers. This season, the Wild and Bandits have been neck-and-neck, splitting the home and home match up with a win apiece. While seeking their second championship win in two years, the Wild also look to extend their active home win streak to 19 since their 2012 season.
Last week was a close call for the Wild, as they pulled out a 33-31 playoff win in the final seconds against the Dodge City Law thanks to a 51 yard field goal made by K Ernesto Lacayo. Although an exciting finish to a hard-fought game, the Wild will have to work twice as hard this week to keep up with the high powered Bandit offense in order to keep their crown as reigning CPIFL Champions. The Bandits have been a tough opponent for the Wild this season, handing Wichita their first loss on March 22nd in a 48-45 battle. The Wild exacted their revenge, however, when they hosted the Bandits a little over a month later on May 31st and were able to come away with a 59-54 win and clinch a playoff berth.
Wichita's defense has been no match for most CPIFL opponents this season, finishing first or second in every major defensive statistic this season. Wild K Ernesto Lacayo has also been a major contributor to the team finishing fourth in the league in total points scored and has made almost double the amount of field goals as the next best kicker (29 to 15). Wild QB Rocky Hinds, reigning CPIFL Champions Bowl I MVP and recently named league MVP this season, holds the keys to the Wild offense which will undoubtedly need to be on fire to keep up with the Bandits.
The Bandits head to Wichita to play in what will be their third championship over the past four seasons. They won back to back championships in the APFL in 2011 and 2012 before joining the CPIFL for the league's first season in 2013. The Bandits were eliminated at home by the Salina Bombers in the first round of the 2013 CPIFL playoffs, but got their revenge on the Bombers with a 66-37 win over Salina last Saturday to reach this year's championship. The Bandits have the CPIFL's most explosive offense this season, averaging 59 points per game. Bandits RB Johnny Bentley led the CPIFL in rushing with 817 yards and 26 touchdowns and QB Scott Jensen threw for 1815 yards with 41 touchdowns. Sioux City has depth and experience at the WR position with four guys catching at least 23 passes and 7 touchdowns, led by Eddie Pertilla who accounted for 661 yards with 19 scores on the season.
Player to Watch: K, Ernesto Lacayo The kicking game this week could be a determining factor in which team comes out a champion. Wild K, Ernesto Lacayo has proved himself an invaluable asset to the Wild this season. Hitting 29 of his 55 field goals this year, Lacayo ranks first in field goals and field goal percentage at 52.7 percent. Lacayo was imperative in the Wild's latest win, hitting a long 51 yard field goal as time expired to propel the Wild to the 2014 CPIFL Championship and could be the difference maker for the Wild this week.
Champions Bowl II is set to take place on Saturday, June 21st in Hartman Arena; kick-off scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Tickets for the game can be purchased starting at $7 in the orange and green level seating by calling the Wild office at 316.440.5044 or visiting the Hartman Arena box office. For those unable to attend, the game can be heard on 1410 AM KGSO or kgso.com, or streamed live on americaone.com for a small fee. For all the latest news on the Wild and the 2014 CPIFL Champions Bowl II, visit wichitawildfootball.com and follow the team on Facebook and Twitter (@wichita_wild).
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