Sharks hungry for Beef

05/25/02 Lake Charles American Press
After setting a franchise record for margin of victory last week, the Lake Charles LandSharks face a slightly tougher opponent this week.

The Omaha Beef (5-3) got off to a 5-1 start in its first year of National Indoor Football League play before losing the last two games.

"Omaha has a good team and we need to be prepared," Land-Sharks coach Kip Texada said.

The Land-Sharks are off to an 8-0 start, including 4-0 at home.

"We had won a lot of close games before last week and I made the statement it had taken a few years off of my life," Texada said. "I thought the offense made a statement last week, but now they need to keep stepping up. (Quarterback Ted Robison) did a good job and the receivers are doing a great job."

The Beef have several former Nebraska players from the early 1990s, including running back Clinton Child and defensive tackles Damien Bauman and Paul Hawley.

Child was the Player of the Year for the Beef last season in the Indoor Professional Football League before it moved into the NIFL. Quarterback Troy Travis was also all-league last year.

Those two should provide a challenge to the LandSharks league-leading scoring defense, which is allowing 22 points per game in eight wins.

"We know we have one of the best defenses and we need to continue that," Texada said. "(Linebacker) Darnell Lee is providing great leadership, and (defensive lineman Kendall) Shello did a great job against Oklahoma. He had no sacks, but he put a lot of pressure on the quarterback."

"We've been getting by less on ability and more productivity," Lee said. "The defensive line is doing a great job pressuring the quarterback — we're not giving the quarterback any time to throw. The backfield is doing a good job covering, and when all that comes together, pretty much we just have to stop the run."

With six games remaining in the season, Lee said he hopes a more fit LandSharks team won't wear down like it did at the end of the season last year.

"Last year we didn't stress the weight as much and Ohio Valley just overpowered us in the first playoff game," Lee said. "We're emphasizing the weights more this season, and hopefully it will pay off and we'll be in better shape in the final few games."


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