Beef blast Caps

04/16/03 NIFL Fan Article by Andrew Hoyle

Beef coach Collins Sanders talked extensively in Friday's pre-game radio show about three things his players worked on during practice this week: team chemistry, going back to the basics, and the embarrassment factor. Trying to set egos aside in what is arguably the most individually talented Beef team ever has been hard, and is the single most important factor keeping the Beef from putting it all together and playing to their potential so far this season. Last week's home loss to Bismarck was a chance for Sanders to remind his players that without team chemistry, you have nothing, and things just aren't going to work. He also talked with his players about going back to the basics of football, to include blocking effectively, making smart decisions, reading correct schemes, keeping mistakes to a minimum, and of course protecting the ball. Tying it all together, he and the players vowed not to embarrass themselves or their fans with another poor showing this season, at home or on the road. With these things in mind, the Beef took the field on Friday night against division rival Lincoln at the Pershing Center.

The Beef put on an offensive and defensive clinic, taking the Caps out behind the woodshed and beating them like a bunch of redheaded stepchildren. When it was all said and done, the 1,859 fans, including a loud contingent of several hundred of the Beef faithful, saw the most dominating performance on both sides of the ball to date in a 54-23 Beef win. QB Troy Travis was right on target, completing 17 of 25 attempts for 197 yards and four touchdowns on the night. On the second play of the game, he put a perfect throw over the shoulder of WR Steve Lovell for a 36-yard touchdown. Travis also ran for one touchdown on the night. RB Clinton Childs proved he's still got the moves, taking a pitch 26 yards for a touchdown on the Beef's second possession of the game. Omaha would score on all five of its first half possessions to take a 33-14 lead into the locker room at halftime. Defensively, the Beef kept Capitols QB Justin Coleman off balance all night, allowing him to complete passes to only two different receivers in the first half of the game. Constant pressure by DL Dwayne Harris (4 sacks on the night) and DL Richard "Big Sexy" Johnson would eventually force Caps coach Marc Munford to put Coleman on the shelf before he got his bell rung one to many times. Omaha moved to 2-1 on the season, and 2-0 in the division, while Lincoln fell to 1-3 and 0-2 in the division. The Beef have already equaled their number of road wins last season.

Brett Wetton's bio in the 2003 Beef football guide says, "Wetton comes with a lot of experience on offense and defense." Now there's an understatement. The 6-8, 325-pound lineman, a former Tri-City Diesel player, where he was a 2002 All-Conference Guard, is quickly becoming the forgotten part of both the offensive and defensive lines; forgotten by opposing teams only. He made his mark in Friday night's game by blocking both an extra point attempt and a field goal attempt that was returned for a touchdown. While opposing offensive lines key on Harris and Johnson, he's free to do a lot of damage in his own right. With plenty of other players having nicknames like "D-Rock," "Sitting Bull," "Big Sexy" and "The Time Bomb," maybe somebody should find one for this outstanding lineman……

Up next for the Beef are the Show Me Believers. The Believers make their first trip to the Slaughterhouse having had an extra week to prepare for the game, but don't look for the same kind of game that happened in St. Charles just a few weeks ago (58-55 Beef win). Show Me is going to have to show the Beef it can play with the big boys on the road in one of the truly hostile environments in the NIFL. Look for the Beef to take extra care in shutting down the Believers pass-happy offense, while sticking it to them on the ground to control the clock and the game. The Beef have sworn to not lose at home again this season, and want to make it up to the fans for the Bismarck debacle of last week.

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