Bandits football vs Council Bluff Express

Coach Erv Strohbeen holds up the trophy as the Sioux City Bandits celebrate their win over Council Bluffs Express in the APFL championship in 2012.

Jim Lee, Sioux City Journal

SIOUX CITY | After years of trying, the Sioux City Bandits were able to taste success at the highest level -- twice.

The indoor football team that has always been a fan favorite became a champion twice over with a pair of wins over Council Bluffs.

The Bandits had experienced success before, but they finally reached the top in 2011 and 2012 with back-to-back titles in the American Professional Football League. They beat Council Bluffs 69-28 in 2011 before adding a 56-34 triumph a year later.

Quarterback Scott Jensen put together MVP seasons for the team as it put up almost mind-boggling numbers in the fast-paced game. Defensively, Spetlar Tonga was a leader who had to fight through injuries before being able to enjoy the team success.

It was an extra sweet victory for several of the Bandits who were part of a 2005 squad that fell just short of a title against rival Sioux Falls.

Sioux City went 28-0 during the two-year run of titles.

The two titles highlight what has been a successful 14-year run for the team that began as the Sioux City Attack in 2000. The Attack went 9-5 in its first season before changing its nickname to Bandits in 2001.

The Bandits will begin play in their seventh league next season, Champions Indoor Football.

Although the team has not won a championship in the past two seasons, results have still been strong with Sioux City reaching the semifinals and championship game, respectively.


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