RALSTON, Neb. | After the Sioux City Bandits struggled on offense for most of the first 57 minutes, 30 seconds of the game, Brandon Sheperd caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from Liam Nadler that proved to be the game winner. The Bandits defeated the Omaha Beef 33-30 in a Champions Indoor Football game at Ralston Arena here Saturday.
After stuffing a Sioux City run on fourth-and-1, the Beef (1-2) went on a nine-play, 28-yard drive that burned 8:14 off the clock and ended with a 20-yard field goal from Tucker Milliken to give Omaha a 30-25 lead with 2:30 left in the game.
It took just one play for the Bandits (2-0) to regain the lead on Sheperd’s long touchdown reception. Sioux City then went for two and converted on a reception to Frederick Bruno to give the Bandits a 33-30 lead with 2:00 left in the game.
The Beef had a chance to tie the game, but turned the ball over on downs with an incomplete pass on fourth-and-3 with just 15 seconds left.
The Bandits scored two touchdowns in the first half, including a 3-yard touchdown run from Darrian Miller with 12 seconds left in the half, and led 19-13 at halftime. Sioux City had just two field goals in the second half until Sheperd’s long catch in the final minutes.
Greg Conry made all four of his field goal attempts for Sioux City, including a 54-yarder in the first quarter. Miller had 61 rushing yards and a touchdown on nine carries. T.J. Oates had a 25-yard touchdown catch.
Former Bandit Jeffrey Mack had 51 rushing yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Quarterback John Gibbs completed 11 of 22 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown while also running for 63 yards and two more scores on 13 carries.
The Sioux City offense was outgained 205-183, but the Bandit defense held Omaha to just 3.9 yards per play. The Bandits averaged 5.1 yards per play.
The Bandits play next in Bismarck, North Dakota against the Bucks on Friday.