OMAHA -- The Sioux City Bandits have started a national search for a defensive coordinator after the release of Anthony Parker Sunday morning.
Parker, who a year ago was the interim head coach the final seven games for the Indoor Football League's Muskegon Thunder, was let go after a second straight disappointing effort from the Bandits' defense in Saturday night's 53-26 Indoor Football League loss to the Omaha Beef. Action at the Omaha Civic Auditorium saw the Beef outgain the Bandits 319-223 in total yardage.
Sioux City, now 1-2 for the season, has surrendered averages of 61 points and 294.5 total yards in the two games that followed a season-opening 48-38 win over the Colorado Ice. For a second straight game, the Bandits' defense has struggled against the pass, as Omaha quarterback Ben Shankey threw for 224 yards and four touchdowns.
"I'm extremely dissappointed," said Sioux City Coach Tommie Williams, an Omaha assistant the previous four seasons, the last two as offensive coordinator.
"As a coaching staff and as an organization, we are disappointed about the lack of focus and the lack of competitiveness our team has displayed. I take full responsibility for this loss.
"We have to get back to the point where we're simplifying our offense and simplifying our defense. Unfortunately, we let go of our defensive coordinator and if we don't hire a defensive coordinator, I will take over the defense as well as calling the offensive plays. Our defensive line has to improve as well as our secondary, particularly at safety."
Sioux City, in each of its last two games, hasn't recorded an interception or a quarterback sack.
Omaha (1-1), for the second straight game, recorded its first touchdown on a kickoff return. Pig Brown had a 33-yarder in last Saturday's 54-47 season-opening loss to Sioux Falls and, in front of the hometown fans, Courtney Grixby returned a kickoff 48 yards for a score.
The Bandits trailed 20-0 when Shankey threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Mike Jones five seconds into the second quarter. On the ensuing possession, John Bentley started Sioux City's rally with a 14-yard touchdown catch.
The closest Sioux City came was at the 2:05 mark of the third quarter when former West High School and Morningside College wide receiver Damon Mothershead scored his second touchdown catch of the season, grabbing an 11-yard pass from James McNear to pull within 33-26. However, R.J. Rollins followed with his second rushing touchdown of the game, a 12-yarder that increased Omaha's lead to 39-26.
McNear, who had quarterbacked the Beef in the three previous seasons, completed 16 of 31 passes for 168 yards and four touchdowns, hitting four different receivers. He also rushed for 59 yards while Leon Hall Jr. had six catches for 45 yards, including a three-yard scoring catch in the second quarter.
Linebacker Spetlar Tonga, who played last year for Omaha, had five solo tackles and three tackle assists to pace the Bandits. Another former player for the Beef, cornerback Henry Talley, had four tackles, three which were solos.
Former Bandit wide receiver O.J. Simpson caught two touchdowns for the Beef, a nine-yarder in the second quarter and a 32-yarder in the fourth frame.
The Bandits are idle until March 27 when they host Colorado.
Omaha 53, Sioux City 26
Sioux City 0 14 12 0 -- 26
Omaha 14 19 6 14 -- 53
OMA: Courtney Grixby 48 kickoff return (Luis Vallenquez kick) 15:00
OMA: R.J. Rollins 2 run (Vallenquez kick) 6:01
OMA: Mike Jones 25 pass from Ben Shankey (Vallenquez kick) 14:55
SCB: John Bentley 14 pass from James McNear (Shane Hudnall kick) 13:28
OMA: Mo Avery 30 pass from Shankey (kick failed) 12:28
SCB: Leon Hall Jr. 3 pass from McNear (Hudnall kick) 8:36
OMA: O.J. Simpson 9 pass from Shankey (kick failed) 5:29
SCB: T.J. Williams 18 pass fromMcNear (kick failed) 10:55
SCB: Damon Mothershead 11 pass from McNear (kick failed) 2:05
OMA: Rollins 12 run (kick failed) 0:00
OMA: Avery 30 run (kick failed) 8:28
OMA: Simpson 32 pass from Shankey (Rollins run) 2:00
First downs 17 18
Rushes-yards 14-72 13-95
Passing yards 151 224
Passes 16-34-1 18-27-0
Total plays-yards 48-223 40-319
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 8-49 10-52
RUSHING: Sioux City -- James McNear 8-59, John Bentley 4-15, Leon Hall Jr. 1-1, Damon Mothershead 1-(-3). Omaha -- R.J. Rollins 9-50, Mo Avery 3-43, Ben Shankey 1-2.
PASSING: Sioux City -- McNear 16-31-1 -- 168, Team 0-3-0 -- (-17). Omaha -- Shankey 18-27-0 -- 224.
RECEIVING: Sioux City -- Hall 6-45, Bentley 4-48, Mothershead 3-37, Carl Sims 1-8. Omaha -- Mike Jones 6-71, O.J. Simpson 4-53, Rollins 4-13, Avery 3-80, Courtney Grixby 1-7.
Sioux City -- Spetlar Tonga 5-3, Alex Ardley 4-1, Henry Talley 3-1, Brett Nickolite 2-2, Isaiah Gay 3-0, Jordan Picou 1-2, Sean Kelly 1-2, Pat Elvis So'oalo 0-1. Omaha -- Jeff Souder 6-5, Chris Bradford 4-3, Diezeas Calbert 4-2, Javon Bell 3-1, Courtney Grixby 0-4, Dorsey Golsen 3-0, Ramon Richardson 2-1, Pig Brown 2-0.