SALINA, Kan. -- The Sioux City Bandits traded scores with Salina to start the game on Saturday but the Liberty started to gain some breathing room in the second quarter.
With Sioux City up 21-20, Saline scored on Rashad Pargo's 32-yard touchdown reception from Andrew Jackson. Then the Bandits fumbled in the end zone and Salina recovered to go up 34-21 with 4:50 left in the first half.
The Bandits never got within one score for the rest of the game as Salina defeated Sioux City 65-45. It was the season-opener for the Bandits and Salina is 1-1.
Sioux City opened the game with a 37-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to go up 7-0. About three minutes later, Tracy Brooks scored on a 3-yard run to tie the game at 7-7.
Sioux City went up 14-7 after Frederick Bruno hauled in a 23-yard touchdown from Cory Murphy with 7:32 remaining in the first quarter.
Salina took the lead on back-to-back possessions as Anthony Jones scored on Jackson's 5-yard touchdown pass and Ed Smith caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to go up 20-14.
Sioux City retook the lead on Anthony Eboreim's 7-yard touchdown reception from Murphy when Salina took the lead for good. The Bandits did get a 28-yard field goal from Greg Conry right before the end of the half to cut Salina's lead to 34-24.
Jones caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Jackson early in the third quarter. Sioux City came back with a 10-yard touchdown reception by Bruno from Murphy to make it a 10-point game again.
Brooks caught a 6-yard touchdown from Jackson and then scored on a nine-yard run early in the fourth quarter to put Salina up 53-31.
Sioux City tried to come back as Cowart scored on a 1-yard run but Brooks scored his fourth touchdown of the game, and his third on the ground with a 4-yard run. Salina added an interception for a touchdown for a 65-39 lead.
Sioux City did score one last time as Londell Lee caught a 24-yard pass from Cory Murphy.
Sioux City only had 189 yards of total offense, including only 30 yards rushing. Salina had 367 total yards.
Brooks rushed for 88 yards and three touchdowns for Salina. Brooks also caught five passes for 79 yards and a score. Jackson was 21-for-33 passing for 274 yards and five touchdowns. Jones caught five passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns and Matthew Craig had a team-high six receptions for 61 yards.
For Sioux City, Murphy was 14-of-25 passing for 159 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Lee caught four passes for 61 yards and a score and Bruno hauled in five passes for 51 yards and two touchdowns. Zac Schleuger had 10 tackles in the loss. Devon Bridges had five tackles and forced a fumble.