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Sioux City Bandits look to end road woes against Oklahoma

Sioux City Bandits look to end road woes against Oklahoma

Sioux City Bandits vs. Wichita Force

Sioux City Bandits' Dillon Turner, left, celebrates his touchdown against Wichita Force during an indoor football game in Sioux City in 2019.

The road hasn't been kind to the Sioux City Bandits this season.

Three of the Bandits four losses have come on the road and even in a win at Oklahoma last month, Sioux City turned the ball over six times.

The Bandits are a different team on the road than they are at home but if they want to stay in the playoff race, Sioux City needs to play like they are at home.

The Bandits 6-4 record has them a game behind Omaha and Salina, who are tied for the top spot in the North Division. The top two teams qualify for the postseason.

Saturday's game at Oklahoma is the second-to-last game of the season so if the Bandits slip up on the road, they could find themselves on the outside looking in for a playoff spot.

"Over the course of the years, it's tough to win on the road in this league. Fan support for the home crowd with the music blaring, all of that stuff adds up," Bandits coach Erv Strohbeen said. "We just have to block that out and take care of business and understand what the stakes are. We have to win them all. It doesn't matter where they are played."

With the game on the road, there will be a watch party at Clyde's. The game is broadcast on Pluto TV.

"They do a pretty good job (at Clyde's) of broadcasting," Strohbeen said. "It should be a good time for our fans to go down and support our sponsors and watch a good broadcast and hopefully a Bandits victory."

The Bandits are coming off a win against the NTX Savages last Saturday. The Savages took the place of Texas, which folded earlier this season. The game was marked as a win before kickoff but Strohbeen wanted to see his team take care of the ball better. 

In the 61-14 victory, the Bandits didn't have a single turnover. They also passed the ball a bit more. Dillon Turner was 15-of-20 passing for 154 yards and six touchdowns. Bret Van Muyden and Andre London each caught two touchdowns.

"We definitely got some things worked out. We ran a few different guys out there and moved some guys around. It was a good test for us," Strohbeen said. "We definitely won the turnover battle. That's what we were looking for, we didn't turn it over. That's a positive and we threw the ball quite a bit and we wanted to work on the passing game. That seemed to work out pretty good."

In the playoff picture this week, Salina travels to Omaha. The two teams played two weeks ago and Salina won 54-34 in Salina. 

The Bandits should be tied with whoever loses between Salina and Omaha but Oklahoma, which is 2-8 on the season, played with Sioux City in the last game. The Bandits won 61-54 but needed a couple of safeties to get some breathing room at the end.

Strohbeen said the Bandits can't overlook Oklahoma.

"(Oklahoma) is looking for a signature win, something to wrap their arms around and say that's how it's done and recruit for next year," Strohbeen said. "They still have some pretty quality guys that they signed this week and they are still trying to upgrade their roster. They are trying to get better and win some games this year. We can't take them lightly and it's a dangerous spot to be in."


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