If Las Vegas had odds on the American Professional Football League, the Sioux City Bandits would probably be three touchdown favorites to win the league title this Saturday. The Bandits are the defending champs and have won 27 straight games heading into the championship game against the Council Bluffs Express.
The Bandits kept their perfect season alive by beating Mid-Missouri in the first round of the playoffs, 61-28. Sioux City has beaten Council Bluffs twice this season, by 33 points at home and by only 12 on the road.
The Bandits are clearly the class of the league, but trying to win back-to-back titles keeps them motivated.
"There's been opportunities this season where we haven't had too much pressure," said Bandits defensive back Rahn Franklin. "It's a blessing to be able to get to a championship game where the tension is rising and be in the situation where big players have to make big plays and teams have to come together to seal the deal."
"It's nice to start the season with a group of guys and they bought into our system," said Bandits head coach Erv Strohbeen. "The guys that are here can attest to that. These guys were all here last year. We're trying to build something here and I guess so far it's working."
Council Bluffs comes into the game with a 10-3 record. The Express have improved their talent level by signing several players from the Omaha Beef, after their season was over.
Both sides agree these are the two best teams in the league and it should be a good title game.
"They're building the same thing that we're trying to build down there," said Council Bluffs head coach Dave Brumagen. "We'll do everything we can to just keep this going every year, the best rivalry in the APFL."
"This is what we all play for," said Bandits linebacker Spetlar Tonga. "We play to be one of these two teams. So we get that chance once again."
The APFL title game starts at 7:05 on Saturday night at the Tyson Events Center.
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