INDOOR FOOTBALL: Axemen seek revenge for loss, host Nebraska tonight
BEMIDJI — The Bemidji Axemen will try to earn revenge for its only loss of the 2014 season as it will host the Nebraska Danger at 7:05 p.m. today at the Sanford Center.
Nebraska enters today atop the Intense Conference with a record of 3-1 and has won its last three contests by a combined score of 160-91.
“We are excited about the opportunity,” Bemidji head coach Robert Fuller said of facing a team at the top of the league. “Playing against them can be a great measuring stick. We see it as a great challenge and an opportunity to prove ourselves.”
The Danger’s three-game winning streak began with a 43-19 win over the Axemen two weeks ago in Nebraska.
“We have to play better on both the offensive and defensive lines,” Fuller said. “We have to perform better up front, they are a really physical team.”
This time around, Fuller hopes his defense will keep his team within reach early on, which will allow his offense to operate with all of its dimensions. The offense showcased its balance in last week’s 92-47 win over Wyoming by scoring 11 offensive touchdowns — six passing and five rushing.
“They got off to such a fast start last time,” Fuller said. “If they can force you to be one-dimensional, you are in trouble. You have to be able to keep it close and stay balanced.”
Quarterback Hunter Wanket was responsible for nine of those touchdowns as he added three one-yard scoring runs to go with his six touchdowns through the air to earn week 4 player of the week in the IFL.
Although the offense put up 92 points — just five shy of an IFL record — Fuller says the offense has still had plenty to work on while preparing for the Danger.
“Against a team like Nebraska that is so strong, there is a lot of work to be done on both sides of the football,” Fuller said. “Their secondary is so dominant and they will not give us many windows, so we have to make sure to capitalize when we get our chances.”
Perhaps the biggest advantage for the Axemen (2-1) will be playing on their home field, where they are 2-0, instead of taking the long bus ride down to Grand Island, Neb.
“We are very excited to play Nebraska at our house,” Fuller said. “We have had tremendous fan turnouts and the crowd keeps getting bigger and louder each time out. We are excited to have the ninth man help us as we try to get this win.”
Bemidji is 2-0 at home, while Nebraska fell 52-35 to Sioux Falls in its only contest on the road.