In this week’s edition of Force in Focus, Robert Pannier looks back at Week 1 of the 2019 CIF season and previews the upcoming contest against the Texas Revolution. This, plus notes from around the team.
A Tough Start for Wichita Force in 2019
The 2019 Champions Indoor Football League season opened on a sour note for the Wichita Force. A 12 hour bus ride to New Mexico led to a 76-24 thumping by the defending champion Duke City Gladiators.
The Force coaching staff figured it was going to be a tough start to the season, as the team has been almost completely rebuilt from the roster that ended the 2018 season, and that was clearly visible last Saturday. The offense was out of sync from the start as several early snaps did not connect with quarterback Joe Hubener, leading to early stops for the Gladiators defense.
However, by the fourth quarter, the Wichita offense looked like they were on the same page. Hubener threw two touchdowns in the final frame, including a 45 yard catch and run to a wide-open Jack Tomlinson. All of that came courtesy of an offensive line that looked much more comfortable with one another as the game went along. Hubener had virtually no time to throw in the first half and, adding to the challenges with the snap, making it difficult to move the ball.
A Tough Start to the Season
The league did the Wichita Force no favors early on. Not only did they begin the season with the defending champions, but they will welcome the Texas Revolution in their home opener. The Revolution were the 2017 CIF champs. To make matters worse, the Revolution had an opening week bye, meaning they will be plenty rested for this contest.
Texas is coming off a 6-8 season, third in the South Division. There are high expectations for the Revolution as new head coach Carlos Cavanaugh moves from the offensive coordinator position to take over the head coaching duties.
He not only is a former Revolution player but has played alongside current players Clinton Solomon and Darius Fudge. He has already declared that improving the defense is the top priority.
“Having the stability and good branding behind you – that’s a blessing. This off-season we’re going to focus hard on defense. We produced real good numbers on offense last year with a lot of those guys returning. We’re going to try to rebuild the defense, especially in the secondary. Understanding how to use that talent and utilize it in the best way possible is the biggest thing.”
Cavanaugh already had head coaching experience. The Revolutions new Head Coach coached the New Mexico Stars in the Arena Indoor Football League as well was the Kansas Koyotes in the CPILF.
QB Joe Hubener threw for 191 yards in the loss to the Gladiators. That puts him in fourth in the league in passing yards, but the Kansas State graduate leads the league in completion percentage at 63.6%…Jack Tomlinson is fourth in the league in receiving yards after Week 1 with 99.0. He was tied for the second longest touchdown reception of the week…Two Kansas City Chiefs players will be in attendance at Saturday night’s game. That includes Chris Jones and Dustin Colquitt. There could be additional players added…There is definitely a local flavor to this year’s team. Of the 24 players on the roster, 15 attended college in Kansas, including Hubener.
By Robert Pannier