Liberty falls short in OT against Sioux City Bandits

by Marjorie Anderson

In a game that took an extra period, the Salina Liberty suffered its first loss of the 2023 season. The Sioux City Bandits took down the Salina Liberty 45-39 in overtime. This was one of the most anticipated matchups of the season, as both teams are expected to finish well in the standings.

The Bandits opened the scoring up with a Tasleem Wilson pass to Fred Bruno to make it 6-0. Salina then rattled off 21 unanswered points, before the Bandits came back and tied things up late in the second quarter.

Salina worked their way up the field quickly and attempted a field goal as the half ended but missed, and it was 21-21 at halftime.

The second half was a low scoring frenzy with both teams trading blows till the end. With 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Sioux City’s Wilson connected with Brandon Shepard from 7 yards out to give the Bandits a 39-33.

 Salina quickly responded. Javonte Johnson hit Demarius Washington on a hail Mary throw to tie the game at 39. An extra point attempt was missed by the Liberty.

In OT the Bandits struck first when Wilson completed a 14-yard strike to Brandon Shepard in the end zone.

Salina drove all the way to the Bandits one yard-line. Sioux City stopped the Liberty on 4th and goal from the one, securing the victory.

The Salina Liberty’s next game is Saturday, March 25 for a rematch with the Topeka Tropics at the Stormont Vail Events Center in Topeka.