Cedar Rapids, IA -Looking for their first win since week 3, the Cedar Rapids River Kings (1-6) are hosting the Bismarck Bucks (0-6) this Saturday night at the US Cellular Center.
Bismarck is another new opponent for the River Kings, who have already taken on three either new to the IFL, or brand new franchises this season. Their only win against such competition came against the San Diego Strike Force, a 65-48 win in Cedar Rapids.
Cedar Rapids is looking to bounce back after a loss against that same Strike Force team in San Diego last Sunday. The River Kings were led by Nick Brassell in the loss, who not only racked up eight total tackles but also ran a short Strike Force field goal attempt back for a touchdown, cutting San Diego's lead to just 40-34 with 3:14 left in the game. The defense was unable to get San Diego off the field though, and the Strike Force ran the clock out for their first win in franchise history.
The River Kings have committed to the run the last few weeks, with running back Nate Chavious racking up three touchdowns against the Strike Force last week and two the week before in addition to over a hundred yards rushing against the Iowa Barnstormers. Chavious is averaging just over 45 rushing yards per game this season, with a high of 89 yards against the Arizona Rattlers in week two. Overall the River Kings rank 2nd in the IFL in rushing yards, with 700 even, trailing only the Nebraska Danger's 758 total rushing yards mark.
Quarterback Kurt Palandech is tied for first in the league in completions with 90 on the season and third in completion percentage at 63.8%. Finding the endzone often enough has been the River Kings' issue as Chavious is tied for 7th in total points in the league (66), but the team doesn't have another man in the top ten, with Marquel Wade coming in tied for 13th (60). Meanwhile Iowa, Nebraska, and even San Diego all have two scorers in the top 11.
Palandech will look to continue to spread the ball around, as he has the last few games, completing passes to four different receivers against San Diego and five different receivers against Iowa in both their games in weeks 6 and 7.
The River Kings defense should be able to get a solid game from their run defense, which desperately needs it. Cedar Rapids is ninth in the league in rushing yards allowed with 115.9 per game. Luckily the Bucks are ranked ninth in rushing yards per game, with just 66.5. Leading the way for the defense is Malik Slater, who has 46 tackles on the season (23 solos) which is good enough for sixth in the league.
Bismarck is in their first year of competition in the IFL after having played the last two seasons in the CIF. They are looking for their first win of the season and are led by quarterback Homer Causey and running back John Gibbs. They lost to the Barnstormers last week 55-16 in a game in Des Moines.
The game Saturday will kick off at 6:05 PM CT.