After roster moves, Flying Aces head to Omaha

Flying Aces defenders stop Omaha Beef's Dezmin Reed for a loss at the Stride Bank Center Saturday, May 4, 2019. (Bonnie Vculek / Enid News & Eagle)

After an impromptu bye week, the Oklahoma Flying Aces (1-6) will resume the regular season schedule by going on the road to face the Omaha Beef (6-1) tonight at 7:00 p.m.

The Flying Aces are still looking for their first on-field win and hope do so with a new-look roster. Oklahoma made 15 roster moves in three days leading up to tonight’s game. The franchise signed six players, released five players and traded two to the Wichita Force.

Quarterback Malik Watson, wide receiver DaShawn Gordon and running back Desmond Roland were released on May 21, followed by defensive back Johnny Larence and defensive lineman Lantz Mathers on May 22.

Wide receiver Jordan Payne was traded to the Force, as was offensive lineman Kelby Johnson.

Joining the offense are receivers Laquivonte Gonzalez and Torrance Carr, an Oklahoma State alum. The Flying Aces added three offensive linemen in Brandon Bishop, Robert Griffin and Wondell Ruttledge. Defensive back Kiante Griffin also joins Oklahoma as a defensive back.

The Beef already have a 2-0 series lead over the Flying Aces, beating them 59-55 in the season-opener in March and 42-23 earlier this month. While the Beef don’t have the highest-scoring offense in the Champions Indoor Football league (around 42 points per game), the Omaha offense is able to move the ball effectively through the air and on the ground.

The Beef have rushed for more than 100 yards four times this year and have passed for more than 157 yards in all seven games. In four of those seven games, the Beef reached more than 200 passing yards.

Omaha quarterback Derrick Bernard has 11 passing touchdowns and just one interception this season. Behind Bernard are three Omaha backs with more than 100 rushing yards this year, led by Antonio Bray with 350 yards. Bray averages five yards-per-rush.

With five games left on the schedule, the Beef remain atop the Northern Division.

In their May 4 meeting, the Flying Aces held the Beef to just seven points in the second half in their attempt for a comeback. Quarterback Rayjohn Ramsey threw a pair of touchdowns and Roland rushed for one more to help cut the Omaha lead to 12. But Bernard rushed for his fourth touchdown of the night to put Oklahoma on ice.

Through three games, Ramsey set a new franchise-best in passing yards (464), yards per game (154.7), completion percentage (53.1) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (6:1). Ramsey also leads the team in rushing yards (62) and rushing touchdowns (2).

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