Sioux City Bandits keep Oklahoma Flying Aces winless with fourth-quarter rally

Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The Flying Aces dropped to 0-6 on the season after the Sioux City Bandits defeated Oklahoma, 61-54, Saturday night at the Stride Bank Center.

The Bandits outscored Oklahoma by 11 points in the fourth quarter to secure a come-from-behind victory and move to 4-3 on the year.

Saturday night’s game saw the momentum and the lead change hands nearly every drive.

The Flying Aces offense took control of the game from the first snap, marching the ball nearly 40 yards down the field. But the Bandits’ goal line defense held firm and forced a fourth-and-goal. Then, Oklahoma fumbled the fourth-down snap, which Sioux City’s Zac Schleuger scooped up and returned 50 yards for the opening touchdown.

But Oklahoma answered on the very next drive, taking the ball down to the two-yard line before Flying Aces quarterback Rayjohn Ramsey ran the ball in on a draw play.

After both teams kicked a field goal to keep the score tied, 10-10, Sioux City broke the lead once more midway through the second quarter with the Bandits’ second drive of the game. After the Bandits used a short return from midfield to get inside the Oklahoma 20-yard line, the offense used two plays to get down to the goal line. Despite three-straight goalline stops by the Flying Aces defense, Sioux City quarterback Dylan Turner punched the ball in for the go-ahead score.

Turner finished the game as Sioux City’s second-leading rusher with 21 yards. However, the quarterback led the team with three rushing touchdowns.

After Turner’s second rushing score of the game, Oklahoma tied the game on the first play from scrimmage. Pinned back at their own three-yard line due to the unsportsmanlike conduct call on Antoine Hadley, Ramsey hit receiver Jordan Payne on a crossing route for a 47-yard touchdown play. Payne stiff-armed a defender at midfield before sprinting to the end-zone for the tying score.

The Flying Aces defense committed three turnovers in the first half and finished the game with five. Ivan King picked off Turner and Tralund Webber strip-sacked the Bandits quarterback, which set up the Flying Aces for a field goal just before halftime. The Flying Aces also picked off Turner twice in the second half.

The first turnover by Oklahoma — a fumble by Daryl Virgies — came after Ramsey’s 47-yard touchdown pass to Payne and set up Ramsey for another touchdown pass of nine yards to Joshua Stewart. After a Bandits field goal, Ramsey hit Stewart again on the next Oklahoma drive for a 14-yard touchdown pass to make it a 31-20 game.

Oklahoma went into halftime leading 34-22.

Sioux City opened the second half with back-to-back scores from its offense and defense, starting with a one-yard rush from running back Todd Macon. Then, Schleuger intercepted Ramsey at the Oklahoma 10-yard line and ran the back ball for a touchdown to give Sioux City a two-point lead. Flying Aces kicker Brett Mathis, however, kicked field goals on consecutive drives — including one from 49 yards out — to give Oklahoma a 40-36 lead.

Sioux City and Oklahoma saw both Turner and Ramsey score rushing touchdowns to end the third quarter.

The Bandits scored touchdowns on consecutive offensive drives to give Sioux City a 10-point lead with less than six minutes to play. After a four-yard rush from Macon, Turner rushed for his third touchdown. Sioux City’s defense then recorded back-to-back safeties to extend the Bandits’ lead to 14. Ramsey threw his fourth and final touchdown to Stewart in the closing seconds of the game.

Oklahoma will next play the Omaha Beef on May 25. The May 17 game against the Revolution is canceled as the Texas franchise announced its shutdown on May 9.

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Godfrey is sports writer for the Enid News & Eagle. He can be reached at tgodfrey@enidnews.com.

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