On Monday night, the Texas Revolution traveled to Amarillo and took care of business against the Venom to win the Champions Indoor Football Southern Conference Championship 77-71.
“We knew going in the type of environment it was, before we even got there, we knew it was a hostile environment,” Revolution head coach Victor Mann told Developmental Football USA. “We knew we would have to play ball. We knew going into this game that we needed to take care of the ball and whichever team took care of the ball was going to win the game.”
The game was tied several different times in the first half as both teams exchanged scores, then just before halftime, quarterback Chris Dixon found receiver Clinton Solomon for a touchdown, then ran in the two-point conversion himself to take a 47-41 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the Revs led by 15 multiple times, but the Venom weren’t going to go away easy. A late push helped the Venom close the game to within six, but they couldn’t close the gap before the time ran out.
“Things could have went either way at different times in the game, but our guys understood why we were there and our goal all season long was to walk away with the Southern Conference Championship and we went in and got it done,” Mann said.
With the win, the Revolution will return home to host the CIF Championship game this Friday against the Northern Conference Champion Omaha Beef.
“We all know what’s on the line, we all want to win a championship and we know Omaha wants a championship as well.”
Omaha is coming off a 55-45 win over the Sioux City Bandits, who just two seasons ago knocked off the Revs in Champions Bowl I, 76-61.
With another chance at some hardware, Texas will lean on their home crowd and Hall of Fame quarterback, Chris Dixon, to lead them to victory on Friday.
“He has only gotten to practice 17 times all season,” Mann said. “We haven’t had a bye week all season long. This is our fifteenth straight week with a game. No professional team I know of has ever had to deal with that, but we make no excuses and we appreciate and are very humbled to be in the position we’re in right now.”
It’ll take a team effort from start to finish for whichever team walks away Friday night with the Champions Bowl III trophy, in the first ever meeting between the two teams.
“We went and watched them live, but have not played them as a team,” Mann said. “We feel like we’ve got some key points of what they like to do on offense and defense, we’ve just got to execute. We’ve got to play for four quarters, without a doubt. We’ve got to play disciplined and sound football and be team players. No individual will win this game for us.”
In addition to Dixon and Solomon – whose 78 catches for 1,033 yards and 31 touchdowns leads the CIF in each respective category – Texas is also led offensive by former BCS National Championship Game MVP Michael Dyer, who played at Auburn. Dyer leads the CIF with 682 rushing yards and his 23 rushing touchdowns is good for second in the league.
“You look at their stats and they’re as good as anybody’s,” Mann said. “Our offensive line has been consistent all season, in Michael Amdall, Robert Griffin and Roy Richard.”
The offensive line is coached by Ronald Redmond and Larry Halliburton .
Associate head coach and former New York Jet Rashad Washington has helped groom veteran safety Frankie Solomon Jr. into the leading tackler in the CIF. Solomon has 83 solo tackles on the season so far.
“He’s the guy everybody knows as the franchise of the team,” Mann said. “He’s been here the longest.”
The Revolution also wouldn’t be where they’re at now without their special teams, which have been strong all season.
“Our special teams is phenomenal,” Mann said. “It’s one of those things that sets the tone for the games. We’re leading the league in returns and kickoff coverage. Trae Ivory has got our special teams rolling, which kicks off our team to start the game and to start the second half.”
This week, Clinton Solomon, Frankie Solomon Jr., Dyer and defensive tackle Brandon Harold were named First Team CIF South, while Griffin was a Second Team selection.
“My hats go off to my coaching staff,” Mann said. “Former NFL Veteran Shaun Smith has also been a big key this season as the Director of Player Personnel.”
A win wouldn’t just be special for the players, who have invested several months of work this season to make it to this point, a victory would have a much bigger impact than that.
“Us winning a championship would change a whole lot of things in the DFW area,” Mann said. “Our general manager, Tim Brown, has all the accolades in the world, but he’s never won a championship. He won the Heisman Trophy, he’s in the Hall of Fame, he’s the No. 6 all-time leading receiver in the NFL, but he doesn’t have a championship ring.”
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Allen Event Center.
“Being able to host it and do something special for the organization is special,” Mann said. “We’re just blessed to be in this situation.”