The Beef complete second perfect season with double OT win

Sioux City Bandits @ Omaha Beef

June 15th – 6:35pm CT, NAL Championship

Liberty First Credit Union Arena

The Omaha Beef completed their second perfect season, extending their winning streak to 21 games as they defeated the Sioux City Bandits 47-46 in double overtime on Saturday night at Liberty First Credit Union Arena for the National Arena League championship. This is the third championship for the Beef (2021, 2023), the first in the NAL, and their fourth straight appearance in a championship game. It was the third win over Sioux City this season and improves its overall record vs the Bandits to 29-24. The Omaha Beef have now won six straight and a perfect 5-0 in the playoff vs Sioux City.

In a classic I-29 battle between the two long time rivals this 53rd meeting was tied at 34 at the end of regulation. Sioux City drove the ball to its own 25 yardline and with 18 seconds left, but Bandits quarterback Verlon Reed Jr was picked off with a diving catch by the Beef’s Sheldon Augustine who returned it for a touchdown only to be called back because of a blind side block and we went to overtime. Sioux City won the toss and chose to play defense first and Omaha started at its own 25 yardline. Beef quarterback and league MVP Tommy Armstrong got things going in overtime scoring from six yards, but Paul Ortiz's extra point kick was blocked by the Bandits’ Devin Groenhagen. The Bandits then took their turn and pulled a trick play on its first play of overtime that had wideout Fred Bruno take the handoff and then throw to a wide-open Brandon Sheperd for the 25-yard touchdown, then they lined up for the winning PAT kick only to have the holder/quarterback Reed Jr take off only to be stopped short of the goal line.  For the second overtime period, the Bandits got the ball first and Reed Jr hit Bruno with a 12-yard pass, but kicker Braden Meints missed the extra point kick. The Beef took over and scored on a six-yard pass from Armstrong to Jordan Barton. The Beef lined up for the PAT try but was called for a false start. Ortiz then would connect on his extra point kick and the Beef players started their celebration of a second perfect season.

Omaha took only two plays to get on the scoreboard first as Armstrong hit Barton on a 44 strike, then Armstrong took it in for a yard out and the Beef lead 6-0. However the PAT kick was missed, but the ensuing kickoff went through the goalpost for a deuce and the Beef lead was eight. Sioux City came right back and did the same thing a Reed Jr hit Sheperd on a 44-yard strike followed by a Bruno 1 yard run and with a two-point pass from Reed Jr to Damond Powell we were tied at 8 with 10:50 remaining in the first quarter. Omaha’s next drive went eight plays and ended with another Armstrong touchdown run this time from five yards out. Sioux City’s next drive ended with Ponce Deleon picking Reed Jr off and returning it 36 yards to the two yardline as the first quarter ended 14-8 Beef.

On the first play of the second quarter Armstrong hit Olukayode Akinmoladun Jr with a tackle eligible play and with Ortiz’s PAT it was 21-8 Beef. The teams then traded interceptions first by Trey Dudley-Giles and was followed by Sioux City’s Xavier Spann. A defense stop led to an Armstong to Troy Evans Jr 14-yard touchdown pass and with 2:46 remaining the Beef lead 28-8. Sioux City would drive back down the field and ended the first half with a Reed Jr to Bruno two-yard pass and with the two-point Reed to Drew Prohaska pass it was 28-16 at halftime.

The third quarter saw the Beef defense stop the Bandits and Armstrong lead the Beef down the field and scored his third rushing touchdown and it was 34-16. Then the Bandits started their comeback and scored three straight times as Reed Jr hit Sheperd for 27 yards, Damond Powell from 14, and Sheperd again from 31 yards and it was 34-34 with 5:21 remaining in the contest. Both teams defense would make stops and we headed into overtime.

Armstrong, was named the Championship Game MVP, carried the ball 17 times for 95 yards and four touchdowns while completing 12 of 15 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns. The Beef had three wideouts catch three passes as Barton went for 60 yards and a TD, Evans Jr went for 45 and a TD, while Jeff Mack had 15 yards of receiving. Mack also carried the ball nine times for 33 yards. Deleon led the Beef defense with 11 tackles and one interception, while Terrance Jackson Jr had 7 and linebacker Dlyan Pettway added six. Rudy Ngougni added five tackles to go along with the only sack.

Sioux City quarterback Reed Jr went 20 of 32 for 247 yards and five touchdowns but threw three interceptions. Sheperd had four receptions for 127 yards and three downloads, Bruno added four catches for 24 yards and two touchdowns, and Damond Powell had six catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. Bandits’ running back Drew Prohaska added 40 yards on 10 carries while catching 6 for 55 yards. Sioux City’s defense was led by Devin Groenhagen eight tackles, a sack, three tackle for losses and block kick. Carlton Watkins added eight tackles.

2024 Omaha Beef Schedule (9-0)




Sioux City


March 24, 2pm CT

@ Carolina Cobras

W 54-43

First downs



March 30, 6:30pm CT

Vs Colorado Spartans

W 45-32

Rushing Yds



April 19, 7pm CT

Vs Idaho Horsemen

W 63-14

Pasing Yds



May 4, 6:30pm CT

Vs Oklahoma Flying Aces

W 42-36

Total offense



May 11, 6:30pm CT

Vs Sioux City Bandits

W 33-6

Third Down



May 18, 7:10pm CT

@ Sioux City Bandits

W 34-32

Fourth Down



June 1, 8pm CT

@Colorado Spartans

W 54-34




June 8, 6:30pm CT 

Vs Carolina Cobras

W 54-31

Pts off Turnovers



June 15, 6:35pm CT

Vs Sioux City Bandits

W 47-46 2 OT










Beef stats



Beef All-Time records vs. (As of 6/15/24)


Overall record

Regular Season




Sioux City Bandits






Oklahoma Fly Aces






Carolina Cobras






Colorado Spartans






Idaho Horsemen