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Cincinnati Commandos go for title - ctipton - 06-26-2010 06:21 PM

Cincinnati Commandos go for title
Team hopes to earn their spot in local pro football lore


By Jeff Wallner • Enquirer contributor • June 25, 2010

[Image: bilde?Site=AB&Date=20100625&...mp;title=0]
The Enquirer/ Joseph Fuqua II
Commandos receiver Jesse Wendt reaches in vain for an overthrown pass against the Miami Valley Silverbacks in a playoff game at Cincinnati Gardens June 18.

The Cincinnati Bengals lost both of their Super Bowl appearances. None of the three previous local indoor football franchises managed to win a title.

When the Cincinnati Commandos host the Wisconsin Wolfpack in the Continental Indoor Football League championship game at Cincinnati Gardens at 8 p.m. Saturday, they will try to win the city’s first pro football championship.

“Winning a title would mean a lot to us,” said coach Billy Back. “We started talking about it in November when we started practice. We felt we had a team that was capable of winning a championship.”

The Commandos (10-1) hope to earn their spot in local pro football lore.

“This is why we started this team, to win a championship,” said quarterback Ben Mauk, the former University of Cincinnati standout. “It would be huge for our fans, and from a marketing standpoint. It would allow us to get more exposure and take this arena football thing to the next level.”

The Commandos and Wolfpack have been on a collision course since mid-season when they established themselves as the top two teams in the CIFL.

The Commandos split two regular-season meetings with Wisconsin, winning 48-26 in Week 4 and losing 45-21 win on May 29 when Mauk was out with an ankle injury. “We learned a lot from that loss,” Back said. “We were able to establish a running game, knowing we weren’t going to throw much without Ben. Our offensive line got some good film from that game.”

Mauk returned for the postseason and promptly tossed six touchdown passes, two each to receivers Brandon Boehm, Johnny Long and Robert Redd in a 48-24 opening round win over Miami Valley.

The Commandos defense, ranked No. 1, held Miami Valley scoreless for the first 22 minutes and forced two turnovers.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, survived a 25-24 nail-biter in its opener against Fort Wayne.

In addition to Mauk’s injury, the Commandos have been dealing with the loss of Dominick Goodman, the former UC star who led the CIFL in receptions, receiving yards and TD catches. Goodman has signed with the Dresden Monarchs in Germany.

Leading rusher Greg Moore, who was absent from the postseason opener against Miami Valley due to a tryout with the United Football League, will return tonight.

Linebacker Caleb Bostic, a Miami University grad who was invited to Bengals rookie mini-camp in April, made his Commandos debut against Miami Valley with four tackles and a sack.

Mauk, who led the league with 1,430 passing yards and 46 touchdowns, said his ankle is nearly 100-percent.

“Hopefully I can sit in the pocket (Saturday) and not run around too much,” Mauk said. “I just need to get the ball in the hands of our playmakers. If I can do that we’ll be successful.”

The Wolfpack (9-2) is led by former Wisconsin quarterback Matt Schabert, who has passed for 1,085 yards and 27 touchdowns. The wide receiver tandem of Marcus Lewis and Marques Johnson have combined for 23 TD catches.

Schabert is best remembered by Ohio State fans as the man who threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to give the Badgers an upset win over the defending national champions in 2003.

“That’s his claim to fame around here,” said Back. “He’s a patient, smart QB. He gives us fits. We need to use our pass rush to take some things away from him.”

Quote:Commandos not on radio

Cincinnati Commandos fans won’t hear Saturday's championship game on WQRT-FM (1160), contrary to what’s posted on the team website.

Club officials won’t let its local radio affiliate broadcast the 8 p.m. game from Cincinnati Gardens, said Jamey Schleue, “Real Talk 1160” regional sales director.

“We want to apologize to all Commandos fans and our listeners,” he said.

Cincinnaticommandos.com, as of late Friday afternoon, said sportswriter Richard Skinner and former Bengals kicker Jim Breech would be broadcasting the championship, as they have done all season.

Schleue said team president Jim Smith told him the team “didn’t want to further invest in the brand, because the brand won’t be there next year.”

He didn’t know if that means the team will cease operation, or move to another league or city, he said.

Team officials could not be reached for comment.

“We’ve offered to broadcast the game for free – it’s the championship game! – and they won’t return our calls. It’s the most bizarre thing, and I’ve been in sports marketing for 30 years,” said Schleue, who previously worked at Clear Channel’s WLW-AM.

- John Kiesewetter

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100625/SPT/306250073/Commandos-go-for-title


RE: Cincinnati Commandos go for title - subflea - 06-26-2010 06:25 PM

“Commando Fans, I would like to address the erroneous and ill advised comments of Jamey Schlue of 1160 am. The facts are quite simple, THE COMMANDOS WILL BE AROUND NEXT YEAR AND FOR YEARS TO COME. As a matter of fact, the organization has recently invested in new logos, brand, and image with the top advertising agency Rocket Science, in addition, the commandos have met with a number of youth football organizations and the Cincinnati Recreation Department, and we will be actively supporting those programs throughout the fall. Quite simply, I want people to come to the games, and while I realize that is not always possible, I didnt feel that there was a large enough pool of listeners to justify it. Next year the commandos will be providing live Webcast and Radio. Finally, Thank you all for your support throughout the season, and please stay close, there will be a number of important announcements regarding our team, the league, and the upcoming season shortly!”

Jim Smith
Owner – Cincinnati Commandos

http://cincinnaticommandos.com/?p=1281


RE: Cincinnati Commandos go for title - subflea - 06-26-2010 09:54 PM

Commandos win 54-40. First professional football championship for the city.


RE: Cincinnati Commandos go for title - ctipton - 06-27-2010 12:41 AM

Commandos win 54-40 CIFL championship game

By Kevin Goheen • Enquirer contributor • June 26, 2010

The Cincinnati Commandos capped off their inaugural season of indoor football Saturday night with a championship.

Quarterback Ben Mauk completed 18 of 29 passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns, while the Cincinnati defense forced five turnovers and scored once itself as the Commandos beat the Wisconsin Wolfpack, 54-40, to win the Continental Indoor Football League championship before 2,758 at Cincinnati Gardens.

After falling behind 21-20 on Wisconsin’s first possession of the third quarter, the Commandos scored the next four times they had possession to build a lead they would not relinquish. Despite leading most of the second half, the victory wasn’t secured until Caleb Bostic recovered a Wisconsin onside kick attempt with 55 seconds left in the game. Running back Greg Moore scored his second touchdown three plays later to end Wisconsin’s comeback hopes.

“We never flinched when we faced adversity,” said Mauk, who led the offense to 273 total yards without any turnovers. “Any time you put on pads you to start a season you do it to win a championship. That’s what we did this year.”

Mauk was named MVP of the game for Cincinnati, while Wisconsin wide receiver Brandon Wogoman was named MVP for Wisconsin. Wogoman set a CIFL championship game record with 14 receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Wogoman also had 126 yards on five kickoff returns for the Wolfpack.

The Commandos and Wolfpack split two games in the regular season; Cincinnati won 48-26 at home on April 10, while Wisconsin beat the Commandos in Madison in the final regular season game, 45-21. It was the only loss of the season for the Commandos, who finished 11-1. Wisconsin ends its season 9-3.

Moore, who finished with 58 yards rushing on 18 carries, put the Commandos on the board first with 5-yard run just 1:05 into the game. A bad snap on the extra point left the lead at 6-0.

Wisconsin grabbed the lead with on a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Schabert to Marcus Lewis despite Schabert being under heavy pressure from James Spikes and Bostic. The extra point left the Commandos trailing by a point, 7-6.

The Commandos drove to the Wisconsin 1-yard line on their next drive before being held on downs. The defense, ranked No. 1 in the CIFL, took care of regaining the lead. On Wisconsin’s first play, Schabert mishandled the shotgun snap.

Commandos linebacker Torry Cornett outfought everyone for the ball and the touchdown. Ray Jackson converted the two-point conversion and Cincinnati led 14-7.

Cincinnati increased its lead to 20-7 on a Mauk touchdown pass to Brandon Boehm from 10 yards out with 4:20 left in the first half. The two-point conversion failed. Boehm later caught a 29-yard touchdown pass in traffic.

Wisconsin closed the gap to six points on the final play of the first half. Schabert completed a 1-yard pass to Lewis and the extra point left the Commandos with a 20-14 lead at the half.

The Commandos equaled a CIFL championship game record with three interceptions, one each by Cornett, E.J. Underwood, and Robbie Wilson. Wilson also had a fumble recovery to snuff out a Wisconsin drive in Cincinnati territory in the fourth quarter.

“We wanted to set the pace of this game with our hitting,” said Bostic, a linebacker who helped keep constant pressure on Schabert. “There was a lot of intensity in this game and we wanted to show people what we could do.”

Ray Jackson followed the blocking of Boehm to score on a 48-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter to give the Commandos a 34-24 lead.

“I told the guys that we were going to need to score on defense to win this game,” said head coach Billy Back. “Then to get the kickoff return, too. What better time to have one than in the championship game?”

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100626/SPT/6270385/1062/Commandos-win-54-40-CIFL-championship-game