Written by Ashle Norling
On Sunday night at the Pechanga Arena, the 1-4 Cedar Rapids River Kings will travel to 0-5 San Diego to face off for the second and final time this season.
This is a must-win game for both teams, as it could be the second to last of three potential wins for the River Kings and maybe the last chance San Diego has to avoid an 0-14 season.
The schedule helps neither team this season, especially Cedar Rapids as the try to rebuild with a new owner, GM, and coach after two disastrous seasons under previous ownership.
The new look River Kings have been thrown through the gauntlet already playing Sioux Falls, Arizona, and Iowa (twice) as part of their first six games. They still have notable meetings with Nebraska (Game 9), Iowa (Game 10), Arizona (Game 12), and Green Bay (Games 13 and 14) to finish the season, so they won’t be getting a break anytime soon.
San Diego is team thrown together at the last minute for the IFL which has struggled so far in the league. Head coach Burt Grossman doesn’t help at all with him not caring about his players, coaches, owner, the game, or even the league for that matter.
Like Cedar Rapids, the schedule doesn’t help as eight of their games are against Arizona and Tucson (4 each), the other six see them play Cedar Rapids (twice), Quad City, Green Bay, Nebraska, and Sioux Falls.
The off-the-field issues continue on the field as well for both the River Kings and especially the Strike Force.
The teams defenses are some of the worst in the league. Cedar Rapids is giving up 264.3 yards per game and 56.7 points per contest. San Diego is slightly better on with yardage giving up 260.3 per game, but it’s transitioned to 65.3 points per game being scored for their opponents.
Offense will be the focus this week as San Diego brings a good passing offense that’s scored a league high 25 times but has also thrown a league high of 13 interceptions.
River Kings QB Kurt Palandech is more middle of the road with 15 touchdowns, a 62.7% completion percentage, and only four picks thrown for him.
Both teams need this win, San Diego more so than Cedar Rapids as they don’t really have another winnable game on their schedule. This game is the last IFL game this week with kickoff at 7:05 PM CDT viewable on YouTube for free.