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May 28, 2010 > Bandits look to stay hot

Bandits look to stay hot

After wrapping up the Tier II Pacific West division in the Independent Women's Football League regular season, the Bay Area Bandits will prepare for the playoffs, taking on the So Cal Scorpions in a home-and-home series over the next two weeks.

So Cal (4-2), an IWFL Tier I team in the Pacific West, will host the first of two match-ups on Saturday, May 29, at Marauder Stadium in Mira Mesa at 7 p.m. While the Bandits have clinched a playoff spot, the Scorpions are still fighting for a spot in the 2010 post season.

But the Bandits are still working hard on claiming home field advantage for the entire post season. As the Fremont-based Bandits' offense continues to pick up steam, the focus remains on the development of the defensive unit.

"We have been able to shut down the run and force our opponents to pass," said Bandits GM Neda Mohammadi about the team's execution on the defensive side of the ball. "Our corners are going to be our big play makers this week against a team that has a strong passing game."

So Cal has averaged just over 37 points per game, while the Bandits have allowed a mere 12.7 points per game. And, if you throw out the opening day loss, where the Bandits allowed 33 points to the Sacramento Sirens, the Bandits have allowed 8.6 points per game while winning five straight.

Needless to say, something's got to give come Saturday night.

"This game with the Scorpions will be as tough as the (Los Angeles) Amazons game two weeks ago," said Bandits coach Jim Goulden. The Bandits scored 27 unanswered, fourth-quarter points to beat the Amazons 33-22 in L.A. "(So Cal) has a very well coordinated passing attack that we will have to have the defensive secondary ready for. We must turn up the volume if we are to win on the road this weekend."

Coach Goulden's defensive unit has been clicking on all cylinders during the five-game win streak. Against the Modesto Maniax a week ago, the only points allowed were in the fourth quarter against the Bandits' back ups.

"We will have to tighten up our second and third teams," said Goulden, "so that they will be in a position to shut out an opponent when called upon."

Keeping an eye on the future, Goulden was not happy overall, despite the Bandits 47-8 win over the Maniax, stating the game "was full of penalties that normally would not happen." In order to advance deep into the post season, Bay Area needs to play their type of game.

"We have to continue to play 'Bandit Ball,' " said Goulden, "if we are to reach Texas for the Championship in July."

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