The Nebraska Danger defense put together what might have been the best game in franchise history Saturday night.
The Danger gave up a franchise-low 27 points in a 42-27 win over the Wichita Wild at the Heartland Events Center.
Defensive lineman Brandon Jenkins was a big part of that defensive effort. His tackle total might not open any eyes — he had three for the game — but Jenkins’ job as a defensive lineman is more to occupy blockers and give players like linebacker Steve Allen (11 tackles) a chance to make plays.
“He’s a good player,” Danger coach Mike Davis said. “I’m happy to have him. Honestly, he’s a man among boys out there. We’re fortunate to have him.”
Jenkins, who played college football at Mississippi, has played for several teams since ending his college career in 2008. He signed with the Carolina Panthers out of college, then went on to play for the Tennessee Valley Raptors of the United Indoor Football League. After that, he played for th Amarillo Venom of the Lone Star Football League and then for the Kansas City Command in Arena I play last year.
“Football is football,” Jenkins said. “Man on man, the best man wins. That concept is the same whether you play indoor or outdoor.”
Jenkins would like to get back to the outdoor game which would mean stepping up to the CFL or maybe even the NFL.
“I don’t have anything right now, but hopefully I pray I get a shot and somebody gives me a chance,” Jenkins said.
The Danger defense appears to be much healthier than a couple of weeks ago when Jenkins, defensive back Darnell Terrell and linebacker Taureen Charles were all out with injuries.
Jenkins and Terrell returned last week. Charles could be back for the game at Sioux Falls on Saturday but that depends on how he looks in the next few days.
“Our defense is a bunch of guys who play hard,” Jenkins said. “If we do that week in and week out. we’ll be all right.”
Last week‘s win broke a three-game losing streak for the Danger as it improved to 2-4 on the season.
“It was important for everybody to be able to come back and play,” Jenkins aid. “It was a big win for us last week. The defense stepped up and played well. The offense played well together. We played as a unit.”
The Danger also got some outstanding play from defensive end Adrian Davis last week. The former Arkansas player was credited with seven tackles including 1 1/2 sacks, but line coach Rico Ochoa said those numbers appeared to be a bit off.
Ochoa said he thought Davis had at least three sacks for the game.
“He worked hard all week in practice and it showed on the field,” Ochoa said. “We use Adrian as a speed-rush guy. He also has a lot of strength to him. His size is deceptive. A lot of guys underestimate how fast and how strong he really is.
“He definitely has a motor and he’s a guy that definitely can play at the next level.”
Davis even played some at linebacker last week.
“When our linebacker went out for a couple of plays we moved him back to linebacker,” Ochoa said. “You can do that when you have the athletes that we have. I’m really proud of the way the boys played up front on both sides. No credit to me. It’s all their athletic ability.”
This week the Danger will be challenged by the high-powered Sioux Falls offense. The unbeaten Storm is averaging 365 yards and 70.6 points per game. Sioux Falls fell behind last week on the road at Allen 21-3, but came back for a 52-45 win.
The Danger will try to put its defensive players in the right place to make plays against the Storm.
“We’re going to mix it up again this week,” Ochoa said. “We’ll have pretty much the same lineup but we’ll mix it up depending on matchups. We’re going to put the guys on the field that we feel is the right group of guys.
“After watching film we’ll see what their weaknesses are, if they have any, because it’s an offensive machine right there. They don’t make mistakes and we can’t either.”