Playoff Primer – Salina Liberty

The Salina Liberty of Salina, Kansas, head into the Arena Football League playoffs this weekend as the #3 seed. Let’s look at the path to ArenaBowl XXXIII in this playoff primer for the Salina Liberty. 

How They Got Here 

Salina’s season has been mostly peaks, with a few small valleys. Only two of their games were within 18 points when the final whistle sounded.

The Liberty ended the regular season at 6-2. They won a thriller at home in Week 1 against the Southwest Kansas Storm, who they’ll see in the first round of the playoffs.

In Week 3, the Liberty traveled to Nashville, where they defeated the Kats by a score of 50-30. In Week 4, the Liberty traveled west to take on the Billings Outlaws. Billings defeated the Liberty pretty easily, 54-34. Billings is the #1 seed in this year’s playoffs. 

In Week 5, the Liberty turned the jets back on, taking care of Wichita. The Southwest Kansas Storm are just that natural in-state rival where you always play close games.

In Week 1, they edged out the win at home by three points. In Week 6, it would fall the other way on the road, with the Liberty losing by three this time for their second and final loss of the regular season. The Liberty finished out the regular season, winning their final three matchups. 

Don’t forget to check out new merch in the AFL Shop!

The Keys to Their Playoff Run 

The team started the season with seasoned veteran Charles McCullum Jr. under center. As the season went on, they added Jamario Benson to the mix.

Benson brings another element to the quarterback-run game that the team can lean on. Tracy Brooks Jr. has been pivotal to the team’s success.

Brooks plays both sides of the ball at running back and linebacker, even after the shift from Ironman rules. Brooks has accounted for 11 touchdowns on the season, both through the air and on the ground. He’s been one of their most prolific receivers. 

Otis Odom has made a huge impact in the return game with almost 400 kick return yards and a touchdown. He also contributes to the offense as a wide receiver.

The receiver room is led by stud wide receiver Demarius Washington. Washington averages 16 yards per catch and has accounted for 9 Liberty touchdowns. 

The Path to ArenaBowl XXXIII 

The six remaining teams all dream of making the 33rd edition of the ArenaBowl, which will be held on Friday, July 19th. The ArenaBowl will be held at the iconic American Dream Entertainment/Retail Center in East Rutherford, NJ. 

The Salina Liberty enter the playoffs as the #3 seed behind Billings and Albany. They’ll host the first-round game against the Southwest Kansas Storm.

It’ll be a tough match right out of the gate against their in-state rivals from down the road. These teams split their regular season games, winning their home games by just three points. You can expect this one to be another close shootout-style game. 

If the Liberty win in the first round, they’ll head to Albany, New York, to take on the #2 seeded Firebirds. Salina has proved throughout the season that they can take care of business against anyone.

Their only real blemish is the 19-point loss to the Outlaws, who ended up with the #1 seed. If they can take down the Storm and Firebirds, what better way to avenge that loss than a potential ArenaBowl rematch of that game? 

Leave a comment

Contact Us

[email protected]

Feedback | Insight | Info | Inquiry | Partnership

Sign up to be an AFL Insider. Get the latest updates, game day recaps and news directly to you!