Philly Sports Live

Nighthawks gear up for rematch with Locos

(Via Omaha Nighthawks) The Nighthawks return to TD Ameritrade Park for their second home game of the season five days after a thrilling home opener that ended in a 38-10 victory over the visiting Virginia Destroyers. This week, the 2-1 Nighthawks host the only undefeated team in the UFL — the 3-0 Las Vegas Locomotives.

The Locos have proven themselves a formidable foe against the Nighthawks. Las Vegas has defeated Omaha every time the two teams have met, most recently handing the Nighthawks a 6-41 loss in Las Vegas in week two of the 2012 season.

According to Nighthawks head coach Bart Andrus, that loss should add plenty of fuel to the fire as Omaha prepares to host the Locos in a rematch

“This game, for our players, is about redemption,” Andrus said. “We embarrassed ourselves out there, and we need to regain their [the Locos’] respect.”

Andrus knows his team is capable of conquering the Locos, especially since the Nighthawks will be on their home turf this time around.

“We don’t have to travel, and we get to play at home, so that will help us,” Andrus said. “Plus, this will be our second game at home, so the guys are totally familiar with their surroundings now. Some players on the team were experiencing their first game at our stadium last week, but they should feel more comfortable now.”

To avenge their loss from two weeks ago, Omaha will need to minimize their number of offensive mistakes.

“Offensively, we’ve got to protect the ball,” Andrus said. “We put the whole team in a hole offensively last time by giving them two defensive touchdowns on turnovers in the first two series of the game.”

Omaha’s defensive team will have their hands full with the Locos’ star running back, DeDe Dorsey.

“If we can neutralize him, then we can take a big chunk out of them offensively,” Andrus said.

Tackling also was an issue for Omaha in their first match-up with Vegas, although the Nighthawks defense looked much improved in their win over Virginia last week.

“Defensively, we can’t give up any big plays,” Andrus said. “Last time we played them, we had good initial contact with our tackling but didn’t follow through. This week, we really need to wrap up and take guys to the ground.”

The Nighthawks special teams unit has consistently performed well from week to week, and Andrus has no reason to believe this week will be any different.

“Special teams-wise, we have just been focusing on taking steps in a positive direction to get a little better each week,” Andrus said.

Kickoff is set for 8 p.m., with parking lots opening at 5 p.m. and gates opening at 7 p.m. Tailgating is allowed. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased by calling 402-403-3776. Tickets also will be available for purchase at the gate.

The game will be broadcast live on 1620 The Zone (1620 AM), 1620thezone.com and CBS Sports Network (Cox channel 234).