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Gazette Staff

The Sioux Falls (S.D.) Storm brought the Billings Outlaws’ indoor football season to a close on Saturday night — eliminating the Outlaws from the post-season picture with a 32-30 homefield triumph over the Tri-City Diesel of Nebraska.

With the win on the final night of regular-season play, the Storm clinched the No. 4 seed from the Pacific Division. If Sioux Falls would have lost, Billings would have qualified for the eight-team National Indoor Football League playoffs.

Sioux Falls, 7-7, will now face Central Division champion and top-seeded Rapid City, 14-1, in a first-round playoff game Friday night in Rapid City. The Fire Dogs closed out their regular season with a staggering 108-3 victory over Southern Oregon on Thursday.

The other first-round playoff pairing in the Pacific Division has Orem, Utah, 8-6, traveling to Casper, Wyo., 8-6, for a Saturday game.

Billings, which finished its initial season in the NIFL with a 7-7 record, ended its regular-season on July 5 with a 44-37 loss at Rapid City.

The Outlaws and Storm split their two games during the regular-season. Sioux Falls beat Billings 52-26 at home on April 14, but lost 44-39 in the Magic City on May 25.

Sioux Falls, however, outscored Billings 91-70 in the two games and that was the tie-breaker that put the Storm — and not the Outlaws — into the playoffs.

The other teams in the NIFL playoffs — all from the Atlantic Conference — include Biloxi, Miss., Johnstown, Pa., Lake Charles, La., and Wheeling, W.Va.

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