Law denied; defending champs roll at home
Final Highlights: DC Law vs. Wichita Wild
Park City, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-Confidence doesn’t always breed success. Saturday night’s drubbing proved that.
Rocky Hinds threw for 133 yards and two touchdowns, and the Wild defense held Dodge City to a season-low 102 yards of total offense as defending league-champ Wichita roared to a 40-7 win at Hartman Arena.
“We were outplayed,” Law Head Coach Sean Ponder said after the game. “Seven points is embarrassing. Trust me we’ll get better. We’ll trade and cut every player if we have to.”
That message was apparent early on when wide receiver Kendrick Ings dropped back-to-back passes on Dodge City’s opening drive. He never played another snap.
“You can’t miss plays on the first series and expect to go back in,” Ponder said. “We need to find guys that want to step up and play football.”
The first muff by the fifth-year veteran came on third and 16 from the Law 20-yard line. The very next play saw Ings drop a wide open pass that would have given Dodge City (1-2) a first down at the Wichita 15-yard.
“You have to capitalize on your opportunities,” Ponder said.
Wichita did just that following the turnover on downs when Tywon Hubbard scampered seven yards to the end zone-giving the Wild (3-0) an early 7-0 lead.
Dodge City had another chance to get on the board on their next drive, but Dalton Burkhardt’s 40-yard field goal was blocked by James McCartney, and the Wild had it back at their own 23.
It appeared the Law dodged a major bullet when Lacayo pushed a 22-yard field goal wide to the right. But on the very next play, Matt Moss stripped Charles McCollum of the football and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. Lacayo’s extra point put the Wild in front 14-0 with 45 seconds to play in the opening quarter.
Dodge City weathered the storm on their ensuing possession-driving 38 yards in six plays-capping it off with DD Hollyfield’s plunge from a yard out. Burkhardt added the extra point and the Law were within a touchdown 14-7 with 11:37 remaining in the half. Then the storm hit.
Dodge City had a chance to tie the game late in the second quarter following another missed field goal by Lacayo. But McCollum was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury after colliding with Moss. From there, backup Dennis Havrilla, who just resigned this week after a brief stint with the Spokane Shock of the Arena Football League, hit Brandon Venson in stride for a 13-yard gain to the seven yard line. Three plays later Havrilla was looking for Venson again in the end zone, but this time Kendrick Harper, who led the league in interceptions last season, undercut the receiver and picked off the journeyman quarterback ending the threat.
Wichita turned the Law mishap into points after Lacayo banged home a 24-yard field goal-finishing off an eight-play, 31-yard drive-extending the lead to 17-7 with under a minute to play in the second.
The final blow of the half came on Dodge City’s next series, when Havrilla, who was just 7-of-24 for 69 yards, inexplicably threw into triple coverage and was intercepted again by Harper. Four plays later, Hinds hit Joe Kassanavoid on a slant and watched the former K-State Wildcat outrace Walner Leandre to the house. Wichita had a 24-7 lead at the break.
The onslaught continued on Wichita’s first drive of the third quarter when on third-and-eight, Hinds found Jarrel Green on a crossing pattern. The one-time college basketball star turned football junkie spun back to the middle and high stepped into the end zone. Lacayo’s PAT was perfect and it was 31-7 Wichita.
The Wild added another Lacayo field goal and a Hinds meaningless, fourth-quarter rushing touchdown to finish off an inspired effort by team who just three hours earlier, watched the franchise’s first championship banner drop from the rafters.
“We have to step up and be men,” Ponder said. “We’ve got to stop messing around and thinking that we’re big time.”
Next up: Dodge City vs. Salina Bombers-Saturday, March 29-6:30 countdown to kickoff on 98.1 FM and z98mobile.com
Final Stats: final stats pack dc law vs. wichita wild