October 6, 2022

Law sets franchise record in win over Texas


Game Stats

Scoring Summary

Dodge City Law Offense

Dodge City Law Defense

Texas Offense

Texas Defense

Listen to the complete game in our archives section

Dodge City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Daniel McKinney was just looking for another shot.

The one-time Florida Atlantic wide receiver, who was once invited to Washington Redskins camp, had already turned in his shoulder pads and cleats for a whistle.

But in stepped Law Coach Sean Ponder, the man that gave McKinney another opportunity.

On Saturday night, that decision proved to have reignited a once promising career.

McKinney hauled in six catches for 114 yards and scored six times, including an electrifying 47-yard kickoff return in the second half as Dodge City destroyed Texas 89-71 at United Wireless Arena.

“I knew my Garden City family was in the house,” McKinney said afterwards. “I had to put on a show.”

In 2015, McKinney was hired by former Florida Atlantic Coach Jeff Sims to be an assistant at Garden City Community College.

And with his boss in attendance, the rookie did not disappoint.

With his team up 15 with less than seven minutes to go in the fourth, McKinney put one final stamp on a game for the ages. The speedster gathered in Dylan Calder’s end-over-end kickoff at the 3, raced up the left sideline, broke three tackles before finally shaking free for a touchdown.

“The guy was unbelievable tonight,” Ponder said. “Every game he is getting better.”

And when things are going your way, you can’t stop it.

Following Robert Kent’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Clinton Soloman that pulled the Revolution back to within 14, the Law got another magnificent return from McKinney, who scampered 31 yards to the Texas 19. On the very next play, Dominique Carson, who returned after missing the previous three games with a high ankle sprain, fumbled the ball. After it rolled into the end zone, it was McKinney staving off three white shirts and diving on the pigskin for a touchdown.

Enough said.

“That guy (McKinney) had the juice tonight,” Ponder said. “When guys have the juice, you get out of their way.”

McKinney totaled 239 all-purpose yards, and he did it on a night when Dodge City (4-1) only threw the ball 12 times.

How’s that for efficiency?

“Whatever he (McKinney) ate, keep it coming,” Ponder added.

And on a night where defense was at a premium, it was two plays on that side of the ball in the second half that totally changed the game.

After Derrick Bernard found McKinney for an easy 34-yard touchdown strike to give Dodge City a 56-41 lead with 6:43 to play in the third, Texas (2-1) answered by moving the ball down to the Law 9. But on fourth-and-1, Eric Banford made a juggling interception to thwart the drive. On the very next play, Bernard found McKinney again streaking untouched for a 40-yard score to make it 63-41.

“The Defense definitely stepped up,” Ponder said. “Those guys were tired. “I don’t know how many series we had, but it was quick scoring with one play here and one play there.”

That defense allowed a season-high 388 yards, 256 of those came in the second half. They were also on the field for 37:52. But in the end, they made more big plays that counted, including Cordney Sanders’ pick in the end zone with 2:43 to play in the game.

“That defense played hard, and this bye week could not have come at a better time for us,” Ponder said.

Ponder was definitely in a good mood before the game knowing that Carson was finally back. And the reigning special teams player of the year didn’t make the fans wait long to reach the end zone, scoring on his first carry: a 16-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 on Dodge City’s opening possession to give the Law a 7-0 edge.

After Kent’s fourth-down pass from the Revolution 6-yard line fell incomplete, Bernard took advantage of the short field, scoring three plays later on a one-yard plunge to make it 14-0.

Texas finally got going on their next series, adding a little fourth-down magic of their own when Kent hooked up with Ronnie Cooper in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard td on fourth-and-2. The pass capped off a nine-play, 29-yard drive that chewed up 5:28.

But Dodge City kept coming, and on the first play of the second quarter, Bernard found McKinney, who torched Jeff Willis on a post pattern for a 15-yard score and a 21-7 advantage.

The Revolution answered the bell with another fourth-down touchdown when Kent hit Darius Fudge on fourth-and-goal from the 3.

Dodge City countered with a two-play scoring drive that Bernard finished off with a 23-yard td pass to newcomer Ricardo Johnson that gave the Law a 28-14 cushion.

Kent followed that up with a 10-yard scoring toss to Soloman before Harold Love’s one-yard score put the Law up 13 (Alex Fambrough missed the extra point).

Texas drew closer when Kent capped a four-play, 39-yard drive with back-to-back strikes to Tevarres Williams, the first was a 32-yard strike that moved the ball to the Dodge City nine. On the very next play, Kent went back to Williams, who gobbled up the veteran quarterback’s line-drive spiral for a touchdown to make it 34-28.

That’s as close as the Revolution would get.

“There was plenty of “o” in this one,” Ponder said with a huge smile on his face. “We can score with anyone.”

The Law closed the half with a six-play, 37-yard march, in which they converted a massive third-and-5 from their own 17 when Bernard found Mckinney for 14. Three plays later, those two hooked up again, this time for six on a quick out from six yards. Bernard ran in the two-point conversion, and Dodge City had a 42-28 lead at the break.

“Following that loss to Amarillo, we just had to stick together,” McKinney said. “We knew the preparation for this one would pay off. And it did.”

Even after Texas scored on the first play of the third quarter when Kent connected with Fudge for a 12-yard touchdown, the Law kept pushing. Carson answered with his second touchdown of the night: a one-yard dash that put Dodge City up 49-35.

Carson finished the night with 12 carries for 71 yards and two touchdowns. That scoring run was his last carry of the night.

Bernard, who was named the CIF offensive player of the week for the third time this season, was 9-of-12 for 168 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran it 10 times for 41 yards and score.

Kent’s night was marred by two costly picks, but otherwise his numbers were eye opening: 23-of-37 for 270 yards and eight touchdowns. Soloman caught a game-best nine balls for 108 yards and three scores.

“We didn’t play mistake-free football by any stretch,” McKinney said. “But it was a lot better than last week. Now we get some time with the bye week to watch some film and get better.”

Notes: Texas ran 18 more plays (59-41) than Dodge City and had more first downs 21-15 (Texas had 14 first downs in the second half alone)…The 89-points tied the league record set by Amarillo last season (89 vs. Duke City) although that game went into overtime…The 89 points set a new franchise record-eclipsing the 69 points they scored vs. Omaha in 2015…Cashmin Thomas left the game in the third quarter and did not return

Next up: Dodge City at Salina-April 9-6:30 p.m. pregame; 7:05 p.m. kick on 98.1 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kskz; mobile app: KSKZ and tuneinradio app: KSKZ