July 13, 2024

Late score stuns Storm at home

Dodge City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–The Southwest Kansas Storm wrapped up their home slate on Saturday evening, as the Washington Wolfpack entered United Wireless Arena. While the Wolfpack were eliminated from playoff contention, they had an opportunity to make an impact in the playoff race. They would do just that.

One play after holding Southwest Kansas on fourth down, Washington quarterback Diondre Borel connected with Jordan Pouncey on a 40-yard over the shoulder catch to tie the game with four seconds left, and got an extra point from Melissa Strother to give the Wolfpack a stunning 47-46 win over the Storm.

Both teams went emptyhanded in their game opening drives. The Wolfpack scored first on a 27-yard pass from Borel to Xzavier Crawford to take an early 6-0 lead, after the extra point was no good. Southwest Kansas answered back on a quarterback run from three yards out by Matt Struck to put the Storm up 7-6 wiht the Dillon Burkhard PAT. Washington scored from nine yards out to end the first quarter to go up 12-7. 

In the seccond, Strother extended the Wolfpack lead to 15-7 on a 28-yard field goal. Southwest Kansas would rally back to take the lead, starting with a Struck four-yard run and a two-point kickoff by Burkhard to lead 16-15 with 1:46 left before halftime. Burkhard has hit a two-point kickoff between the goalposts in the last two weeks. Washington responded with 19-yard pass to Pouncey from Borel to give them lthe lead at 21-16. That lead was short lived, as Struck connected with Todd Ahtey from 21 yards out to give the Storm a 22-21 lead, after they missed the two-point conversion.

To begin the second half, Southwest Kansas fumbled on the kickoff, giving the Wolfpack the ball at the Storm 12. On the first play, Borel would take the ball in from 12 yards out to give them the lead back at 27-22. The ensuing kickoff saw Da’Quan Bailey Brown return the ball 50 yards for a touchdown, and the Storm got the two-point conversion to take the lead 30-27. Southwest Kansas had an opportunity to extend the lead, but turned the ball over on downs late in the third quarter. Washington took advantage of the opportunity, as they got a nine-yard pass to Crawford from Borel to give them the lead 33-30 into the fourth frame.

In the final period, Southwest Kansas took the lead back on an eight-yard pass to Eugene Minter from Struck, and Burkhard’s extra point pushed the lead to 40-37. Washington would quickly respond, as Crawford caught the kickoff at the back padding of the end zone, and returned it for a touchdown to put the Wolfpack up 44-40, with the Strother kick. The Storm took the lead back with a 35-yard bomb from Struck to Chris Platt to go up 44-40 with the Burkhard PAT. On the kickoff, Burkhard would boot through another two-point kick to extend the Storm lead to 46-40. 

Southwest Kansas got an interception with around five minutes left, and took the ball down to the Wolfpack 10 yard line, before turning the ball over on downs with 10 seconds left. That’s when Washington tied the game with the 40-yard pass play from Borel to Pouncey, and Strother’s kick made it 47-46. The Storm had one final chance from their own 11, but the Hail Mary attempt was intercepted.

Diondre Borel went 15-23 for 198 yards and five touchdowns, with an interception. Jordan Pouncey had three receptions for 82 yards and two tocuhdowns, as the Wolfpack had 240 yards of offense.

Matt Struck threw for 186 yards on 17-28 passing, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Todd Athey had five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. Southwest Kansas had 207 total yards of offense.

Washington improved to 2-6 on the season, as they are scheduled to host Wichita on Saturday in their season finale. Southwest Kansas is now 4-5 on the year, and they will be at Nashville Saturday afternoon at 4:30.