The Wichita Wild (8-1) completed a season sweep over the Oklahoma Defenders (2-6) with a 73-7 win Saturday night in Hartman Arena in front of a crowd of 3,600 plus. Wild quarterback Rocky Hinds and running back Tywon Hubbard combined for a total seven touchdowns on the night. Defensive back Kendrick Harper led Wichita’s defense against Oklahoma with a game high nine tackles and one interception which he returned for a touchdown.
The Wild offensive showcase began two plays into the game with Hubbard taking off for a 27 yard touchdown run to hand the Wild an early 7-0 lead. On the ensuing drive, the Wild appeared to stop the Defenders on third down, but a pass interference call brought the ball to the Wichita two yard line. Oklahoma was unable to capitalize on the penalty, as the Wild would hold the Defenders on fourth and goal at the Wichita one yard line. Hinds transitioned the defensive stand by throwing a 35 yard touchdown pass on the very next play to wide receiver Brian Murph to extend the lead to 13-0. Wichita continued the onslaught as defensive back Dan Kontz recovered a fumble at the four yard line, allowing Hubbard to cash in one play later for a 19-0 Wild lead. After a three and out for Oklahoma, Hubbard capped off the next drive with a four yard touchdown run, providing the Wild a 26-0 shutout over the Defenders as the first quarter come to a close.
Scoring in the second quarter started off slow, but midway through the period Hinds ended the drought with a three yard strike to wide receiver Tim Simmons. On the following drive for Oklahoma, the Defenders finally put points on the board with a 37 yard pitch and catch from quarterback Steve Hamilton to wide receiver Patrick Jones, cutting the Wild lead to 40-7. Wichita faced adversity on their next drive with a third down and goal from the Oklahoma 17, but Hinds came through with a 17 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jarrel Kelley for a 40-7 Wild lead. Following another three and out for the Defenders, Hinds juked his way into the endzone for a five yard touchdown run to give Wichita a 47-7 lead as the game reached the half.
Defense was the theme for the Wild in the third quarter, beginning with Harper intercepting an Oklahoma pass and returning it 45 yards for his first defensive touchdown of the season and to give Wichita 53-7 lead. The dominance continued later in the quarter, as James McCartney recovered a fumble for Wichita to end the quarter.
The fourth quarter belonged to Wild running back Travis Ribbing, who made three key plays in a four minute stretch to start the quarter. After ripping off a 15 yard touchdown run, Ribbing then recovered a fumble on the subsequent kickoff, followed by a 23 yard touchdown run for a 67-7 Wild lead. Harper nearly added a scintillating 58 yard kick return for a touchdown, but the play was called back as a result of a holding penalty. Two plays later, quarterback Nick Hardesty added his first touchdown with a 20 yard pass to wide receiver Rashad Daniels for the final touchdown of the night, sealing a 73-7 Wild win over the Defenders.
The Wild remain home next week, hosting I-135 rival the Salina Bombers (5-2) in a rematch on Saturday, May 11th; kickoff scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (CST). The game can be heard on 1410 AM KGSO in the Wichita area or streamed live on kgso.com. In honor of KEYN Family night, the Wild is offering a Family Pack ticket special for $36 and includes 4 reserved level tickets, 4 hot dogs, and 4 drinks and can be purchased by calling (316) 927-3999 or visiting stage1tickets.com. For more news and tickets visit www.wichitawildfootball.com and follow the team on Facebook and Twitter (@wichita_wild).