The Wichita Wild (11-2) will be returning to the CPIFL Championship after defeating the Dodge City Law (8-5) in a 33-31 win Saturday night in Hartman Arena. K Ernesto Lacayo led the Wild to victory when he hit a 51-yard field goal as time expired. Wild QB Rocky Hinds went 12-26, with three touchdowns and no interceptions on the night to keep the Wild offense afloat, while the Wild defense showed its true colors with two huge stops on fourth down to keep the Law out of the endzone.
The first quarter brought little action, with K Jared Wood putting the Law on the board first with a 53-yard field. Hinds kick-started the Wild offense with an eight-yard pass to Kassanavoid for a touchdown and a 7-3 lead. Wild DB Kendrick Harper kept momentum alive, picking off Law QB Joshua Floyd on the next possession for his eighth interception of the season to keep the Wild in the lead 7-3 to end the first quarter.
The second quarter was a different story for both teams, as the Law outscored the Wild 10-0. Wichita struggled to find the endzone with empty drives and missed field goals, while a one-yard run by Floyd and a 23-yard field goal by Wood would give Dodge City a 13-7 lead at halftime.
Wichita came out with a different tune in the third quarter, with the defense disallowing the Law from scoring, while the Wild offense put up 14 points of their own. After a fumble by Wild RB Tywon Hubbard in their first possession of the quarter, the Wild defense put up an impressive stand against the Law, keeping them from scoring on a fourth and goal on the one-yard line. Hinds found WR Jarrel Kelley on a 37-yard pass for a touchdown and reclaimed a 14-13 lead over the Law. The Wild defense, led by DL Matt Moss were able to stop the Law on another fourth down situation to set Kelley up for his second touchdown of the night for a 21-13 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The final quarter was more action-packed than all three previous quarters combined, with both teams scoring back and forth. Though Lacayo hit a field goal from 25 yards out, two touchdowns by Dominique Carson would give the Law an edge and a 25-24 lead over the Wild. A short run by Hubbard would earn him his second touchdown of the night and a 30-25 advantage over the Law with just 1:05 left in regulation. Then, on a 39-yard pass from Floyd to Maurice Young, Dodge City stole a 31-30 lead with just 30 seconds left to play.
Keeping the Wild’s championship hopes alive, however, Lacayo hit a 51-yard field goal with three seconds left in regulation to give the Wild a 33-31 win as time expired.
The Wild continues post-season play, hosting Champions Bowl II against the Sioux City Bandits (10-3) in Hartman Arena next Saturday, June 21st at 7:05 p.m. Tickets can be purchased starting Monday, June 16 by calling the Wild office at 316.440.5044. Season ticket holders will be contacted directly to purchase their tickets for the championship game. For all the latest news on the Wild, visit wichitawildfootball.com and follow the team on Facebook and Twitter (@wichita_wild).