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Wild QB unsettled for Sioux Falls

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, March 26, 2011, at 12:07 a.m.

The Wichita Wild filled its biggest need by acquiring Ben Sankey, an experienced and accomplished indoor quarterback, but it appears unlikely he will be available for tonight's game with Indoor Football League power Sioux Falls.

Sankey, acquired in a trade with the Chicago Slaughter for future considerations, was handling personal matters in Chicago on Friday afternoon. He said he first learned of the trade on Wednesday.

"As much as I'd like to be on that field tomorrow night, I don't want to mislead anyone," he said. "I'm trying to get a lot of stuff squared away here. It's tough. If I can do some Superman-type stuff, maybe I can be there."

So it appears the Wild, 0-2 and desperate for a win, will tag team the QB spot tonight with rookie Shane Mascarenas, who threw four interceptions in his debut, and Brandon Walker, who usually plays receiver.

The duo will face a 3-0 Sioux Falls team.

"Shane's been getting better," coach Ken Matous said. "He took his first game (a 55-41 loss to Green Bay) really hard, but he's learning. And we can do some different things with Brandon in there."

When he arrives, Sankey will represent a major upgrade at the position.

Last season, he threw a league-high 63 touchdown passes for the Omaha Beef and was named the IFL's Offensive Player of the Year. The Wake Forest product, who was the MVP of the Aloha Bowl in 1999, played with several Canadian Football League teams earlier in his pro career.

"He's a heck of a player," Matous said. "He's a leader. He'll bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table.

"And you know he has a strong arm; you don't play in the CFL with a weak arm."

Sankey, who had started one game in Chicago, said he wasn't happy playing for the Slaughter. He said he is "super excited" to join the Wild.

"It's a great organization with a lot of talent," he said. "I'm just looking to come in and be a piston on the engine — whatever it takes to win."

Meanwhile, Sioux Falls has no uncertainty at QB. Chris Dixon, a running and passing threat, has completed 66 percent of his throws for 18 touchdowns and two interceptions.

James Terry is one of the IFL's top receivers and James Jones is averaging nearly six yards a carry, helping Sioux Falls to an 88.3 scoring average.

"They've got the best quarterback in the league," Matous said. "They're real solid; they just don't make any mistakes.

"They're clicking on all cylinders and that makes it hard on a team struggling to find its identity, which is what we are."

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