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Sioux Falls wallops Wild

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, March 27, 2011, at 12:09 a.m.
  • Updated Sunday, March 27, 2011, at 2:58 a.m.

With the Wichita Wild already hopelessly behind, kicker Travis Eason got his leg into a long field goal try, and the football tumbled end over end toward the uprights, and the fans held their breath in anticipation as the valiant attempt... fell a couple yards short.

Bummer, because the field goal would have cut the second-quarter gap against mighty Sioux Falls to 37-10. Even so, the Hartman Arena public announcer tried to make the best of things.

"Good try," he said.

Yep, the Indoor Football League game was so lopsided, so completely humbling for the Wild that the search was on for reason to offer a few atta-boys.

It only got worse. Sioux Falls 92, Wild 20.

"It was a butt kicking, that's for sure," Wild coach Ken Matous said. "We're not a very good football team right now. We've got to get better in all phases."

After starting the season with what seemed like legitimate championship aspirations, the Wild is 0-3.

Behind Chris Dixon's nine touchdown passes, including three to former Kansas State receiver James Terry, hard-hitting Sioux Falls improved to 4-0.

"All year, I've been telling the boys that Sioux Falls is a grown man's team," Wild receiver Clinton Solomon said. "They out-manned us in every aspect of the game.

"Wichita is a great city. They love us and we love them. The fans don't deserve a game like we gave them tonight."

The Wild's performance was embarrassing from the start. On the game's first play, Wild center James McCartney, who usually plays on the defensive line, snapped the ball high and to the right of quarterback Shane Mascarenas. Mascarenas raced the football down in the end zone, where he was tackled for safety.

While Dixon, who completed 19 of 27 passes for 286 yards, made it look easy, the Wild's offense struggled mightily.

Mascarenas, a rookie, and Brandon Walker, who usually plays receiver, combined to go 15 for 33 for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Each threw an interception.

There continues to be no holes for star running back Darius Fudge, who rushed seven times for 16 yards.

Positives?

The Wild finally got former Kansas standout Jake Sharp more work, using him on kickoff returns. Showing off his speed, Sharp brought the crowd to its feet with a couple long returns in the second half.

Much-needed help is on the way. Ben Sankey, an experienced quarterback who was acquired in a trade earlier in the week, is expected to be in town by Monday.

He can't arrive quickly enough for Solomon, who was nursing a sore left ankle and wounded pride after the game. One of the league's best receivers, he caught two passes for four yards.

Solomon reeled off the names of quarterbacks he has played with in the past three seasons, listing seven names.

"Seven different quarterbacks — how frustrated do you think a receiver can be? We're 0-3. I really thought this was the year we'd be undefeated. Frustration has definitely kicked in.

"But I'm just speaking for myself as an individual. As a team, we've got to learn and move on. That's all we can do."

Sioux Falls 23 28 21 20 — 92 Wichita 7 0 0 13 — 20

First quarter

SF — Sioux Falls recovered fumble in end zone

SF — Jones 1 run (Parker kick)

W_Givens 5 pass from Mascarenas (Eason kick)

SF — Hovorka 34 pass from Dixon (Parker kick)

SF — Hovorka 5 pass from Dixon (Parker kick)

Second quarter

SF — Terry 4 pass from Dixon (Parker kick) 30-7

SF — Hovorka 10 pass from Dixon (Parker kick) 37-7

SF — Hovorka 11 pass from Dixon (Parker kick) 44-7

SF — Terry 3 pass from Dixon (Parker kick)

Third quarter

SF — Hovorka 21 pass from Dixon (Parker kick)

SF — Terry 3 pass from Dixon (Parker kick)

SF — Jones 4 run (Parker kick)

Fourth quarter

SF — Sims 40 pass from Dixon (kick failed)

SF — Jones 25 run (Parker kick)

W — Walker 34 interception return (Eason kick blocked)

SF — Brown 3 run (Parker kick)

SF — Murph 11 pass from Mascarenas (Eason kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing — Sioux Falls, Jones 12-67, Brown 6-27, Dixon 4-24, Terry 2-7. Wichita, Walker 7-40, Fudge 7-16, Mascarenas 4-(-17).

Passing — Sioux Falls, Dixon 19-27-1-286, Brown 1-2-1-38. Wichita, Mascarenas 10-21-1-62, Walker 5-11-1-23.

Receiving— Sioux Falls, Terry 5-84, Hovorka 5-80, Sims 3-84, Brown 3-67. Wichita, Murph 6-47, Givens 4-24, Solomon 2-4, Sharp 1-11.

A—3,580.

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