PARK CITY — After losing to Sioux City two weeks ago for only its second loss on the season, the Wild wanted to focus on fixing its mistakes Saturday against the Mid-Missouri Outlaws. Wichita made improvements, and it was obvious as the Wild defeated the Outlaws 74-16 in the final game of the regular season.
The Wild finished in a three-way tie atop the Champions Professional Indoor Football League standings with the Omaha Beef and Sioux City Bandits. Wichita will be the third seed in the postseason.
“When we lost to Sioux City I explained to the guys that it’s not in our hands right now, and it’s tough when things aren’t in your hands to do your job and then try and look and hope that you can get help from someone else,” Wichita coach Morris Lolar said. “We weren’t worried about that tonight, we just wanted to focus on things we needed to work on.”
The Wild led the entire game, opening a 28-point margin in the first quarter that never got smaller.
Wichita took control immediately, when running back Tywon Hubbard returned the opening kickoff 53 yards, and scored a touchdown with only 35 seconds gone.
“We practiced this whole week about coming out fired up, and ready to perform in the first quarter instead of trying to come back in the fourth,” Wichita’s Tim Simmons said. “It’s very big, that was the whole goal for this week.”
Hubbard was injured toward the end of the first quarter, but Lolar said he expects Hubbard will play in the playoffs. Travis Ribbing filled in at the running back position.
“We needed to get some reps out of the other running backs, and polish up the passing game a little bit, because we’re not going to have (Hubbard) all the time,” Lolar said. “Teams are going to try to take him out, and it’s nice to be able to play and score points and move the football.”
Kendrick Harper started the second quarter with a 53-yard return to Mid-Missouri’s 1-yard line after Mid-Missouri missed a 58-yard field goal attempt. Ribbing ran in for the touchdown on the next play. The Outlaws scored a touchdown with five minutes remaining in the second quarter, but Darius Parish blocked the point after, starting an offensive drive that led to another touchdown for Ribbing.
Wichita’s Kiaree Daniels forced a fumble and recovered it to set up the Wild’s last touchdown of the quarter. Wichita led 49-6 at halftime.
“We had coverages fixed much better than last game,” Parish said. “We had some mental issues, but other than that I think we capitalized on our mistakes we made last game.”
The Wild will play at Omaha next Saturday in the CPIFL semifinals.
“Guys just have to follow directions, and not get caught up in the other things that happen during the game, all the jawing, and late hits and personal fouls, we can’t do that,” Lolar said. “Every time we get scored on it’s a result of a penalty, and we just can’t do those things in the playoffs.”
W—Hubbard 5 run (Fambrough kick)
W—Simmons 8 pass from Hinds (Fambrough kick)
W—Simmons 2 pass from Hinds (Fambrough kick)
W—Moss 1 run (Fambrough kick)
W—Ribbing 1 run (Fambrough kick)
M—Reid 2 pass from Dunning (kick blocked)
W—Ribbing 20 run (Fambrough kick)
W—Hinds 1 run (Fambrough kick)
W—Ribbing 7 pass from Hinds (Fambrough kick)
M—Doerfler 41 field goal
W—Kelley 20 pass from Hinds (two-point attempt failed)
M—Davis 27 interception return (Doerfler kick)
W—Hardesty 30 run (kick failed)
W—McCartney 10 run fumble recovery (kick failed)
Rushing—Mid-Missouri, Cody 4-12, Dunning 1-3, James 3-2, McDonald 3-(-2), Davis 5-(-4). Wichita, Ribbing, 8-51, Hubbard 3-36, Hardesty 2-31, Hinds 2-4.
Passing—Mid-Missouri, Dunning 11-19-1-59, Davis 1-2-0-12. Wichita, Hinds 7-10-0-69, Hardesty 0-2-1-0.
Receiving—Mid-Missouri, Reid 4-38, Cody 3-17, Dennis 2-10, McDonald 2-5, James 1-1. Wichita, Kelley 2-36, Simmons 2-10, Hubbard 1-8, Kassanavoid 1-8, Ribbing 1-7.