Before the season began, Kansas Wesleyan football coach Dave Dallas felt like there were five or six teams that could compete for the KCAC title, and stated as much at the conference’s preseason media day.
“I envisioned there were this many teams with the talent to win it,” Dallas said. “And I don’t think it’s very difficult to figure out right now that they’re showing it, you just need to look at the standings.”
Friends, Tabor, Ottawa, Southwestern and McPherson all have one conference loss each and are looking up at No. 20 Kansas Wesleyan (4-1 overall, 4-0 KCAC). The Coyotes travel to Hillsboro to take on Tabor on Saturday. Southwestern plays at Ottawa in another game that should help clear things up.
“(Tabor coach Mike Gardner) has really got his team playing well under some pretty adverse circumstances,” Dallas said. “Tabor has one loss in conference and we don’t want to get that one loss … it’s not hard to keep focused when you think about it like that.”
The Coyotes have already taken down two contenders in Ottawa and Friends, and junior defensive back Marc Porras was named the NAIA national defensive player of the week after his nine-tackle, three-interception performance in the 28-24 win over the Falcons last Saturday in Salina.
Dallas’ son, junior quarterback Trey Dallas, is a team captain and has thrown for 979 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s the second Dallas to start at quarterback the Coyotes — older brother Drew played two seasons for his father after transferring from Fort Hays State.
Drew is now the recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach at NCAA Division II Angelo (Texas) State.
“When Drew transferred in, he had to become acclimated to the team, while Trey has been here for four years,” Dallas said. “But when they both started out it was difficult for them because they’re labeled as ‘coach’s son’ and that doesn’t go away until they show they’re a proven commodity.
“Their personalities are completely different, though. Trey is a little more laid-back where Drew was always pretty intense.”
And it’s No. 1 Cowley (22-0, 5-0 Jayhawk East), setting the bar once again in its’ defense of the NCAA Division II title.
The Tigers have already beaten seven ranked opponents, including No. 8 Butler, and have matches remaining against No. 12 Kansas City Kansas and No. 5 Johnson County.