Off to strong start, Wild indoor football makes home debut
03/22/2013 12:46 PM
03/22/2013 12:46 PM
The Wild’s offense has been so efficient during its first two games that quarterback Rocky Hinds can sometimes predict which play will produce a touchdown.
Wichita’s first season in the Champions Professional Indoor Football League has been a smashing success, with the Wild outscoring its first two opponents 130-60 on the road. Every aspect of Wichita’s game has produced impressive statistics.
That especially goes for the offense, which has reached at least 60 points in the first two games, something the Wild did once in the Indoor Football League last season. Coach Morris Lolar said Wichita’s fast-paced attack has occasionally played too fast.
It’s a difficult proposition to attempt to tinker a unit that has produced one big play after another, but the rein-pulling may begin Saturday night at Hartman Arena when the Wild hosts the Kansas Koyotes, from Topeka.
"Our tempo in practice is so fast that when we get into the game we’re not even using the clock," Lolar said. "Ten seconds run off the clock and we’re already running the next play. That puts our defense in a bind because they’re out on the field a lot.
"Rocky has been great, he’s been him. He’s been what we expected. The offense has been clicking, and I always see them getting better."
Part of Hinds’ effectiveness has been the fact that he’s not solely responsible for carrying the offense. He produced a dynamic debut, throwing for six touchdowns in a 70-26 win over Oklahoma two weeks ago.
The following week, Hinds passed for 49 yards on 10 attempts as Wichita relied more heavily upon running back Tywon Hubbard. Last year’s IFL leader in all-purpose yardage ran for 125 yards and four touchdowns as Wichita scored 60 at Salina.
"(We’re) sprinkling in Tywon and letting Tywon doing his magic," Lolar said.
Wichita hasn’t made life as easy for opposing quarterbacks as it has been for Hinds so far. In an indoor environment in which pressuring the quarterback can be difficult because of lack of space and the dual-threat abilities of most quarterbacks, the Wild has become somewhat revolutionary.
Lolar discovered last season the advantage a dominant defensive line could create, and he set about building a line that could produce sacks. The Wild led the IFL in that category last season and is on its way to a repeat in a new league, with nine sacks so far. Six Wichita players have at least one.
"Once that quarterback steps up into the pocket, if you don’t have a good rush up the middle, which Callahan Bright gives us, and Darius Parish has gotten better at it, he can take off running," Lolar said. "If you don’t have an athletic linebacker there, he can run for days."