Wichita Force

Wichita Wild recharges during layoff

The last time the Wichita Wild played a football game — way back on April 17 — the team suffered a demoralizing loss to league power Sioux Falls.

Thanks to the lengthy layoff, the Wild has had plenty of time to recover from that heartbreak, and do other things, too.

Darius Fudge went home for a few days. Fred Hicks visited his daughter.

Clinton Solomon, Hurtis Chinn and Donta Moore took a road trip to Fort Worth.

So coach Ken Matous believes he is taking a refreshed, rejuvenated Wild team (5-2) to Sioux City, Iowa, for an Indoor Football Game against the Bandits (3-3).

"This one (layoff) came at the perfect time," Matous said. "Everybody came back rested and ready to go."

Quarterback Dixie Wooten, who threw a costly interception against Sioux Falls, was hard on himself after the game, blaming himself for the loss. Matous admits that Wooten hasn't been particularly sharp lately but points out that the veteran QB has been playing with an injured hand.

For this week's game, Matous said he has tweaked the offense to incorporate "a more controlled passing game." The team hopes this will enable Wooten to hit receivers on shorter routes and spread the ball around more.

"We want Dixie to feel comfortable," Matous said. "So we've made a more conscious effort to put in some more screens and things like that to allow us to get rid of the ball quicker."

Notes — The key to the game, Matous said, will be the Wild's ability to control Sioux City quarterback James McNear, a running and passing threat. "We're better than them in most phases of the game, but we still have to go up there and win the football game," Matous said.... The Wild is 1-3 in its history coming off open weeks.

***When: 7:05 tonight

Where: Tyson Events Center

Records: Wild 5-2, Sioux City 3-3

Radio: KNSS 1330-AM