The Force’s quarterback depth chart changes seemingly every week and there has been instability among its wide receivers.
But there’s no messing with the running back.
Tywon Hubbard has been a stalwart in Wichita’s backfield, not just this season but in his three years in Wichita. Hubbard has never missed a game and is a stabilizing factor for a Force offense that faces constant uncertainty.
“The offense is drastically different from what I expected at the beginning of the season, just due to the injuries we’ve had,” Hubbard said. “And then the adjustments that we’ve had to deal with – I think we’re on our sixth quarterback, probably.
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“Coach (Paco Martinez) has really relied on me to play my role. My role is, as a player for the team, is trying to be a constant playmaker, especially while we’re trying to figure out our quarterback situation.”
The Force believes it has found an answer at quarterback in Emmanuel Taylor, who became the eighth Wichita player to throw a pass this season when he started his first indoor game last week. Taylor led Wichita to a win over first-place Dodge City, allowing the Force to claim the top spot in the Champions Indoor Football standings with a 6-3 record entering Saturday’s home game against Salina.
He won without two of Wichita’s best receivers, the injured Joe Kassanavoid, and Dontel Watkins, who left the team this month to train for opportunities in outdoor football.
Hubbard is Wichita’s only offensive skill player to play in all nine games, a feat made more impressive by the iron-man qualities he established over the previous two seasons.
“I take a lot of pride in it,” said Hubbard, who played in every game of the now-defunct Wild’s two championship seasons. “I take a lot of pride in trying to remain consistent … as the type of player who is willing to hang in there in the good times and the tough times and even when you have aches and pains.”
Hubbard, who played at Butler and Central Missouri, has played through minor injuries during his Wichita career but says he has been essentially completely healthy this season.
The Force has needed his production, but mostly the team has just needed his presence.
Five offensive skill players played at least 13 of 14 games for the Wild last season, and six the year before, so Hubbard’s steadiness has been an important factor for Wichita’s success during a tumultuous first season.
“I think it’s important for me, I think it’s important for my coaches that I stay healthy and can continue to be a playmaker for the team,” Hubbard said. “And doing what I do best on Saturday nights trying to run the ball.”
Salina at Force
When: 7:05 p.m. Saturday
Where: Intrust Bank Arena
Records: Salina 6-4, Force 6-3
Radio: KNSS, 1330-AM