June 13, 2013 - Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) - Wichita Wild
WICHITA, KS. - The Wichita Wild (10-2) will travel to Omaha for the first round of the CPIFL playoffs to take on the Omaha Beef (10-2) at Ralston Arena, Saturday, June 15th; kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday\'s game will be the second matchup between the two teams this season, with the Wild winning 29-17 over the Beef at Hartman Arena back on April 20th.
The Wild are coming off an impressive 74-16 home victory last Saturday over the Mid-Missouri Outlaws (0-12) to finish the 2013 season with a perfect 6-0 home record. The return game allowed Wichita a short field for most possessions and Wild quarterback Rocky Hinds finished the game completing 7 of 10 passes with 69 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wild running back Tywon Hubbard only played one quarter, contributing 36 yards rushing, including a five yard touchdown run on the game\'s first play from scrimmage. Reserve running back Travis Ribbing played exceptionally throughout the rest of the game finishing with 55 yards on eight carries with three total touchdowns. Wichita\'s stellar defense allowed the Outlaws a slim 49 yards of offense and returned two fumbles for touchdowns. The 74-16 victory was the second big win the Wild claimed over the Outlaws this season, the other an 82-9 win in Sedalia on April 27th.
The Beef enter Saturday\'s matchup on the heels of a disappointing home loss to the Kansas City Renegades. The Renegades and Beef traded scores in the first quarter with the Beef leading 16-14. Kansas City scored touchdowns on both second quarter possessions and held the Beef scoreless to take a 28-16 lead into halftime. The Renegades would tack on two more scores in the second half and held on to beat the Beef for a final score of 42-27. Omaha\'s loss knocked them out of first place and set up this rematch to host the Wild, the two frontrunners of the CPIFL this season.
In the previous matchup against the Beef this season, the Wild were led to victory by Hinds, who threw for 189 yards on 17-31 passing with two touchdowns and one interception. Omaha began the game with a six play, 43 yard drive only to have a pass picked off at the one yard line by Wild defensive back Dan Kontz. Receiver Tim Simmons caught a two yard touchdown pass from Hinds for the first score of the game but Wichita would trail the Beef at half time, 17-16. The Wild opened the second half with two field goals from kicker Alex Fambrough and along with several key defensive plays by the Wild secondary. With Wichita leading 22-17, Wild defender Kendrick Harper intercepted a Beef pass in the third quarter and Anthony Smith recovered a fumble late in the fourth with Wichita leading 29-17 to secure a Wild victory.
Player to Watch: Omaha Beef Quarterback James McNear
Beef starting quarterback James McNear missed the first game against the Wild due to a non-injury related occurrence. McNear, who despite only playing in 11 games, led the CPIFL in total yardage this season finishing with 2025 yards for an average of 184.1 yards per game. McNear was also the most efficient quarterback this season completing 68.5 percent of his passes and throwing 39 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. Omaha\'s passing attack will be the biggest test for the Wild defense this season. If any team is up to the task of shutting down McNear, it would be the Wild defense who rank first in nearly every category in the league. Particularly impressive is their pass defense that only allowed 92.1 yards per game in the regular season and picked off 23 passes, returning five for touchdowns. The Wild defense will need to turn up the heat in order to take down a strong Beef passing game.
Wichita takes on the Beef Saturday, June 15th at 7:30 p.m. in Ralston Arena located in Omaha, Nebraska for the first round of the CPIFL playoffs. If the Wild win and if the Sioux City Bandits are defeated by the Salina Bombers, Wichita will host the championship game on June 22nd at 7:05 p.m. Saturday\'s game can be heard on 1410 AM KGSO in the Wichita area or streamed live on kgso.com. For more news and information about the Wild\'s journey in the playoffs, visit www.wichitawildfootball.com and follow the team on Facebook and Twitter (@wichita_wild).