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Law Offense Flounders in 40-7 Loss to Wichita

March 24, 2014 - Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) - Dodge City Law News Release

The Dodge City Law's inability to put together productive drives on offense and put points on the scoreboard led to its 40-7 loss to the Wichita Wild on Saturday at Hartman Arena in Wichita.

Wichita scored the game's first points when running back Tywon Hubbard scored from 7-yards out with 10:34 left in the first quarter.

Defensive lineman Matt Moss added to Wichita's lead when he recovered a fumble near the goal line and scored.

Law running back D.D. Holyfield gave Dodge City some hope when he scored on a 1-yard run with 11:37 left in the first half, but his score would end up being the Law's only touchdown of the game.

The Wild held a 14-7 lead until late in the second quarter when they scored two times in the half's final minute.

First, with the ball deep in Dodge City territory, Wichita threatened to score a touchdown, but was forced to kick a field goal after Hubbard was tackled for a loss on a rushing attempt and quarterback Rocky Hinds threw three incomplete passes.

Kicker Ernesto Lacayo's successful field-goal attempt from 25-yards out gave the Wild a 17-7 lead.

On the ensuing drive, Dodge City started at midfield following an errant kickoff by Lacayo. But, the Law's good fortune ended when Wild defensive back Kendrick Harper intercepted a pass from Law backup quarterback Dennis Havrilla on the first play of the possession.

After throwing consecutive incomplete passes to wide receiver Jarrel Kelly, Wild quarterback Rocky Hinds completed two-consecutive 13-yard passes, the second of which was caught for a touchdown by Joe Kassanavoid.

Wichita added seven points to its 24-7 halftime lead when quarterback Rocky Hinds connected with Jarrel Kelly for a 23-yard touchdown pass just 2:26 seconds into the third quarter.

Then, with 9:58 left in the third quarter, the Wild got the ball on the Dodge City 14-yard line after quarterback Dennis Havrilla was sacked on fourth down. The Wild were unable to get much going offensively on the drive, but stayed in the field-goal range of kicker Ernesto Lacayo, whose 29-yard field-goal attempt was good.

Wichita quarterback Rocky Hinds scored the game's final points when he went into the end zone untouched on a quarterback-keeper from 3-yards out.

The ease with which Hinds scored stood in stark contrast with the struggles that the Law's quarterbacks had all-day long.

Law quarterback Charles McCullum started the game despite having suffered from a flu-like illness for the previous twenty-four hours. McCullum completed five of eight passes for 49 yards, including a 23-yard pass to Kendrick Ings. However, after sustaining a shoulder-stinger, McCullum was pulled from the game in favor of Dennis Havrilla.

Havrilla, who spent two weeks in training camp with the Law, made his first appearance with the team after having spent three weeks in camp with the AFL's Spokane Shock before being cut.

The quarterback's debut with the Law was marred by dropped passes by receivers and his own miscues. Havrilla completed seven of 25 passes for 69-passing yards and two interceptions.

After having averaged a combined 100-plus yards per game in each of the two previous regular-season games, Law running backs D.D. Holyfield and Dominique Carson managed only 47-rushing yards between the two of them on Saturday night.

Law Head Coach Sean Ponder expressed frustration about the offense's performance.

"We stunk the place up," Ponder said. "The defense did everything we asked them to do, but everyone on the offensive side of the ball, including myself, let them down."

Ponder believes that the Law would have had a chance to play for a win had the offense not struggled so much.

"Wichita won the game because they played well on both sides of the ball," Ponder said. "Our defense played well, but our offense struggled. If we had played as well as we are capable of playing on offense we could've put up comparable numbers."

The most obvious reason for the offense's struggles was the play of the two quarterbacks, but Ponder refused to use McCullum's health issues and Havrilla's relative inexperience with the team's offense as excuses.

"Football is a team sport," Ponder said. "Sure, I wish the quarterbacks would have played better. But, I wish everyone on that side of the ball had played better. We all have to get better together if we want to get back to winning."

The Law, now 1-2 on the season, will host the Salina Bombers on Saturday at 7:05.

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