The Dodge City Law was a lot more focused in their second regular season game Sunday afternoon at United Wireless Arena and came away with a 51-39 victory over the Sioux City Bandits.
The Law offense was much more controlled as they went down the field and the Dodge City defense was able to hound the Bandit offense for a number of big plays throughout the contest.
"We played like we should at home," Law head coach Sean Ponder said. "We were a lot more physical and stayed with our alignments and our assignments. We were able to make the big plays and the lines played really well."
Most of the players got the message from Ponder loud and clear after their season opening loss to Amarillo as the squad seemed ready to play against the Bandits, who finished as the runner-up in the CPIFL last season.
The Law offense had 242 total yards, but was more efficient as they didn't have a turnover in the game.
Quarterback Joshua Floyd was 8-of-13 for 113 yards, but three of those passes in the first half were touchdowns; and the running combo of Dominique Carson and KingJack Washington combined for 129 yards on 30 carries (a 4.3-yard average).
"It was more of a let down because we knew we had let one slip away," Floyd said. "We just knew we had to bounce back. We knew Sioux City was a great team and we knew we had to come in here and execute."
Carson finished with three touchdowns on the day — two rushing and one receiving — while Washington had one rushing touchdown. The other two touchdown passes for the Law were two acrobatic catches by wide receiver Dello Davis: one as he was crashing into the wall and the second on a diving play behind the Bandit defender.
The Dodge City defense may have given up more yards in this game (275), but it made big plays when it was needed. Defensive back Mark Sterling intercepted one Bandit pass in the end zone and knocked another throw down deep in Law territory.
The Law also scored on a fumble by quarterback Charles Dowdell for a touchdown and sacked him four times. Two Bandit drives deep in Dodge City territory ended with Sioux City field goals instead of touchdowns.
"We talked about the whole week about that we had to come out hard," Sterling said. "We had a pretty good game plan and we had to come out here and set the tone."
Dowdell finished 16-of-28 for 239 yards and four touchdown passes, three to Frederick Bruno. The Bandit rushing attack only had 36 yards in the loss.
The special teams also got into the act in the win as Alex Fambrough went 9-for-9 in extra points. The Law also got two points when Michael Billingsley blocked an extra point, was returned part of the way by (16) until he fumbled. DaeJohn Love picked up the ball and ran the final 10 yards into the end zone.
The Law will travel to Texas for their first road game of the season with a contest against the San Angelo Bandits at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night at Foster Coliseum. The Texas-based Bandits were the Lone Star Football League champions in 2014.
LAW 51, BANDITS 39
Sioux City     0  12  13  14 — 39
Dodge City   7  23  14    7 — 51
D — Carson 4 pass from Floyd (Fambrough kick)
S — FG Martin 35
D — Carson 8 run (Fambrough kick)
S — Bruno 2 pass from Dowdell (kick blocked)
D — Love blocked kick return
D — Davis 27 pass from Floyd (Fambrough kick)
S — FG Martin 28
D — Davis 35 pass from Floyd (Fambrough kick)
S — FG Marin 43
S — Oates 33 pass from Dowdell (kick failed)
D — Carson 4 run (Fambrough kick)
S — Bentley 1 run (Martin kick)
D — Washington 4 run (Fambrough kick)
D — George 1 fumble return (Fambrough kick)
S — Bruno 7 pass from Dowdell (Martin kick)
S — Bruno 20 pass from Dowdell (Martin kick)
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS    
RUSHING — Sioux City, Bentley 10-23, Dowdell 8-4, Bruno 2-9; Dodge City, Floyd 16-73, Carson 7-33, Washington 7-23.
PASSING — Sioux City, Dowdell 16-28-1-239; Dodge City, Floyd 8-13-0-113.
RECEIVING — Sioux City, Mothershead 7-86, Oates 3-77, Bentley 1-8;  Dodge City, Davis 5-95, Venson 1-13, Carson 1-4, Washington 1-1.
— — —
CIF STANDINGS
Salina        3-0
Amarillo     1-0
Dodge City 1-1
Sioux City  1-1
Texas        1-1
Wichita      1-1
Duke City   0-0
San Angelo 0-1
Omaha       0-3
Last weekend's scores
Dodge City 51, Sioux City 39
Texas 42, San Angelo 36
Salina 47, Omaha 33
This weekend's games
Dodge City at San Angelo, 7:05 p.m.
Duke City at Texas
Salina at Sioux City
Wichita at Amarillo