The Dodge City Law defense dominated the opposing offense for the second game in a row on the way to helping the team record a 60-20 rout of the Omaha Beef in CPIFL action Saturday night at United Wireless Arena.
The defense didn't have as strong a start against the Beef as the two teams were tied with less than six minutes left in the first half, but defensive plays in the final 5:15 helped the Law score 30 points before intermission to turn a close contest into a blowout. Dodge City gave up only 11 yards in the second half and 109 overall to the Beef offense.
The defense scored two touchdowns and a safety during the late second quarter run; while another interception setting up a another score. Scoring plays by the defense included a fumble recovery in the endzone by Walner Leandre; a 44-yard interception return for a score by Cashmin Thomas; and Jarret Billbrey when he sacked Omaha quarterback Chris Coffin for a safety to cap the scoring run.
The Beef offense recorded minus-20 yards rushing after intermission as they couldn't get the ball moving in getting shut out after tying the game at 20-20 on Coffin's third touchdown pass.
Dodge City (6-3) has given up 187 yards in its last two games and it's become a badge of honor since Todd Middleton has taken over the reigns of the defense at coordinator.
"I told the guys inside that we weren't going to give up another touchdown," Leandre said. "Everybody stepped up and executed. We definitely have jelled in now and we're buying into the system. There are a new wrinkles, but everybody is used to it now and we're all bonding together.
"We've felt like we've been leaving too much load on the offense, so we have started to pick it up. Our goal is less than 20 (points) and no touchdowns if we can."
Quarterback Joshua Floyd didn't have an efficient time at his position for the entire game, he was very successful in moving the offense during the first half. Floyd threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more as the Law was able to have success against the Beef defense.
Floyd threw a 34-yard pass to Brandon Venson in the first quarter; a 45-yard toss to Maurice Young in the second; and a 20-yard pass to Kendrick Ings in the final stanza.
"We spent a lot of time looking at tape this week and they gave up exactly what we expected," Floyd said. "It came down to executing and we did that well in the first half. The first half showed us what we're capable of and now that we know what we're capable of, it can be a smooth ride coming down the rest of the season."
Dominique Carson also scored on a nine-yard run just before the Law defense dominated the Beef (3-5). Of the 218 yards Dodge City recorded in the win, 165 came in the first half.
Law head coach Sean Ponder was pleased with the way his team was sucessful, especially with the defense coming through for its second big effort.
"I think the defense played its best 60 minutes, but the offense sputtered in the third quarter," Ponder said. "Overall when it comes to the offense, defense and special teams, it was by far our best effort as a team. The defense is playing fantastic and 32 points in two games is pretty good."
The victory also put the Law into a good position to make the playoffs, as well as some results from other games Saturday night. A 60-52 loss by Oklahoma to the Sioux City Bandits put Dodge City two games ahead of the Defenders with three games to play for the final playoff spot.
Dodge City plays Oklahoma at Tulsa next Saturday and a win would clinch the Law into having a postseason. Dodge City holds tiebreaker advantages over Omaha, Bloomington and the Lincoln Haymakers and all already have five losses and a win would mean the Law would have at worst five losses on the regular season if they beat Oklahoma.
The Salina Bombers beat the Wichita Wild 13-11 in a defensive showdown at the Bicentennial Center; while the Bloomington Edge came back to beat the Kansas Coyotes 43-42 to extend the Koyotes' losing streak to 15.
Sioux City now sits atop the league with a 6-2 record and owns the tiebreaker over Wichita. Salina is 5-2 and in third.
LAW 60, BEEF 20
Omaha 6 14 0 0 -- 20
Dodge City 14 36 3 7 -- 60
DC -- Floyd 1 run (Fambrough kick)
O -- Parks 1 pass from Coffin (kick failed)
DC -- Venson 34 pass from Floyd (Fambrough kick)
O -- Elmore 5 pass from Coffin (Brown kick)
DC -- Floyd 6 run (kick failed)
O -- Elmore 30 pass from Coffin (Brown kick)
DC -- Carson 9 run (Fambrough kick)
DC -- Leandre recovers fumble in end zone (Fambrough kick)
DC -- Young 45 pass from Coffin (Fambrough kick)
DC -- Thomas 44 interception return (Fambrough kick)
DC -- Safety, Billbrey tackles Coffin in end zone
DC -- FG Fambrough 37
DC -- Ings 20 pass from Floyd (Fambrough kick)
RUSHING -- Omaha, Burton 16-18, Elmore 1-3, Coffin 6-(minus 29); Dodge City, Carson 9-55, Cody 6-29, Floyd 8-(minus 3).
PASSING -- Omaha, Coffin 13-24-117-3; Dodge City, Floyd 7-15-137-0.
RECEIVING -- Omaha, Williams 6-44, Parks 4-37, Elmore 2-35, Burton 1-1; Dodge City, Venson 3-55, Young 2-53, Ings 2-29.
Sioux City 6-2
Dodge City 6-3