Second half turnovers and missed chances ended up costing the Dodge City Law not only a 44-43 setback to the Amarillo Venom; it allowed the team to lose some of their grip when it comes to the Champions Indoor Football league regular season title and possible playoff matchups. The Law had four turnovers in the game at the Amarillo Civic Center -- including three in the third quarter on an offensive fumble and two more on special teams after Venom touchdowns -- and the kicking game missed two extra points and two field goals in the loss. The fumbles on the two kickoff returns in the third quarter caused the Dodge City offense to not be on the field for almost 14 minutes in the second half. The second field goal attempt from 29 yards went wide right to end the game. "You can't turn the ball over and expect to win," Law head coach Sean Ponder said. "It wasn't a good exhibition of football. Special teams really stunk it up tonight. That was the difference in the game." It was extremely frustrating for the Law (6-2) after scoring 37 points in the first half and leaving the field at halftime with a 16-point lead; but the Venom made the adjustments and was able to battle back for the win. "It was a matter of 'want to,'' Ponder said. "We had problems on execution on offense, defense and special teams. "We can't fumble the ball like we are. When we're 16 points ahead, we have to finish them and not think they're just going to lay down." Law quarterback Joshua Floyd was 9-of-13 for 101 yards and a passing touchdown and 51 yards rushing with two scores; but he also had two turnovers, including one in the third quarter at a point that the Law could have solidified their hold of the game. The Venom (4-3) actually took a page out of the Law playbook by running the ball against the Dodge City defense to win for the second time. Martee Tenner ran the ball for 130 yards and three touchdowns.
Amarillo quarterback Nate Davis, who threw for six scores in the first meeting, was only 7-of-19 for 58 yards. Davis threw two touchdowns and two interceptions in the game. With the loss and the Wichita victory over Salina, the Law lead is now only a half-game over the Force (5-2). Texas (5-3) is a game back and Amarillo and Sioux City are 1 1/2-games back in the league standings. The Law returns to United Wireless Arena next Saturday night when they host Salina (4-4). Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. VENOM 44, LAW 43 Dodge City   21  16   0   6 -- 43 Amarillo       14    7  14  9 -- 44 DC -- Young 36 run (Fambrough kick) A -- Johnson 3 pass from Davis (Felton kick) DC -- Young 10 pass from Floyd (kick failed) A -- Tenner 11 run (Felton kick) DC -- Washington 4 run (Carson pass from Floyd) DC -- safety A -- Turner 4 pass from Davis (Felton kick) DC -- Floyd 2 run (Fambrough kick) DC -- Davis 9 run (Fambrough kick) A -- Tenner 17 run (Felton kick) A -- Tenner 5 run (Felton kick) A -- FG Felton 29 A -- FG Felton 19 DC -- Floyd 6 run (kick failed) A -- FG Felton 16 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING -- Dodge City, Floyd 12-51, Young 1-36, Carson 5-29, Davis 2-13, Washington 4-2, Thomas 1-0; Amarillo, Tenner 22-130, Johnson 1-2, Davis 4-(minus 6). PASSING -- Dodge City, Floyd 9-13-0-101; Amarillo, Davis 7-19-2-58. RECEIVING -- Dodge City, Carson 3-25, January 2-26, Young 2-17, Davis 1-20, Love 1-13; Amarillo, Turner 3-19, Walker 1-19, Coles 1-10, Hendrix 1-7, Johnson 1-3.
_ _ _ CIF STANDINGS Dodge City      6-2 Wichita           5-2 Texas              5-3 Amarillo          4-3 Sioux City       4-3 Salina             4-4 Duke City        2-2 San Angelo     1-6 Omaha            1-7