The Wichita Wild opened the 2014 season with an impressive 62-10 road win over the Lincoln Haymakers Friday night in the Pershing Center. The usual suspects for the Wild opened the season full strength, shutting down the Haymaker offense and defense. Offensively, Hubbard and Kassanavoid each tallied two touchdowns thanks to a great night by Wild quarterback, Rocky Hinds who completed 14 of 20 passes and one interception for 121 yards and three touchdowns on the night. The Wild defense produced an incredible performance including, Matt Moss who played a gritty second half with two fumble recoveries for touchdowns. New linebacker, Jason Catchings debuted his skills with a few big hits to slow down the Haymaker offense.
Wichita's defense proved its dominance in the first quarter with the only touchdown coming off an interception by newcomer and former NFL player, Justin Phinisee. Ernesto Lacayo also tallied his first field goal in a Wild jersey to put the Wild up 10-0. The Wild defense held the Haymakers scoreless in the first quarter and only allowed a field goal in the second with huge plays by Phinisee and Catchings. The Wild offense heated up in the second quarter putting up 10 more points on two consecutive passes, 34 yards and seven yards from Hinds to Kassanavoid for a touchdown to put the Wild ahead 17-0. The Haymakers would hit back with a field goal of their own, but were answered by a Lacayo field goal to bring the score 20-3. Haymaker quarterback Travis Hunter ended the first half ice cold, completing only 1 of 8 pass attempts.
Wichita opened the third quarter strong with a 15-yard run by RB Tywon Hubbard, which ended with a short pass from Hinds to veteran Brian Murph and a completed extra point allowing the Wild to extend their lead 27-3 over the Haymakers. Lincoln's Wayne Jacobs ran for 16 yards to put the Haymakers in scoring position, but the Wild defense shut them down with Hemphill, Harper and Catchings breaking up passes to turn the ball over on downs. Hubbard came up big with a 34-yard run for a touchdown to put the Wild up 34-3 late in the third quarter. The Haymakers picked off a Hinds pass in the end zone but continued to struggle offensively turning the ball over on downs each time against the dominant Wild defense. Hubbard was unrelenting in his explosive runs and topped off the night with his second touchdown run of the game to give the Wild a commanding 41-3 lead. The 2013 CPIFL Defensive Player of the Year Matt Moss recovered a fumbled snap by Lincoln for a touchdown to extend the Wild lead 48-3 partway through the fourth quarter. A Lincoln five minute, 10 play drive ending at the five minute mark would produce the first Haymaker touchdown of the evening by Antonio Ficklin to bring the score 48-10. Kassanavoid scored again late in the fourth quarter followed by Moss' second fumble recovery and touchdown on the night for a 62-10 Wild win.
The Wild will continue on the road to Tulsa to face the Oklahoma Defenders for their second game of the season on Sunday, March 16th in the Tulsa Convention Center; kick-off set for 3:05 p.m. Wichita will return home on March 22nd to host their home opener against the newest CPIFL franchise, the Dodge City Law at 7:05 p.m. for Wild Championship Celebration Night. Both season tickets and single game tickets are now on sale, starting at $50 and $8 respectively and can be purchased by visiting ticketmaster.com or calling 1.800.745.3000. For the latest news on the Wild, visit www.wichitawildfootball.com or follow the team on Facebook and Twitter (@wichita_wild).