Storm Builds against Regulators

by Logan Hernandez

DODGE CITY, KS - Sunday June 9th brought a familiar foe to Southwest Kansas, as The Wichita Regulators made their way to town for the second time this year. Although the first time was during a joint practice, it gave the implications that these two teams may have a rivalry budding. Wichita was able to be the victors earlier this year winning 40-42, however it never got that close on Sunday. It only took four seconds for Southwest Kansas to take a lead, and the lead never changed after that. The opening kickoff would go outside of the rebound nets, giving The Southwest Kansas Storm a 1-0 Lead with 14:56 remaining in the first quarter. The Storm would use around 6:00 minutes to go 40 Yards to get their first touchdown in the Ozone Roofing "O Zone." Matt Struck would take it in on 4th & Goal from the 1 Yard Line, Dillon Burkhard would put the ball through the Chris Boys Agency Uprights to give The Storm an 8-0 lead. Wichita would answer back after going 45 Yards and getting a touchdown of their own. They would attempt a 4-PT play but would be unsuccessful making the score 8-6 in favor of Southwest Kansas. After an unsportsmanlike penalty after the PAT attempt, Southwest Kansas would start the drive inside of Regulators territory. It didn't take long for Matt Struck to find the O Zone again, this time on a 2- Yard run on the outside going untouched. Time would expire while preparing for the PAT, but Burkhard was still able to put it right on the money giving Southwest Kansas a 15-6 lead going into the Second Quarter. Wichita would use a long drive to try to pull close, and would eventually get back into the O Zone. They would attempt a multiple point attempt again, but again the Storm Defense would stand tall. The ensuing kickoff would go out of bounds outside of the rebound nets again, giving Southwest Kansas another point to make it 16-12. This is the closest the game would ever get again.The next drive saw Da'Quan Bailey Brown attempt to hurdle two defenders on a reception , at once, setting the Storm up inside the 5-Yard Line. Matt Struck would use the big bodies of the Offensive Line to guide him in for another 6 points, and his third rushing TD of the game. Burkhard would again make the PAT giving Southwest Kansas a 23-12 lead with just over a minute left in the first half. Wichita would start their final drive of the half inside their own 5-Yardline. Wichita appeared to be driving the ball down, with the help of two penalties against the Storm Defense. However an intentional grounding penalty on Third Down would stall the drive out. The Storm would get the ball back with just a few ticks left on the clock. A long run by Vincent DiLeo II would run the remaining time out and Southwest Kansas would take a 23-12 lead into the locker room. Southwest Kansas would have a new face on the field calling plays as Secondary Coach Patrick Callahan would step into the role. Wichita's opening drive would be stopped as Keon Clary would intercept the ball at Southwest Kansas' 3 Yard Line. Even with momentum on their side the Storm Offense would be unable to get anything going, and would eventually turn the ball over on downs. However it didn't take long for the Storm to get all of the momentum back as Keon Clary would get his second interception of the day and would return it 45 Yards for a "Pick Six." The following PAT would be no good, but extending the lead to 29-12. this would also be the score at the end of the 3rd Quarter. The Fourth Quarter would go down as a quiet one, in terms of scoring, as Southwest Kansas would methodically move the ball to keep the clock running. They would eventually score again late in the game as Vincent DiLeo II would get a 3 Yard TD on the ground. That would give Southwest Kansas the lead that they eventually won with 35-12. Coach Thomas had this to say about the win, "As I always say a win in this league is hard to get. I'm very proud of the defensive effort displayed out there. Being able to keep a team scoreless in the second half, in any league is hard to do, and it is especially hard to do in The Arena Football League. It's exciting to see this team starting to come together in a lot of ways. We still have a lot to clean up in different areas, and that is going to be our focus as we get ready for West Texas." Southwest Kansas is currently enjoying a 3 Game Win Streak as they push their overall record to 4-3. The Storm will travel to Odessa, TX for a 7:00 P.M. Kick-Off agains the West Texas Desert Hawks who are currently 3-4.