Storm Fall in Home Finale

by Logan Hernandez

DODGE CITY, KS - On Saturday June 22 The Washington Wolfpack traveled to United Wireless Arena to take on the home Southwest Kansas Storm. In a game where on team (Storm) had playoff implications on the line, the other team (Wolfpack) had nothing to lose. Southwest Kansas would come in with trying to win their final two games to move up in the playoff race, however Washington had other plans. Saturday’s game would start off like many for the Storm, with neither team being able to move the ball giving the illusion of a defensive showdown. Washington would get the scoring started on their first possession going up 6. The Storm would answer right back and take a one point lead. Washington would score at the end of the first quarter taking a 12-7 lead into the second quarter. The second quarter was very similar to first, where both teams would trade scores and neither team could quite gain an advantage. Washington would score after an interception taking a 15-7 lead. Southwest Kansas would battle back and score 7 more getting back within one. K Dillon Burkhard would score a “Duece” on the ensuing kickoff giving the Storm a one point lead. Washington would rally right back taking a 21-16 lead with 51 seconds remaining in the first half. That would be enough time for Southwest Kansas to answer back taking a 22-21 lead into half time. The Storm faithful felt like this would be their chance to get out in front and hopefully stay out front. However, an attempted toss back during the kickoff return would be recovered by Washington. It would only take one play for Washington to score, taking a 27-22 lead. Da’Quan Bailey-Brown would take the ensuing kickoff back 50 yards to the Ozone Roofing “Ozone” for a touchdown. The Storm would go for two, a defensive penalty would allow the Storm to reattempt it and QB Matt Struck would run it in giving Southwest Kansas a 3 point lead. Southwest Kansas would start to gain momentum and force Washington into attempting a field goal from inside their own “Ozone.” A drive that seemed to be off to a great start would be stopped by an offensive pass interference penalty, eventually pushing it to 4th and 21. A failed fourth down attempt would give Washington great starting field position, and it wouldn’t take long for them to take advantage of it. Washington would hold a 33-30 advantage going into the final quarter of play. It would take Southwest Kansas 4:00 minutes into the fourth quarter to regain the lead at 37-33. The lead was short lived as the kickoff would be taken all the way back allowing Washington to regain the lead, after the PAT Washington would lead 40-37. The Storm would take just one play on their next offensive drive for Struck to find WR Chris Platt Jr. on a 40 yard pass. After the PAT Southwest Kansas would lead 44-40. Burkhard would do “Burkhard things” and hit his second “Duece” of the night, giving the Storm a 46-40 lead with 8:37 remaining. Washington would move the ball methodically down the field but an interception by DB Michael Lawson would give possession to Southwest Kansas with 5:25 remaining. Southwest Kansas would hold onto the ball for the. Next 5 minutes and 15 seconds, failing a fourth down conversion with 10 seconds remaining. That would be just enough time for Washington to score on a long pass, nailing the PAT with 4 seconds remaining to go up 47-46. The Storm would heave one last pass up, as it appeared Washington was in an illegal defense. The ball would be intercepted and no flags would be thrown, thus ending the game. Southwest Kansas will travel to Nashville in a must win game to clinch the final playoff spot. Southwest Kansas at Nashville will Kick-Off at 4:30 P.M. CST on Saturday June 29th.