The Wyoming Mustangs professional indoor football team lost a league game to the Dodge City Law (Kansas) 20-18 Saturday night in the Wyoming Center at Cam-plex.
The Mustangs were a two-point conversion away from forcing overtime with eight seconds left in the game but couldn't capitalize to fall to 2-1 on the season and 1-1 in league games, owner Keith Russ said. It was the Law's first game of the season.
The game drew a crowd of 3,600 people, assistant general manager Richard Seckler said. In the team's first three games, over 11,000 tickets have been sold.
Rayjohn Austin-Ramsey, a quarterback for Dodge City, wasn't surprised to see the Mustangs put up a fight during the team's first season playing in the Champions Indoor Football League (CIF). Austin-Ramsey also said the Wyoming Center was one of the nicest venues he's played in for indoor football.
"This is a very fun environment," Austin-Ramsey said. "The fans were talking to us and trying to get in our heads but it's pretty much just football. I'm pretty sure everyone loves it here and you can tell by the size of the crowd that these guys like it."
It's exciting to see the CIF expand to a place like Wyoming, Austin-Ramsey said. The more widespread the league can get is better for everyone involved, he said.
"It's a good environment and everyone is having a good time," Austin-Ramsey said. "Indoor football is nice, man. It's definitely something everyone has to come out and see."
Dodge City started the game with the ball and turned its first offensive drive of the season into points with a 1-yard touchdown run by Austin-Ramsey four minutes into the game. The Law converted on an extra point attempt to take an early 7-0 lead.
After a long kickoff return for the Mustangs to set the offense up, quarterback David Perkins responded with a touchdown run of his own less than three minutes later. The Mustangs failed its two-point conversion to keep the Law in the lead at 7-6 with 6:25 left in the first quarter.
The Mustangs were able to get the ball back after forcing Dodge City to turn it over on downs on the ensuing drive. But Perkins threw a costly interception to give the ball back as the first quarter ended.
Two minutes into the second quarter, the Law scored on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Austin-Ramsey to take a 13-6 lead. The lead would stay at seven after Dodge City failed the two-point try.
Perkins threw a 39-yard strike to wide receiver Garry Brown III to set the offense up in the redzone on the next drive but the Mustangs couldn't punch it in and turned the ball over on downs. Starting on its own 5-yard line, the Law couldn't get a first down and opted to attempt a long field goal on fourth down that came up well short to give the Mustangs the ball back at its own 20-yard line.
The offensive struggles continued late in the second quarter for the Mustangs as Perkins threw a second interception that was taken back for a touchdown by Dodge City with just five seconds left in the first half. After a made extra point, the Law took a 20-6 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
Scoring was hard to come by for both teams in the second half and neither team scored in the third quarter. Faustino Saucedo subbed in at quarterback for the Mustangs and threw an interception on his first drive.
The Law missed a second field goal on the next drive and the two teams both turned the ball over on downs before the start of the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs were able to chip away at the lead in the final quarter with a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Saucedo to bring the game within one score. The Mustangs failed its two-point attempt to keep the score at 20-12 with 8:18 left in the game.
After the Law turned the ball over on downs for the third drive in a row, the Mustangs brought the crowd to its feet with a clutch 20-yard touchdown on the connection of Saucedo to Brown with eight seconds left. With the score 20-18 in favor of Dodge City, the Mustangs needed a successful two-point attempt to send the game to overtime.
Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the team came up short on the two-point attempt for the third time in the game and it ended up being the difference in the team's first loss of the season.
The Mustangs play its fourth home game in a row next weekend. The team will host the Salina Liberty at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Wyoming Center at Cam-plex.