Wichita Wild



Years of Existence: 2009-
Venue: Hartman Arena (Park City, KS)
Accomplishments
2009 Semifinal appearance
2010 - Semifinal appearance
2011 -
2012 - Semifinal appearance
Lifetime Record: 36-28
Home: 21-10
Away: 15-18
Playoffs: 5-3
Average Attendance: 3,107

The Wichita WIld joined the new IFL from the old UIF. The team began at 1-4 against a very difficult schedule. Alex Melugin and Derek Rausmussen each played about half of the season, combining for thirty scores and seventeen picks. Clinton Solomon led the team in receiving with over 1,000 yards and 22 scores. Darius Fudge ran for 936 net yards and 31 scores, nine more than the Wild allowed on defense. The Wild most directly benefited from Sioux Falls' league punishment and forfeiture issues, as the Wild would be the third seed in their division and thus qualify for the postseason. The team had caught fire at the right time in the year, winning their final three games at home and in a row. Dixie Wooten led the team into the playoffs and a road date in Bloomington. However, it was Darius Fudge who would score four times on the ground and the Wild would surprise the Extreme and advance to the second round at Omaha. The Wild built a 25-13 halftime lead and held on for a 39-37 upset behind three Wooten touchdown passes and a rushing score. The Wild had advanced all the way to the conference final, which they would host against RiverCity. The Wild had dismantled the Rage a month before, 73-33 and were looking to make an improbable run. A Byron Jones 59 yard kickoff return for touchdown opened the scoring just nine seconds into the game and the Wild were suddenly on its collective heels. By late in the second quarter, the Rage had built a 36-14 lead and the dream was all but dashed. However, Wichita did not give up easily, as they would score three consecutive times to cut the lead to 36-30. Unofrtunately for the Wild, two fourth quarter possessions would eat up almost seven minutes of the clock and both ended in turnovers. The WIld lost, 43-30. The Wild returned in 2010, winning five of its first six contests. After back to back losses to Sioux Falls and Sioux City, the Wild won four of their last six to make the playoffs. Star quarterback Dixie Wooten again led the team, throwing for 50 touchdowns and 13 picks. Wooten ran for 19 touchdowns, also. On the ground, Darius Fudge led the team with 684 yards and 33 touchdowns. Clinton Solomon was by far the favorite receiver, catching 35 touchdowns. The team began its playoff run at home against Bloomington. The Wild cruised to a 61-48 victory. Next up was surprise team Rochester, which had defeated top seed Richmond. The Wild were again victorious in pull-away fashion, 45-33. The team advanced to the United Conference title game in Sioux Falls. In this game, Solomon was not thrown to until it was already too late. A 28-21 Sioux Falls lead toward halftime led ultimately to a 52-34 victory. The Wild returned in 2011 for a 6-8 season. Dixie Wooten left the team to play for the Nebraska Danger, so Phil Staback and Shane Mascarenas each played half of the year. Staback threw for 17 touchdowns and 11 picks, while Mascarenas threw 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The two combined for 1,884 yards. Longtime Wichita stars Darius Fudge and Clinton Solomon both returned. Solomon racked up 869 yards on 77 catches and scored 20 times. Fudge scored five times as a wide receiver, while Fudge ran for 244 yards and broke into the enzone 13 times. Kendrick Harper made eight of the defense's 27 interceptions. Special teams were not so strong, as the team only converted 36% of field goals and 68% of extra points. The Wild lost to Dixie Wooten in game one of the year, 70-59 and followed this up with a two touchdown loss to eventual division winners Green Bay. The team was reeling after a 92-20 drubbing at the hands of Sioux Falls and was unable to recover for a while, starting the year 1-6, something no one would have expected. The team did rebound, winning six of their final eight against Amarillo, Bricktown, Bloomington, and West Texas. The win at West Texas came by a point, as the team scored just two touchdowns in a 22-21 victory. A forty point home victory rounded out the season on a positive note. The team returned in 2012, led by quarterbacks Marcus Jackson and Phil Staback. The two combined for over 2,100 yards, 41 touchdowns and 23 picks. Tim Timmons caught 83 balls for 862 yards and 14 scores, while Doug Pierce added 38 catches for 505 yards and 13 touchdowns of his own. Kendrick Harper led the defensive secondary with seven picks, returning three for scores. Matt Moss was credited with 15 sacks. The Wild got off to a slow 2-5 start midway through the season, dropping games to Omaha, Nebraska, Sioux Falls, and twice against Allen. Tje yea, avenged all of those losses except Sioux Falls. With an 8-6 record, the Wild entered the playoffs as the third seed, winning s trip to Allen for their fifth meeting of the year. The Wild came away with a last second field goal to win 43-40 and advance to the Intense Conference championship game at Tri-Cities. With only three days rest and a long road trip, the Wild played a competitive first half, but were unable to stay with the Fever in a 51-30 defeat.