Jeff Hughley returning a missed Koyotes field goal. Photos courtesy of Kevin Pyle Photography.
Tulsa, OK – It’s a cliché statement, but in the game Saturday night between the Oklahoma Defenders and the Kansas Koyotes, it rings so very true:
What a difference a year makes.
On Saturday night, the Defenders gave fans in the Cox Business Center a dominating, near-perfect performance, in their 72-6 win over the Koyotes. Head Coach Derek Rasmussen’s team sent a clear message to the rest of the Champions Professional Indoor Football League–that they are a force to be reckoned with this season.
Indeed, the Defenders began the scoring onslaught with only 36 seconds elapsed off the clock, when quarterback
Zach Rasmussen scampered into the end zone for the first touchdown of the 2014 season. The PAT kick by Tommy Frevert was good, and the Defenders were off and running. Frevert’s foot proved to be impressive with his 9/10 PAT kicks and a 45-yard field goal.
Zach Rasmussen scores on a QB Keeper. Photos courtesy of Kevin Pyle Photography.
Quarterback Zach Rasmussen (commissioned 2nd Lieutenant stationed at Tinker Air Force base in Oklahoma City), completed seven of nine passes for 68 yards and rushed for 58 yards. Rasmussen ended the game with 2 passing and 2 rushing touchdowns.
Isaiah Anderson (and former OSU Cowboy) highlighted special teams when he returned a missed Koyotes field goal attempt 49 yards into the Defenders end zone with 5:51 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Former OSU Cowboy Hubert Anyiam emerged as a favorite target of Rasmussen on Saturday night, as he and his relief quarterback Brady May connected for three touchdowns and 60 yards, which included a 34-yard strike from May in the fourth quarter. On the ground, the rushing assault was led by running back KingJack Washington, who ran for 78 yards and three touchdowns.
Ronnell Lewis laying “The Hammer” down on the Koyotes. Photos courtesy of Kevin Pyle Photography.
Defensively, it was a beastly performance by the Oklahoma Defenders. Former Oklahoma Sooner and Detroit Lion Ronnell Lewis led the way with six tackles. Ki’Ounta Cathey made the defensive play of the game late in the third quarter when he recovered the fumbled snap of a Koyotes field goal attempt, adding 6 points for the Defenders. The Defenders defense allowed only one touchdown and limited the Koyotes to only 43 total yards on the ground. Conversely, the Koyotes allowed the Defenders 147 rushing yards.
The only time the Koyotes dented the scoreboard was in the second quarter of the game, when Damien Dunning found Wayne Shephard for a 41-yard passing touchdown; but by then, the Defenders had 20 points on the board with no sign of letting up.
After the game, Head Coach Rasmussen commented “All during camp, I kept saying, Week 1 we need to make a statement. Tonight, we came out and did just that.”
The Defenders will travel this week to Dodge City, Kansas for the first road game of the 2014 season against the CPIFL’s newest team, the Dodge City Law. You can listen to the exclusive Defenders broadcast online atwww.oklahomadefenders.com
, and click on the Listen Live link.
The Defenders will then return home for a Sunday afternoon matinee March 16th, against the defending 2013 CPIFL Champions the Wichita Wild, at 3pm at the Cox Business Center.
Tickets for Defenders games are on sale at the Cox Business Center and the BOK Center Box Office. Information on season tickets (starting at only $30) and group tickets rates can be obtained by calling 918-403-9926 or by visiting www.oklahomadefenders.com