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Wichita Force running back Mikhail Lindsay set a single game high for touchdowns on Saturday night, scoring four, but that was not enough to help his team prevail over the Sioux City Bandits, who came away with a 49-27 victory. Dillon Turner threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more for the Bandits. The loss was the fourth in a row for Wichita (2-8).
As has been the case often this season, the opponent for the Force would score on their opening drive. Sioux City moved 35 yards in 7 plays as Turner kept the ball, scoring from five yards out to give the Bandits a 7-0 lead.
The Wichita Force came right back as two penalties helped to keep the drive alive. On the 13th play of the drive, Lindsay took the ball and scored from one yard out to tie the score at seven.
Back the Bandits went, retaking the lead for good. Turner would score his second touchdown of the game when he scrambled and then turned up field, finding the end zone from 14 yards out as Sioux City took a 14-7 lead. The Sioux City Bandits would score on each of their next two drives as well. The first came on a 25 yard strike from Turner to Frederick Bruno and the second a three yard fun by Braden Meints that completed a 7 play, 28 yard drive.
The Wichita Force would cut into the Bandits lead with a little over two minutes left in the half. Quarterback Emmanuel Yeager had a huge drive, tossing a five yard completion to Jordan Payne to begin the drive before hitting Payne for 29 yards down to the Sioux City two yard line. On the next play, Lindsay barreled his way into the end zone to make it 28-14.
The Wichita defense was able to force a turnover on downs on the next drive for Sioux City, giving their offense an opportunity to make this a one possession game, but disaster occurred on the second play of the drive. Following a holding penalty which made it second and 12, Meints tracked down Yeager, sacking him and forcing a fumble. The ball rolled free into the end zone, where Meints recovered for the touchdown. That made it 35-14, which would be the score heading into the half.
Penalties would help the Force cut the deficit to 14 on the first possession of the second half. Bandits penalties resulted in first downs three times on the drive, including on fourth and 4 at the Sioux City 15. On the eighth play of the drive, Lindsay scored from one yard out. His third touchdown of the game made it 35-21.
Wichita would pull within eight, when Michael Bell tackled Turner on the first play of the next drive for Sioux City. Bell forced a fumble that was recovered by Trey Colbert at the Sioux City 16. Lindsay made short order of this drive, gaining nine yards on the first play, then scoring from seven yards out to make it 35-27.
The Force had all the momentum going their way, but Sioux City got a huge kick return from Frederick Bruno, returning the ball 22 yards to his own 22. Three plays later, Andre London punched the ball in from eight yards out and Wichita would not recover.
Turner completed the scoring with a 22 yard TD pass to Meints with a little less than nine minutes left in the game. That made it 49-27, which would be the final. Turner was 8-12 passing for 81 yards and 2 scores. He also gained 53 yards and 2 touchdowns on 9 carries.
Lindsay had his best game of the season, carrying the ball 21 times for 83 yards and 4 TDs. He now has 9 rushing touchdowns this season. Marcus Carter led Wichita in tackles with 9. Evan Ray recorded his second interception of the season.The Wichita Force return home next Sunday looking to end their four game losing streak when they take on their in-state rivals, the Salina Liberty. Kickoff is at 4:05. This is “I Love Wichita” night. Purchase your tickets by visiting https://www.wichitaforce.com/schedule.html.
By Robert Pannier
Minor League Sports Report