All the Mid-Missouri Outlaws could do was think about what might have been.
Giving up the ball on downs three times inside the Sioux City (Iowa) Bandits 10-yard line and losing a fumble insider the Bandits’ 20 on another possession, the Outlaws fell 46-21 to the defending American Professional Football League champion Bandits Saturday night at the Mathewson Exhibition Center.
The Bandits improved to 5-0 on the season while the Outlaws fell to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the APFL.
The Outlaws got the ball first, but their drive stalled in their own territory. Facing a fourth down and seven, Derek Doerfler’s 42-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right, and the Bandits took possession at midfield.
Three plays later, Damon Mothershead scored on a two-yard run and Nick Hope booted the extra point to put the Bandits up to stay 7-0 with 9:20 left in the first quarter.
Jacob Cahill scored on an 11-yard run with 4:48 left in the first. Doerfier kicked the extra point but the Outlaws were flagged for a penalty and Doerfier had to kick from five yards farther out. This time he missed leaving the Outlaws behind 7-6.
The Bandits returned the ensuing kickoff to the Outlaw 15, five plays later, Sean Treasure scored on a five-yard run and Hope tacked on the PAT with 2:14 left in the first quarter to give the Bandits a 14-6 lead.
That’s the way the first quarter ended.
The Outlaws drove to the Bandits’ 1-yard line but Kyle Middleton’s fourth-down pass to Gary Taylor in the endzone was broken up and the Bandits took over.
That became a recurring theme for the Outlaws, failure to cpvert on fourth down deep in Bandit territory.
The Outlaw defense stepped up and held the Bandits on their next possession and Hope’s 50-yard field goal attempt hit the ceiling, giving the Outlaw possession at midfield.
Mid Missouri drove to the Bandits’ 11-yard line on a pass from Middleton to Taylor. But they got no closer to the endzone as the Bandits held them on downs.
Eight plays later, Mothershead scored on a 10-yard run with five seconds left in the half. Mothershead set up he TD with a 26-yard pass reception from quarterback Scott Jensen. Hope kicked the extra point as the Bandits went up 21-6 at the half.
With the Outlaws kicking off to begin the second half, things didn’t bode well for the home team. However, the kickoff bounced off the hands of the Bandit’s kick returner and was recovered by the Outlaws’ Frank Yabarra at the Bandits’ 13-yard line.
Again, the Outlaws were not able to capitalize on the turnover and the Bandits took over on their own 15. Two plays later, Treasure scored his second TD of the night on a 17-yard run with 9:20 left in the third. Hope added the point after and it was 28-6 as the fans headed for the exits.
The Outlaws responded with a 41-yard drive, capped by a two-yard run by Marcus James. Doerfier kicked the PAT and it was 28-13 with 2:55 left in the third.
Sioux City didn’t take long to answer, as Jensen connected with Frederick Bruno who was all by himself for a 31-yard TD pass with eight seconds left in the third period. The extra point was no good but the Bandits had a 34-13 lead.
To start the fourth quarter, the Outlaws drove to the Bandits 8-yard line and once again could not convert on fourth down.
Jensen scored on a two-yard run and Hope made the PAT to give the Bandits a four-score lead 41-13.
Middleton connected with Mark Moore Jr. on a five-yard TD pass with 4:01 left in the game to close the gap to 41-21 with James’ two-point conversions.
The Bandits added a TD with 2:38 left to close out the scoring.
The Outlaws will travel to Council Bluffs, Iowa on Saturday to take on the Express. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.