May 2, 2009
The perfect season continues for the Mid-Missouri Outlaws.
The Outlaws moved their record to 8-0 with a dominating 32-6 win over the Springfield Lightning on Saturday.
Quarterback Kyle Middleton had a big day, leading the offense with four touchdown passes and one touchdown run.
“We’re starting to click a little better, finally. You can tell. It’s later on in the season. It’s getting a little more serious for us now. The playoffs are coming up and we’re starting to gel, which is a good sign,” he said.
Middleton has a lot of weapons on his offensive unit. He threw two of his scoring passes to Ben Lyles, one to Marcus James, and one to Aaron Luebbe as he spread the ball around the field.
“It’s ridiculous. I tell people all the time that I’m not any good, it’s just my offense around me. They’re superstars around us. When you’ve got people like Marcus James and Ben Lyles, you can score all the time,” said Middleton.
Mid-Missouri (8-0) wasted little time cranking up that offense. The Outlaws took their first possession, went 25 yards and grabbed a 6-0 lead.
James completed the opening drive, grabbing Middleton’s pass in the end zone for the score.
Meanwhile, the Outlaws’ defense was dominating the line of scrimmage and frustrating Springfield. Springfield struggled to move the ball for most of the game, as the Outlaws put pressure on the quarterback and stuffed the run.
“Our defense has dominated all year,” defensive back Chad Jackson said. “We’ve really clicked from day one. Across the board, all eight guys fly to the ball. On a nasty field like this, wrapping up and making tackles is what you have to do and we were able to do that.”
The Outlaws made it 12-0 as the second quarter began when Middleton ran 6 yards and snuck into the corner of the end zone for a TD. After the Mid-Missouri defense stuffed Springfield again, the Outlaws took over with good field position.
The Outlaws only needed one play to make it 20-0. Middleton hit Luebbe with an 18-yard scoring pass, and Billy Atlas ran in the conversion.
Good clock management enabled the Outlaws to move the ball downfield in the final 30 seconds of the first half. Lyles caught Middleton’s pass and worked his way into the corner of the end zone, making it 26-0 at the break.
As the field got sloppier in the second half, both defenses controlled play. The Outlaws found the end zone in the third quarter when Middleton hit Lyles down the left sideline for a 31-yard touchdown.
Springfield (4-4) finally cracked the Outlaws’ defense for a touchdown with 5 seconds left in the game.
Russell Rathke hit Ryan Reichow in the end zone for a score, spoiling the Mid-Missouri shutout bid.
Jackson likes his team’s position as the season nears its conclusion.
“We’re looking for a three-peat, so we’ll see what happens,” he said. “We’ve played one of the best teams in the league, the (Independence) Bulldogs, and we beat them at their place, so we’re kind of sitting in the driver’s seat. We’ll see what happens and see how the playoffs come out.”