Bandits open campaign with 63-3 romp past Crude

Erv Whitehead of the Sioux City Bandits gets position on Oklahoma's Roderick Boatman and hauls in pass in Bandits' National Indoor Football League opener. (Staff photo by Jim Lee)

03/25/02 Sioux City Journal
Simply put, the Sioux City Bandits were too strong and too quick for the Oklahoma Crude to handle Saturday night.

Just ask Oklahoma quarterback Waylan Jones. He was sacked six times, intercepted five times, fumbled three times and rushed throughout the Bandits' 63-3 rout in front of a sellout crowd of 2,750 at the Sioux City Auditorium.

"They were bigger and stronger than us," Jones said. "Their defensive line was incredible. We came into this game with the intention of running our basic package, but we couldn't do that becase of their defense."

"Our defense showed up big," said Sioux City defensive end Jesse Wavrunek, who sacked Jones four times for losses totaling 30 yards. "We wanted to get off on the right foot. (Oklahoma) was talking smack all week, so we wanted to put them away. It was pretty much a good game by everybody."

True. Sioux City, which scored on 10 consecutive possessions from the second quarter to the 2:30 mark of the fourth quarter, had possession for only 20 minutes and 12 seconds, compared to Oklahoma's 39:48, but still dominated.

The Bandits had short fields while scoring four touchdowns after Crude turnovers: interceptions by Corey Mayes and Lamont Truitt along with fumble recoveries by Matt Hughes and Pete Jablonski.

Special teams play was sharp, as blocked field goals by Wavrunek and 36-year-old Darwin Bishop led to two quick short field scores. Speedster Dave Perrigo returned the opening kickoff of the second half the full 50 yards of the field for a touchdown, while placekicker Adam Hicks booted field goals of 45, 25 and 38 yards along with going 6-for-8 in the extra point department.

Sixty of the Bandits' points came in the final three quarters.

"The defense came out and played hard right away," Bishop said. "The offense had to work out a few kinks, but 63 points, wow. Sixty of them were scored after the first quarter. We had it going."

But according to quarterback Jarrod DeGeorgia, who completed 10 of 17 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns, it took time to get the offense going. Sioux City was limited to just 10 yards total offense on three first-quarter possessions.

"Usually to start things off, the defense runs around, hits people and the offense has trouble executing," DeGeorgia said. "We were physically getting beat off the block and making mental mistakes. But I knew we'd click more once we got it going."

Sioux City's first second-quarter touchdown was set up by Mayes' third interception of the night. Two plays later, Perrigo scored on a 36-yard touchdown pass for a 10-0 lead at the 13:32 mark.

Sioux City's defense stopped the ensuing Oklahoma drive and Erv Whitehead's 29-yard acrobatic catch in front of free safety Roderick Boatman led to a drive that concluded with Whitehead's four-yard touchdown catch for a 17-0 lead.

An eight-yard quarterback sack by Art Malupe, followed by Wavrunek's 11-yard sack highlighted Sioux City's next solid defensive stand that concluded with Truitt's eight-yard interception return to the Oklahoma 19-yard line. Johnnie Ostermeyer's 14-yard catch set up a five-play drive that concluded with DeGeorgia's one-yard TD for a 23-0 lead three seconds before halftime.

Perrigo's 50-yard kickoff return, followed by Bishop's two-yard run after Wavrunek's field goal block near the end zone for a 36-0 lead 2 1/2 minutes into the third quarter, continued the rout.

"That was one of my goals, I wanted to break one through the seam and beat my guy to the end zone," said the former Northwestern College standout, who was named the player of the game by Bandits' officials afterwards, as he scored three touchdowns, including a 10-yarder after Jablonski's fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.

"I said I was going to take it home," Perrigo added. "The guys did a great job of blocking for me and putting me in a one-on-one race with the kicker. You get in that situation nine times out of 10, you're going to score."

Sioux City scored 24 points in the third quarter and 16 in the fourth as it steamrolled past Oklahoma, a first-year National Indoor Football League entry which is among four teams in the Atlantic Conference's Southern Division.

Sioux City's defense, however, was bidding for the second shutout ever in the two-year history of the NIFL. The fumble recoveries in the fourth quarter by Hughes and Jablonski and Zach Mathers' interception kept the hopes for a goose egg alive.

Oklahoma still had one more chance for a score and Jones, a former arenaleague2 quarterback with the Tulsa Talons, showed determination in the final 2 1/2 minutes. He threaded passes of 22 and 6 yards to Anthony Van Dyke and was stopped three yards shy of the end zone by Hughes.

Jones threw an incomplete pass on third down, setting the stage for Scott, who had three blocked field goal attempts prior to booting a 17-yarder with 40 seconds left.

"A lot of times tonight, we had a tendency to get down on each other rather than staying positive," Jones said. "I knew what to expect because I played Arena ball for two years, but I don't know if the other guys were ready for this tempo. But we'll be ready for Sioux City the next time."

Sioux City now has a bye week and is idle until April 7 when it plays at the LaCrosse (Wis.) Night Train.

"I wish we didn't have the bye week," DeGeorgia said. "You'd like to keep it rolling. I feel this team is mentally tough enough to work real hard this week, then we'll go to Wisconsin and hopefully do the same."

Bandits 63, Crude 3

Crude 0 0 0 3 — 3

Bandits 3 20 24 16 — 63

First Quarter

BAND: FG Adam Hicks 45, 8:02

Second Quarter

BAND: Dave Perrigo 36 pass from Jarod DeGeorgia (Hicks kick) 13:32

BAND: Erv Whitehead 4 pass from DeGeorgia (kick blocked) 4:19.

BAND: DeGeorgia 1 run (Hicks kick) 0:03.

Third Quarter

BAND: Perrigo 50 kickoff return (Hicks kick) 14:49

BAND: Darwin Bishop 2 blocked field goal return (Hicks kick) 12:19

BAND:FG Hicks 25, 4:37

BAND: Whitehead 37 pass from DeGeorgia (Hicks kick) 2:23.

Fourth Quarter

BAND: Jerry Davis 6 run (Hicks kick) 11:26

BAND: Perrigo 10 run (kick failed) 9:24

BAND: FG Hicks 38, 2:30

CRUDE: FG Mike Scott 17, 0:37.

TEAM STATISTICS

Crude Bandits

First downs 8 6

By rushing 1 0

By passing 5 5

By penalty 2 1

Rushes-yards 14-11 16-45

Passing yards 95 150

Passes (Com-Att-Int) 13-34-5 10-17-0

Total plays-yards 54-106 36-195

Penalties 12-41 8-44

Fumbles 5-2 1-1

Time of Possession 39:48 20:12

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Crude — Hunter 3-4, Gaines 3-2, Jones 8-2, Perez 0-3. Bandits — Davis 10-23, Perrigo 2-15, McKinstry 3-6, DeGeorgia 1-1.

PASSING: Crude — Jones 13-31-4—139, Scott 0-3-1—0, Team 0-0-0—(-44). Bandits — DeGeorgia 10-17-0—154, Team 0-0-0—(-4).

RECEIVING: Crude — VanDyke 5-65, Perez 3-41, Lyles 3-27, Gaines 1-3, Bell 1-3. Bandits — Whitehead 5-78, Ostermeyer 2-32, Davis 2-8, Perrigo 1-36.

 
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