Billings’ outlaws respond with a victory; now await where and when they will meet Wyoming in the playoffs | Soccer

BILLING — New quarterback and new owner, no problem.

In their first game with Steven Titus as owner and their first contest with Jamario Benson as starting quarterback, the Billings Outlaws earned a well-deserved win by outscoring the Wyoming Mustangs 47-29 in front of 1,800 fans. Saturday at MetraPark’s First Interstate Arena.

Saturday night was the last day of the Champions Indoor Football League regular season.

The Outlaws (7-3) had already clinched a playoff berth before the win and ahead of Saturday night’s game it looked like they would face the Mustangs (3-7) again in the first round of the playoffs. CIF.

After the game, Outlaws interim head coach Theo Johnson said Billings should host the rematch between the Outlaws and Mustangs next week, but that is yet to be determined. In fact, the date and location of the playoff game must be announced, Johnson said.

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Metra will be hosting a Kevin Gates concert on Saturday, June 11, so it looks like a weekend game at Metra is over. Johnson said a midweek game didn’t give his team enough time between games. So maybe the Outlaws will be on the road in Gillette, Wyoming, or maybe the Outlaws will host the contest at the Billings Sports Plex – where a previous version of the Outlaws won the Indoor Football League title in 2010. Attempting to host the game at the Sports Plex could be “problematic” to turn the facility into a short time to be able to host a playoff game, Johnson said.

“All I can do is prepare them,” Johnson said, noting it’s a waiting game as to where and when the Outlaws will play their playoff game.

Outlaws players don’t care where the game is, they just want the chance to play in the playoffs for the first step in their goal of winning the league championship.

“We’re just here to play no matter where we are,” said Billings defensive back Billy Eakins, who hit a 20-yard interception return with 2:32 left in the second quarter to give Billings a boost. lead 31-10. “Our job is to do the work on the pitch and that’s what we will do.”

Eakin’s thoughts echoed those of most of his teammates, including Dillon’s Nate Simkins. Simkins carried a 24-yard flare from Benson with 5:27 left in the second for a score, giving Billings a 24-10 advantage.

“Where they tell me to go,” said Simkins, who played football at Montana Western. “I don’t care anyway.”

A long and trying week for the Outlaws ended with a satisfying victory at home in their regular season finale. The week started with a tough 49-42 loss to first-place Sioux City on Memorial Day. This setback was followed by CIF taking over the day-to-day operations of the Pick Six Entertainment team due to mismanagement on Tuesday. On Thursday, the CIF announced that Titus had been approved to be the team’s new owner.

“I’m proud of the guys for everything they’ve been through,” Johnson said.

Eakins said the Outlaws wanted to respond with a win following the events of last week.

“We just have to stay true to ourselves and do what we can do,” he said. “We were just trying to play a full game. That’s really it.

Billings started quickly. Benson found Simkins on the game’s first offensive play for a four-yard completion and Troy Evans Jr. followed with two straight carries totaling 15 yards. Benson joined Garry Brown for a nine-yard gain and the Outlaws were on the Mustang four-yard line. Benson then took the ball for a touchdown. Jimmy Kazalski followed with the conversion and the Outlaws led 7-0 at 12:34 of the first.

Benson also had a 16-yard touchdown pass to Brown with 6:21 left to give Billings a 47-23 lead.

On Friday, Johnson said three Outlaws, including starting quarterback Charles McCullum, wide receiver Jerron McGaw and defensive back Winston Green, would not play because they were still weighing their options after developments last week.

Benson has been the back-up QB all year, but has taken a lot of shots in training and had also seen playing time before, such as in a cleanup role when Billings won a blistering victory over Rapid City last month at Metro.

“It was good,” Benson said of the start and the win. “It was kind of normal. I went out and had fun and played to the best of my ability and went out with the W.”

Benson said he had the support of his teammates and coaching staff.

“It really wasn’t pressure,” he said. “I played the same games as him (McCullum) all season and training camp. He taught me everything.”

Simkins said it was his first home start of the year. He recognized Benson and his offensive teammates for the 24-yard score in second.

“The QB put him on a tightrope and found me in the end zone,” Simkins said. “They couldn’t have written it better.”

Eakins wasn’t the only Billings defenseman to score a touchdown as the Outlaws defense was responsible for two touchdowns.

DNerius Antoine had an interception in the end zone with 13 seconds left in the third quarter on a fly ball hit high in the air. After Kazalski’s conversion kick, the Outlaws led 41-17.

Kazalski was signed by the Outlaws this week. In their loss to the Bandits, the Outlaws had no kicker and were forced to attempt two-run conversions after every touchdown, going 3 for 6.

On Saturday, Kazalski shone. He was 5 for 6 on extra points and had field goals for 23 and 40 yards.

REMARKS: The Outlaws’ Dylan Donahue, who grew up in the Magic City, proposed to girlfriend Makayla Boyd after pregame introductions and Boyd said yes. … Brian Schmidt, who started the season as Outlaws head coach before going on sick leave in mid-May, was at the game and helped call offensive plays for the Outlaws from the owner’s box above the ground.

Outlaws 47, Mustangs 29


first quarter

Billings : Jamario Benson 4 run (Jimmy Kazalski kick), 12:12

Wyoming: Erick Ruiz 20 FG, 7:48

Billings : Kazalski 23 FG, 4:20

Billings : Troy Evans Jr. 1 run (Kazalski kick), 14:53

Wyoming: Eric Caldwell 11 run (Ruiz kick), 7:10

Billings: Benson 24 passes to Nate Simkins (Kazalsi kick), 5:27

Billings : Eakins 20 interception return (Kazalski kick), 2:32

Wyoming: Caldwell 4 run (Ruiz 11 kick), :06.

Third quarter

Billings : Kazalski 40 FG, 7:37

Billings : Interception by DNerius Antoine in the end zone (Kazalski kick), 13

Fourth trimester

Wyoming: William Gibbs 3 run (missed pass), 10:37

Billings : Benson 16 passes to Garry Brown (miss), 6:21

Wyoming: Caldwell 25 passes to Lou Dorsey (missed pass), 2:08

Email Gazette Sports editor John Letasky at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @GazSportsJohnL

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