Outlaws Remain Undefeated with 56-49 Win over West Texas

In Odessa, Texas, the Billings Outlaws came out of the back-and-forth thriller against the Desert Hawks unscathed. The Outlaws remain undefeated and move up to 5-0, while the Desert Hawks now sit at 3-3.

Unrelenting Offense

Anyone who watched this game got four full quarters of quality football. West Texas got out to an early lead, ending the first quarter at 13-1. After that, the whole game was the Outlaws crawling back to eventually take the lead. At half the lead was cut to one point for West Texas at 23-22, and by the third quarter, the game had completely flipped with the Outlaws going up 43-25. Part of that lead change was 15 unanswered points, including two touchdowns from Karonce Higgins and Blake Mitchell, and a deuce from Bailey Giffin. 

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Though the game looked out of reach, the Desert Hawks fought like prime Mike Tyson. In the fourth quarter, there were six more touchdowns, and four of them belonged to the Desert Hawks. Still, a lot of points were left on the table. Following those touchdowns, there were three 4-point conversion attempts and a two-point conversion attempt–all of which failed. However, the grit and pure want-to were there. All four of those touchdowns had a receiver leaping for the ball and being knocked over the wall, putting their bodies on the line for their team. 

Key Players for the Outlaws

 It is hard to single out any single players for the Outlaws because key contributions were rounded out across the entire field. The best choices would be Karonce Higgins and Hunter Swoboda. A majority of the points belong to these two guys. Higgins had three TDs for himself with the theatrics to go with them- long bombs, double jukes, and over-the-walls. Swoboda had another two for himself and broke out for multiple large runs across all four quarters. The other points in the game can mainly be attributed to kicker Bailey Giffin. Although he had two PATs blocked by Justin Alexandre, he drilled the rest and converted two Deuces. 

Key Players for the Desert Hawks 

Caleb Smith and Jordan Gandy dominated the offensive production for West Texas. Smith was Jonathan Bane’s favorite target. Pulling in half a dozen receptions and four TDs. Smith was by far the largest contributor to ball movement and scoring, doing it with grit and stunning acrobatics. Gandy has routinely been a top target as well, and this past performance is another page in the story as to why. He was rather quiet in the first 2-3 quarters, but he started lighting it up in the fourth, making key plays to keep the game within reach. He made two nearly identical catches in the wee minutes of the fourth; Bane chucked up two long bombs towards the back of the end zone which Gandy secured and flipped over the wall.

The Desert Hawks will host the undefeated Albany Firebirds on Saturday, June 8 and are looking to improve on their 3-3 record. The Outlaws return home to take on the Nashville Kats on Saturday, June 8, and look to defend their undefeated record.

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