Bounty Hunters’ 16-game winning streak snapped in Wichita Falls
Offensive struggles force Oklahoma City to suffer first loss in 2014
BY: Michael Stewart, Stadium Voice of the Oklahoma City Bounty Hunters
WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS – Two wins via forfeit in the first three weeks of the Gridiron Development Football League (GDFL) season left the Oklahoma City Bounty Hunters (3-1) a bit rusty as they prepared for their first road game of the summer schedule. In the initial trip away from the friendly confines of Putnam City Stadium to start the GDFL season, the Bounty Hunters suffered a 17-7 loss to a hungry Wichita Nighthawks (3-1) team at Memorial Stadium.
The Nighthawks, new to the GDFL this season, nearly pulled off a massive upset in the Tulsa area a week before against the reigning GDFL National Champion Oklahoma Thunder before falling 38-34. Against the Bounty Hunters, the Nighthawks made a statement by shutting down a team that was a combined 16-0 through winning the Xclusive Football League Championship in Austin during the winter, as well as the first three games of the current GDFL season.
The Bounty Hunters played only one true game through the first three weeks of the GDFL schedule, picking up an easy 51-18 victory over the Texas Eagles at Putnam City Stadium. Games were scheduled against the Arkansas Assassins in Weeks One and Three before that team folded.
The game started with a dominating drive by the Nighthawks, going 80 yards over the first 7:15 of the game. Omar Jacobs found Jimmy Pipkin on a 24-yard touchdown pass midway through the opening quarter, and would later find him on a nine-yard strike in the second quarter. Kicker Jon Bailey wowed the home crowd by drilling a 50-yard field goal barefooted with 6:42 remaining before halftime, in between both touchdowns by the home team in the first half.
Both teams would remain scoreless for almost the entire second half, and the offense struggled to help a Bounty Hunters’ defense that managed to play well in spite of being on the gridiron for most of the game. Oklahoma City did have a fair share of scoring opportunities, but critical mishaps by the OKC offense prevented any points from getting on the board. Dominic Logan recovered a fumble at the Nighthawks’ 29-yard line in the opening quarter, but quarterback Beau Ranck was sacked after recovering a fumble near midfield to shut down the ensuing drive. He later threw an interception to P.J. Grundy at the Nighthawks’ 40-yard line in the opening drive of the third quarter.
In the second half, David Goodson had a 30-yard field goal blocked. Earl Mason subbed in for Ranck at quarterback late in the second half and found Juan Redmon on an 18-yard pass to set up first and goal from the three-yard line. But, the offense was unable to convert four plays later. Mason later found Redmon from 16 yards out with 28 seconds remaining in the contest to prevent the shutout.
Saturday night’s game was a far cry from the victory against the Eagles on June 7th. In that contest, Reggie Arnold was the top player on offense, rushing for 154 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. He also caught a 76-yard touchdown pass. The top defensive player in the win against the Eagles was Lionel Bibbins, who had seven tackles (three for loss), four quarterback hurries and a blocked kick.
The Bounty Hunters will look to recover against the Louisiana Spartans next week at Putnam City Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m., and tickets are available starting at $10. Season passes to see the final three home games on the schedule are $30, but they also include multiple discounts to several Oklahoma City businesses, such as Dave and Buster’s, Trep’s Two Blondes Bail Bonds, Pops and Buffalo Wild Wings.