Kelly helps lead Koyotes past Outlaws

Richard Kelly

When the difference between winning and losing may mean a shot at making the playoffs, the virtue of the Kansas Koyotes becoming 2-5 as opposed to 1-6 begins to take more importance.

In a back-and-forth battle, Kansas quarterback Carlos Kelly threw for four touchdowns and rushed for one as the Koyotes ousted the Mid-Missouri Outlaws 48-42 at Landon Arena.

The Outlaws had a chance to tie the game on the final play from scrimmage but an incomplete pass from the Kansas 4-yard line left Mid-Missouri short.

“We showed a lot of heart at the end. The defense was clutch. We finally sealed the deal,” said Koyotes running back Mike Steen, who had two rushing touchdowns and one touchdown reception.

Kelly, whose emotions appeared to run high during points of frustration on Saturday, was solid overall according to Biladeau.

“He’s a leader, and I think that’s kind of what we were lacking,” said Biladeau. “He obviously knows this offense and makes good plays. And you can see he’s pretty feisty out there.”

Kansas lead 26-21 at halftime. During the first half, the Koyotes had two long touchdown receptions from receiver Mike Williams, who hooked up with Kelly for 35 and 30-yard strikes. Receiver Naji Shinskia also added a 19-yard touchdown reception.

Kelly capped a strong first half with a 22-yard touchdown rush with 12.8 seconds left in the second quarter. Mid-Missouri quarterback Kyle Middleton threw for three touchdowns in the first half and five in the contest.

Following a Mid-Missouri touchdown early in the quarter, Kansas regained the lead with 6:26 left in the third quarter with Steen’s touchdown reception. Following a two-point conversion, Kansas led 34-28. A Mid-Missouri safety on the following possession gave Kansas a 36-28 advantage.

The remainder of the content consisted of the two teams trading touchdowns, although the Koyotes missed two extra points on their final two touchdowns.

Biladeau knows this is the kind of effort his team needed in a crucial game.

“I told the guys I was proud to coach them,” said Biladeau. “They fought hard. It wasn’t always pretty, but one thing about us is that we play hard. You can see we’re starting to come together.”