Story by Ryan Minch/Billings Gazette
Photo by Hannah Potes/Gazette Staff
Billings, MT - The Billings Wolves wanted no part of backing into a home playoff game.
"We wanted to earn that game," said offensive lineman Nate Ryan. "We don't want it given to us, this team is gelling at the right time and we wanted to earn it."
The Wolves did just that.
By defeating rival Tri-Cities 63-27 Saturday at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark and by virtue of Colorado's 54-51 overtime win over Nebraska, the Wolves secured a home playoff game in the first round of the Indoor Football League playoffs in two weeks.
Ryan and his clan of big fellas set the tone early, providing protection for Cory Murphy as he completed 14 of 23 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns. The quarterback also ran for six touchdowns in just his third career start.
"(Cory) did a great job tonight of making tremendous reads," said Wolves coach Chris Dixon. "He can put points on the board in a hurry for us and those guys in that locker room have a tremendous amount of confidence in what he can do."
Ryan echoed those comments.
"Cory came in this year and he's worked his tail off every night in practice," he said. "We know what he's capable of and we feel confident we'll win every week he's under center."