Audio Highlights: GCHS vs. Great Bend
Garden City, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-The lesson the Buffaloes learned on Friday night: When it comes to Bo Black, anything goes.
Great Bend’s skipper put together a time-controlling game plan, watching his team eat up nearly 40 minutes of the clock in a 28-25 win over Garden City at Buffalo Stadium.
“We just couldn’t get into any type of a rhythm,” Buffaloes Head Coach Brian Hill said. “It’s hard to when you have the ball for that short of a time.”
In the end, Garden City’s defense was on the field for 65 plays and nearly 37 minutes.
Black’s team set the tempo on their opening drive. Trailing 3-0 and starting at their own 49, the Panthers marched 10 plays, 51 yards in five minutes and capped it off with a Bryce Beck to Greg Burley 15-yard touchdown pass to give Great Bend a 7-3 lead.
“Our offense just didn’t help our defense much tonight,” Hill said. “They put our defense in some bad spots.”
After Hill’s team went three-and-out on their next possession, the Panthers would pad their lead when Jonathan Allende powered in from three yards out-finishing off a six-play, 52-yard drive that gave Great Bend a 14-3 lead with under a minute to play in the opening frame.
The Panthers would make it an 18-point advantage when Greg Burley took a misdirection hand off from Beck and raced 77 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-3 at the 8:02 mark of the second.
Down three scores midway through the second, the Buffaloes offense finally got on track. Facing a third and 14 from their own 31, Greyson Tempel hit a streaking Caleb Tramp for a 69-yard touchdown that pulled Garden City within 11.
Garden City would get another chance to score with a short field when the defense forced a Panther punt from deep in their own end. Four plays later, Jared Koster found the end zone on a six-yard scamper cutting the Great Bend lead to 21-18 with 3:38 to go in the half.
The Panthers had a chance to add points before the end of the quarter but Carlos Prado misfired on a 45-yard field goal-killing a seven-play drive that drained the final 3:30 of the half.
In the third quarter, Hill watched painfully as his offense ran a mere three plays for zero yards.
Meantime his counterpart Black stood calmly on the sideline as his team held the ball for more than 10:30 in the period. Then on the first play of the final quarter, Beck punched it in from one yard out on fourth and goal to give the Panthers a 28-17 advantage.
The Buffaloes would respond on the ensuing drive when Tempel found Tramp again. This time, the junior spun out of a tackle on the sideline and ran 26-yards for the score.
Needing a two-point conversion, Tempel went back to the junior, who hauled in the pass to make it 28-25.
Then after a three and out and a failed fourth-down conversion, Garden City would get the ball back when the Panthers turned it over on downs at the Buffalo 25.
With 20 seconds left and no timeouts, Tempel would move the Buffs into scoring range. After nearly throwing a pick on first down, the senior responded with a 20-yard scamper up the right sideline. Then on first down, the he hooked up with his brother Dustin Tempel, who ran out of bounds at the Great Bend 31-yard line with three seconds to play.
Rather then bring the field-goal unit out, Hill decided to roll the dice and go for the end zone. But Tempel’s heave for Tramp was knocked away and the Panthers escaped with a three-point win.
“It was just a bit out of his (Ismael Hernandez’s) range,” Hill said when asked about the possibility of kicking a long field goal. “If we would have a little bit more time and completed that first-down pass, then it would have been a different story.”
The loss drops the Buffs to 1-2 on the year and 0-1 in conference play. The Panthers improving to 2-1 and 1-0 in the WAC.
Final Game Stats: GCHS vs. Great Bend
Next up: Garden City at Hays; Friday, September 27-6:30 p.m. pregame on KWKR 99.9 FM and westernkansasnews.com