Pittsburg, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-Some things are hard to explain. The second half collapse by the Busters would definitely fall along those lines.
Randy Price threw for 249 yards, three touchdowns and the Tyler offense gashed the Garden City defense to the tune of a season-worst 530 total yards on their way to a 47-21 win in the fifth annual Football Capital of Kansas Bowl Sunday at Carney Smith Stadium in Pittsburg.
Self destruction was the name of this game as the Busters were flagged nine times for 82 yards including six personal foul penalties; most of them drive killers.
After playing to a stalemate for the first eight minutes, the Garden City defense blinked first. The Apaches went on an eight-play, 97-yard march in just under four minutes-resulting in Terrance Taylor’s five-yard rushing touchdown. Lubi Kaba’s extra point was no good and Tyler (9-2) led 6-0 with 3:43 to play in the first quarter.
The ensuing kickoff showed that Apaches coach Danny Palmer definitely read his scouting report. Instead of kicking deep to Tyreek Hill, Palmer had Kaba pooch kick to Brady Bean. The Garden City grad watched as the ball ricocheted off his chest and Tre Rosser recovered at the Buster 33-yard line.
Fortunately for Garden City (5-5), Tyler handed the ball back a few plays later when Taylor fumbled and Eric Wester recovered.
With their offense struggling through most of the first half, it was the Garden City defense that struck first. After Tyler Peterson pinned the Apaches at their own one-yard line with a 57-yard punt, Raphael Bernard knifed into the backfield and tackled Taylor in the end zone for a safety-cutting the Tyler lead to 6-2 early in the second quarter.
The Busters then took advantage of the free kick and a short field. It took them eight plays, but the brown and gold finally reached pay dirt when Jake Curran, who finished 7-of-13, 99 before leaving with a concussion in the second half, hit Monterio Burchfield for an 11-yard score to give Garden City a 9-6 lead with 8:11 to play before half time.
From there the wheels came off; literally.
The Apaches scored the final 10 points of the second quarter: A two-yard rushing touchdown by Taylor and a 20-yard field goal by Kaba.
A 10-point half-time deficit seemed hardly insurmountable for a team that’s had their way with comebacks in 2013. But after Price hit a wide open Lance Carraway for a 55-yard score on the opening drive of the third quarter-extending the lead to 23-9, it seemed apparent that the Apaches had a pretty good stranglehold on this game.
Then the craziest play. After converting a fourth-down when Bean took a direct snap and rumbled 19 yards to the Apaches 33-yard line, the Busters were set up with a golden opportunity to climb back in the game. But on the very next play, Curran was stripped of the ball and watched as left tackle Dontavious Blair knock the ball right to Treavor Pugh, who returned it to the Garden City 15-yard line.
Four plays later, Price hit Joshua Reynolds on a perfect back-shoulder throw in the end zone from three yards pushing the lead to 30-9.
After a field goal made it 33-9, the sophomore fired his third and final touchdown pass of the day: A 28-yard laser to Carraway making it 40-9.
Reserve running back Chaston Bennett put a cap on the scoring-rumbling in from 20 yards out.
The Busters added two second half scores-Akeem Jones, filling in for the injured Currant hit Nile Daniel on a fade in the left corner of the end zone; he came back to find Snell for a 43-yard td strike to make the game more respectable.