February 1, 2023

Dodge City Loses High Scoring Game to Wichita West 48-41

Wichita Heights, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The Dodge City Red Demons football team started out with high expectations and believed they had the answer to all the questions that went unresolved last season.  After the first game the expectations remain high, but the same questions remain. 

Game Highlights

Wichita West physically dominated the line of scrimmage rushing fifty-three times for 470 yards to power their way to a 35 point second half performance in a 48-41 win and hand Head Coach Dave Foster his first season opening loss since taking over as Dodge City’s head coach six years ago.  

It began well for Dodge City.  Their no huddle, quick striking offense scored early in the game on a sixty-four yard strike from senior quarterback Caden Walters to classmate Eric Reid.  Reid who had a forty-two yard reception in last year’s 27-18 win over Wichita West did it again Friday night.  Dodge opened up a 21-7 lead thanks to two rushing touchdowns from junior Tylor Garcia including a 13 yard score capping off a 87 yard drive to give the Red Demons a 21-7 lead.

Wichita West started to generate big plays late in the first half.  Pioneers running back Thomas Washington’s 46 yard run led to a two yard rushing touchdown moments later from Senior Quarterback Chaz Capps to make it 21-13 at halftime. 

In the end two plays made the difference in who won and they both occurred on Dodge City turnover.  Working with a short field Dodge City was driving up by two touchdowns when Payson Hatfield fumbled after catching a Walters pass outside the Pioneer’s 15 yard line.  The Red Demons also had an opportunity get away from them, when instead of taking knee to run out the clock Dominick Jones fumbled at his own 48.  Dodge City surrounded the ball, but could not claim possession in the pile.  By retaining the ball, Wichita West was able to wind out the remaining few seconds.

The other big turnover came when Caden Walters was pressured into throwing an interception midway through the 4th quarter when his desperation throw on 3rd and 3 was intercepted by Daunte Patterson.  The pick came when the Red Demons were potentially driving at midfield and down 41-34.

Dodge City running back Tyler Trent had a 53 yard rushing touchdown and finished the night with 17 carries for 153 yards and one touchdown.  Dayton McGroarty added a late touchdown reception ending with nine catches for 127 yards.  Walters went 29-44 in the loss for 351 yards and two passing touchdowns.

West used a three person attack to run the ball right at the Red Demons. The Pioneers were led by Dominick Jones who had 15 carries for 178 yards and 3 td’s including an 87 yarder rushing td in the first half.  Thomas Washington had 11 carries for 132 yards.  Javon Reed rushed for 102 yards and had a 42 yard run for a score with three and a half minutes left to put West up by two touchdowns until McGroarty ‘s late touchdown reception cut the lead in half during the game’s final minutes.

Dodge City (0-1) will go back to the drawing board and prepare for Wichita Southeast next Friday night for the home opener at Memorial Stadium.  Fan are encouraged to arrive early for the 9/11 remembrance and ring of honor induction.  Pre-game festivities begin at 6:40.  

Post-game Dodge City Coach Dave Foster

Post-game Dodge City wide receiver/safety Dayton McGroarty