Great Bend, KS (westernkansasnews.com) Some observers expected a close game Friday between Dodge City and Great Bend. The stakes were high for both teams, but someone forgot to tell the Red Demons how close other thought the game would be.
Dodge City (3-2, 2-0) capitalized on two early fumbles from junior quarterback Jacob Murray, had a blocked punt and took advantage of short fields to hammer Great Bend (3-2, 1-2) 51-7. For the first time in school history, Dodge City has scored at least 40 in their first five games. Most importantly for the Red Demons with a win next week against Hays they set the stage for a winner take all game with Garden City for the conference title at the end of the regular season.
Red Demon quarterback Caden Walters led an offense that put up 528 yards of total offense. Walters added 299 yards of passing and 229 yards on the ground to lead a balanced attack against Great Bend’s 3-3 attack style defense. Walters accounted for three of the first four rushing touchdowns 3, 7 and 6 yards out. All toll Walters had 13 carries for 54 yards and three rushing touchdowns giving him 10 for the year.
When Walters was not rushing, Tyler Trent was surpassing 700 yards on the ground this year finishing the night 16 for 146 yards including an 86 rushing touchdown on the final play of the third quarter capping off the scoring with the Red Demons longest play from scrimmage this year. Trent had the second longest play from scrimmage too when he had a 79 yard rushing touchdown at Wichita Heights two weeks earlier.
Walters was also able to team up with Trent on two passing scores from 38 yards to give Dodge City the lead for good with 8:43 left in the first quarter 14-7. Dodge would also take advantage of Great Bend’s third fumble for a nine yard passing touchdown with 8:48 left in the third quarter. Walters finished 29-44 for 299 yards, three touchdowns with one interception.
Panther quarterback Jacob Murry was under pressure all night. Defensive end Noah Williams forced a fumble, senior linebacker Michael Reardon recovered two of the three fumbles and had one and a half sacks. The most impressive thing Dodge City did defensively was held Panther wide out Bryce Lytle in check.
Lytle who entered the game with 400 yards receiving a single yard behind Dodge City’s Dayton McGroarty for the conference lead had success early catching a 47 yard pass to set up Murray’s 23 yard touchdown run, two minutes in to tie the game at 7-7 for Great Bend’s only score of the night. Lytle had only three catches the rest of the game for 38 yards. McGroarty kept the conference lead in receiving holding on to eight passes for 93 yards. Jacob Murray went 11 of 21 through the air for 124 yards in the loss for Great Bend.
Dodge City for the first time this season has won back to back games. The Red Demons have outscored both Liberal and Great Bend 120-7 over their two WAC games.
The Red Demons will close out their home schedule over the next two weeks next Friday night against Hays and the following week in opening up district play with Wichita Northwest.
Coach Dave Foster Post-game comments