February 8, 2023

Top Ranked Wichita NW Pulls Away From Dodge City 52-33

Dodge City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The Dodge City Red Demons had their hands full Friday.  Senior night and beginning district play against the number one ranked team in the state Wichita Northwest, Dodge City held in there through the first two and a half quarters.  In the end the Grizzlies established themselves as a team worthy enough to be considered state title contenders beating the Red Demons 52-33.

Game Highlights

Both teams averaged 50 or more points a game and both matched each other touchdown for touchdown until junior quarterback Jake Devereaux threw an interception on fourth and 11 from the Demon 16 right into the hands of a leaping Noah Williams who returned it all the way for a touchdown and the go ahead score a minute and a half into the second quarter.

Kevin Folsom would then replace Devereaux and lead a pair of scoring drives as Northwest took the lead back.  Alex Bott caught a 10 yard touchdown reception to tie the game after a Caden Walters fumble deep in Dodge City’s own end.  Antonio Joyner added another touchdown catch of 28 yards with 2:12 left in the half to give Northwest a 28-21 lead.  The Red Demons answered with three seconds left as Dayton McGroarty yanked down a pass from 18 yards out by Caden Walters tying the game at 28 going into halftime.

Points off turnovers were a big key in the game.  Dodge City had four turnovers resulting in 21 points by Northwest.  Dodge City came up with two turnovers resulting in ten points.  One was on Williams interception for a touchdown, early in the second quarter and the other a Justin Onwugbu punt return fumble McGroarty turned into a 25 yard field goal with 10:07 left in the third quarter.   

Northwest answered with Jeremy Deckinger’s own 23 yard field goal halfway through the third quarter.  Northwest scored the next three touchdown including two big strikes from Folsom to Alex Bott, one of 87 yards in the longest play Dodge City’s defense had given up all year and the other from 50 yards out all before the third quarter ended.

For Northwest not only did they win their seventh straight to begin the season, but the Grizzlies proved their offense is more than one dimensional.  Typically the Grizzlies were a 75 percent run oriented team.    The Grizzlies gained 552 total yards, 282 through the air.  Folsom went 11-17 for 255 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Alex Bott had 8 catches for 183 yards and three touchdowns.   Jahlyl Rounds rushed 27 times for 176 yards and two touchdowns while Antonio Joyner rushed for 103 yards and one score.

The big problem for the Demons was getting their rushing game in gear which put a lot of pressure on Walters to throw.  Walters went 38-67 for 343 yards for two touchdowns and one interception.  Dayton McGroarty had 10 receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown, Eric Reid  8 catches for 69 yards, Mark Adams 7 receptions for 49 and a touchdown while Bryce Unruh added  6 receptions for 86 yards. 

Tyler Trent needed only 76 yards rushing to reach 1,000, but was held to only a single yard on 10 carries.  Walters rushed 16 times for 28 yards, most on scrambles to elude the Grizzlies defensive pressure.  The lack of balance kept Dodge from scoring an offensive touchdown in the second half for the second consecutive week.

Dodge City will end the season with back to back road games.  Next week they will travel to Hutchinson.  Both teams enter 0-1 in district after the Salthawks 14-2 road loss to Garden City as the Buffs keep their undefeated season intact.  The Buffaloes will be on the road at Northwest in a battle of undefeated teams.  The winner will qualify for the playoffs, while the loser will need a win in the finale to secure the other post-season spot in the district.    

Coach Dave Foster’s Post-game Comments