May 30, 2024

Red Demons fall short in season opener

Wichita, KS(westernkansasnews.com) The Dodge City High School football team got off to a slow start against Wichita West Friday in the season opener and it cost them as they fell 21-15 at Wichita Northwest High School.

The game was scoreless until the 7:41 mark of the second quarter when West QB Zion Parks capped an eight play 41 yard drive with a one yard touchdown run to put the Pioneers up 7-0. 27 seconds later lightning would strike again for West as Alante French intercepted a Dawson Williams pass that was deflected twice and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown, putting West up 14-0.

At halftime the Red Demons were still down 14-0 and had only run 17 offensive plays for 37 yards. The inability to run the ball led to a quarterback change at halftime with sophomore Beau Foster taking over for Dawson Williams. The change provided life to the Red Demon offense.

Foster would help lead the Red Demons on a second half opening drive that went seven plays 73 yards in 1:45 that was capped with a Foster 16 yard touchdown pass to Sam Mead making it 14-7.

West(1-0) continued to dominate the ball in the second half though. Running 36 plays in the second half all on the ground. Following the Red Demon touchdown West had ten play drive that ended with a Jermaine Bell fumble at the Dodge City(0-1) one that was recovered and returned to the Red Demon 29 by Carlos Fernandez.

The Red Demons failed to capitalize on the turnover after and eight play resulted in a missed 39 yard field goal by Fernandez, his third miss of the night(33,52).

Following the missed field goal West would march down the field on a 14 play 80 yard drive that last 6:18 and was capped by a five yard touchdown run by QB Zion Parks. Making it 21-7 West with 9:19 to play.

The Red Demon wasn’t finished though. Dodge City came right back down the field on an 11 play 66 yard drive that ended with a three yard touchdown run by junior Jaiel Johnson. The Red Demons would run a fake PAT that was successful when WR John Johnson on an end around found WR Carlos Gamboa in the corner of the end zone, making it 21-15 with 6:33 remaining.

West would take the next possession and continue to dominate on the ground. An 11 play drive that would run out the clock and give Wichita West the win.

Beau Foster was 10-13 passing in the second half for 123 yards and a touchdown. Coach Dave Foster was not decided after the game on whether the QB change would be permanent, but did say if they made the change they would keep Dawson Williams involved offensively.  Foster was also the leading rusher for the Red Demons rushing 12 times for 49 yards. Running back Jaiel Johnson had five carries for 40 yards and a touchdown.

Wichita West ran the ball 77 times totaling 332 yards. Shakur Johnson led the with 30 carries  for 140 yards. Xavier Sellers had ten carries for 115 yards and QB Zion had 23 carries for 69 yards and two touchdowns.

Dodge City is now 11-8 all time against West, but has lost two of the last three. The Red Demons return Friday to host Wichita Southeast (0-1).

Listen to our postgame interview with coach Dave Foster here.