April 14, 2024

Dodge hangs on late for first conference win

LIBERAL–Dodge City started fast and held on late, fighting off a second-half Liberal rally Friday for a 23-15 WAC win at Redskin Field.

The Red Demons sprinted out to a 17-0 first-half lead thanks to a pair of rushing touchdowns from Chance Kerr and Daelyn Unzueta. Casey Cervantes added a 30-yard field goal in the second quarter, but it was his only bright spot of the evening, as he missed another field goal and two extra points.

Liberal trimmed Dodge City’s lead to 10 by halftime, with quarterback Brooks Kappelmann leading an 81-yard touchdown drive just before the break, but injured his right leg late on the drive. Kappelmann wouldn’t return the rest of the game.

That gave way to Aidan Schwindt, who marched the Redskins 65 yards for a touchdown to open the third quarter with several designed runs and a lot of help from Trystian Juarez. A two-point conversion brought Liberal within 17-15.

Dodge responded with a 58-yard touchdown catch by Isaiah Taylor, but the extra point was missed, so the game remained within one score.

Liberal was stopped short on a fourth down run with less than four minutes to go, and save for a few desperation passes at the end, that was the last meaningful opportunity the Redskins had. Chance Kerr used his physicality to power for a couple first downs, sealing the conference win for Dodge City. 

Friday’s victory was Dodge City’s fifth straight in the series, who has outscored Liberal 182-39 during that time.

Dodge City improves to 3-1 with the win and 1-0 in WAC play.

The Red Demons return to action next Friday when they host Great Bend. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.