February 25, 2024

Buffaloes use 2nd half outburst to win their first play-in game since 2017

Photo Courtesy of Adam Shrimplin (Shrimplin Photography)

Garden City, Kan (WesternKansasNews.Com) –  The last time Garden City won a football game past week 8 in Buffalo stadium the current senior class was finishing up their first year of middle school football. Things have changed a lot since then for Garden City and after nearly a 5-year drought, this class made sure that it wouldn’t continue against Haysville-Campus on Friday night. 

Thanks to a big second half that included 2 red zone interceptions and 21 points produced with the legs of Jerry Arteaga, Zack Keosengphet, and Mario Ruiz Garden City (7-2) took care of Haysville-Campus (1-8) 35-14. 

Arteaga started the scoring for the Buffaloes midway through the first quarter after a 26-yard touchdown run. That was followed by a 12-yard run by Zack Keosengphet to make it 14-0 Garden City late in the 2nd half. Campus would have an answer though as QB Drake Mcpherson used a few big gains through the air to get the Colts back into the game. They would strike with an 8-yard pass to Remy Buckles who finished with 30 carries and 130 yards on the ground. At the halftime break, Garden City led 14-7 as both teams went to the locker room battling for momentum.

Garden City would take the ball out of the halftime break and immediately shift the game with a 64-yard run once again by Zack Keosengphet who would find paydirt for the second time in the game. Keosengphets’ final line was 17 carries for 143 yards and 2 TDs. The run came just 42 seconds into the 2nd half and the game started to lean the Buffaloes way. 

Campus would have one more response though, in the ensuing drive Mcpherson once again went to the air hooking up with receiver Skylar Rardin for a 57-yard score. That would make it 21-14 Garden City with a quarter left to play.

This was the moment the defense started forcing turnovers for the Buffaloes. A defensive unit that came into the game having forced so many in the regular season made the final plays of the game for GC. First Colin Kleystuber picked off Mcpherson in the endzone as the Colts were driving in the 4th quarter. Kleystuber ran the ball back past the 25 and Jerry Arteaga made another big play on the ground for his 2nd TD of the night. With little time left Mcpherson tried again to go deep and this time Dakota Smith picked him off for his first career INT. 

The offense did what it needed to do and the defense made plays late just like they have all season long. Those two things have become the story of the season and Garden City will look to continue another chapter this Friday against Washburn Rural (7-2). The Buffaloes will host another game in the postseason this week for the first time since that 2017 season and hope for the same results with a regional win. 

The game will kick off at 7 pm and as always can be heard on 99.9 “The Rock” the home of Garden City Athletics.