April 16, 2024

Second-half surge leads Buffs over Liberal in first WAC win

Photo Courtesy of Adam Shrimplin (Shrimplin Photography)

Garden City, Kan (WesternKansasNews.Com) – It was a physical first half in Liberal, Kansas on Friday night as Garden City was looking for a bounceback win after losing their first game of the season. They got just what the doctor ordered after a tight first half of play the Buffs came to play in the second half.

The first half featured a pair of big plays by Liberal first with 8:00 minutes to go in the first Trystan Juarez struck first for Liberal on a 63-yard run. Garden City would respond with a 7-yard scamper by Caleb Wiese to tie the game up with 1:08 left in the 1st quarter.

The second quarter would follow a similar pattern as Liberal would hit a big passing play by backup QB Aiden Schwindt who filled in for starter Brooks Kapplemen as he hit Zayden Martinez for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 11:27 left in the 2nd quarter. Much like the first quarter, the Buffaloes responded with a passing play that connected Caleb Wiese and Ryan Heiman on a 22-yard touchdown strike.

The mirrored play would end after that. As the first half ended Garden City came out hot in the 2nd half and didn’t look back. A penalty-plagued Liberal defense allowed Garden City in the red zone where they converted with a Caleb Wiese 1-yard keeper.

Let’s just call the 4th quarter the Zack Keosengphet quarter. The buffaloes rode the running back to the tune of 32 carries and 202 rushing yards both of which were season highs for him. His 45-yard run was the longest of the game. After that run Garden City capped off the drive with Caleb Wiese’s third score on the ground and his fourth total. At that point, Garden city led 28-14 and looked to close out the game.

Ryan Heiman made a great grab on an interception to give the Buffs great field position on their final possession of the game. This drive was capped off by a Zack Keosengphet 14-yard run for a score to finish off the game for Garden City. 

The Buffaloes are now (4-1) and (1-1) in the WAC

Garden City is back in action vs. Ulysses at Buffalo Stadium on Friday with kickoff at 7 pm. Baylen Hite and Aaron Elam will be on the call with Dalton Janousek on the sidelines.