May 24, 2024

No. 5 Broncbusters Football Drops Decision, 30-20, Against No. 9 Iowa Central

Garden City's Terrell Elliott (#41) pursues Iowa Central's Jaylon Washington in the Broncbusters' 30-20 loss at Dodger Stadium. Photo Credits: Adam Shrimplin, Garden City Community College.

FORT DODGE, IA. – A hot day in Iowa brought an intense atmosphere at Dodger Stadium in a game that expected to deliver that and some.

Garden City and Iowa Central both came into Saturday off impressive week one wins, the winner would rise into the top five in the NJCAAA standings. In games like this, teams have to be near perfect to emerge on top.

The Garden City Broncbusters dropped their week two matchup in a crazy game, losing, 30-20, against the No. 9 Iowa Central Tritons on the road. The game was back-and-forth throughout, with Tritons’ kicker Kongolo Mwenemkwamba icing the win with a 21-yard field goal with 1:51 to play.

The game started sloppy; Garden City missed a field goal and fumbled on their opening two possessions. Iowa Central couldn’t convert on either missed opportunity, going three and out and being stopped short on a fourth down try on both chances, respectively.

It took until the end of the first quarter for the first punches to be thrown. Tritons quarterback Justin Silverstein hit redshirt freshmen Mario Sanders for a perfect pitch and catch for a 24-yard touchdown, making it 7-0 Tritons.

Garden City (1-1, 1-0 KJCCC) would find the perfect response to bring the game back. Buffalo transfer Khamran Laborn returned the ensuing kickoff to the 40 yard line, giving the Busters great field position.

Quarterback Jalen Daniels shimmered, finding Demond Demas for a 29-yard bomb to put GCCC in the red zone. One play later, Daniels avoided pressure to find receiver Ajou Ajou in the back of the end zone for the Broncbusters’ first points of the day, making it 7-6, Iowa Central.

Ajou, a transfer from Clemson and South Florida, finished with two catches for 27 yards in the loss.

The Garden City defense held firm again after, with returning safety B.J. Blake intercepting Silverstein off a deflected pass in the end zone. Blake, a returner from last season, finished with four tackles and his first career INT on Saturday.

The Broncbusters then engineered their best drive of the season, marching a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to take the lead, as Daniels found tight end Alexander Lines for his first career touchdown.

Lines, who had 42 yards in the win against Butler, closed the day with another 27 yards and the score. Daniels closed the half 11-of-16 for 130 yards with two touchdowns, giving GCCC the lead at half, 12-7.

The second half started perfectly for Tom Minnick’s team. Running back James Jones took a handoff 75 yards down the sideline for six. Demond Demas, who led GCCC with 64 receiving yards, would convert the two-point conversion to make it a 20-7 lead.

Jones, the reigning KJCCC Co-Offensive Player of the Week, finished with 115 yards on 12 carries, and is now up to three touchdowns in two games in his Sophomore season.

Garden City scored 20 unanswered points, but Iowa Central (2-0, 0-0 ICCAC) would finish the game scoring the final 23. Silverstein and Sanders engineered the comeback, combining for two touchdowns to tie the game at 20, before Silverstein would scramble in from three yards to give ICCC the lead, 27-20, with 6:13 to play.

Silverstein finished 22-of-44 with 200 passing yards, 68 rushing yards, and four touchdowns all-purpose.

Garden City will return to Broncbuster Stadium on Saturday, September 9th, when they welcome defending NJCAA National Champions, Iowa Western. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:00 A.M., with the American Implement Pregame Show going live at 10:30 A.M. on KWKR 99.9 “The Rock”.