GARDEN CITY, KS. – Friday night’s home opener at Buffalo Stadium was a true spectacle. A pregame cookout from the Buffaloes basketball teams, a helicopter delivering the game ball to midfield, the players charging through the tunnel for the first time.
The Buffaloes put on a performance to live up to such an unbelievable first night back to football in Garden City.
From the first play of the night, the Garden City Buffaloes dominated the Wichita North RedHawks, winning 70-15 at Buffalo Stadium. The Buffaloes scored on each of their first seven drives of the game, and nine different Buffs found the end zone in the victory.
Junior quarterback Ethan Gomez brought excitement every play in the first quarter. Gomez tossed his first varsity touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, finding a wide-open Ethen Allen for a 66-yard score to give the Buffaloes a 7-0 lead. He didn’t waste any time after, taking an option play himself, scoring a 13-yard touchdown run on the next possession, 14-0 Garden City.
While the 70 points was beyond impressive, huge credit has to go to the defense. The Buffaloes (1-1) forced a pair of three and outs, sophomore Colton Plankenhorn recorded his first career interception, snagging a pass across the middle by North’s quarterback, D.J. Fowler.
The defense forced three turnovers in the game, including a pair of interceptions. Garden City held the Wichita North (0-2) offense scoreless for the first three quarters of the game.
Set up with great field position, the Gomez kept dealing. He would finish the fourth quarter with four touchdowns, finding Brayden Sneath to make it a 21-point lead, and Emilio Zundt on the ensuing drive, 28-0.
From there on in, the Buffaloes ran riot. Michael Villalobos and Mario Ruiz, who had strong week one performances, each found the end zone. Returning junior, Logan Avalon, also would score in the second quarter, giving the Buffs a 49-0 lead at half time.
In the second half, 14th year head coach Brian Hill gave opportunities to some of the underclassmen to get their first Friday Night Lights experience.
Sophomores Kenny Nguyen and Jonathan Baires scored their first career touchdowns, while Plankenhorn got his first chance to play under center. Julian Solis also recorded his first career interception, while Abraham Zamudio, John Michael Kurtz, and Rey Fajardo all were involved in their debuts.
The night was capped off in style, as Villalobos returned a kickoff over 90 yards to the house, giving the Buffaloes a 70-piece. It was the second straight season that GCHS scored 70 against Wichita North, after defeating the RedHawks, 77-6, last season.
Garden City looks to move over .500 for the first time next season as they host Wichita West next weekend. Pregame coverage begins with Aaron Elam at 5:30 on Buffs Game Day, with the American Implement Pregame show live from Buffalo Stadium opens up at 6:30. Kickoff between the Buffaloes and Pioneers is scheduled for 7:00 P.M. on September 15th, listen live on KWKR 99.9 ‘The Rock’.