May 26, 2024

Late Touchdown Powers Dodge City Past Highland in Defensive Battle

HIGHLAND, Kan. – Conqs quarterback Trey Jefferson fired a pass over the middle on fourth-and-three which found receiver Curtis Reardon for a go-ahead touchdown with under three minutes to play. The defense held the rest of the way and Dodge City secured a 14-7 victory, getting them over .500 for the first time since 2017.

These two teams were picked to finish sixth and seventh in the conference in the preseason, with neither team having major expectations coming into the year. That has changed these first few weeks though, as Highland’s win over Coffeyville in the opening week put the rest of the conference on notice. Dodge City did the same against Red Ravens and also gave Iowa Western their best game of the season so far.

This game was a slog early as both teams played vicious defense and the first four drives of the game ended in punts. Highland shot themselves in the foot on their third offensive possession. Backed up inside their own ten, sophomore quarterback Tysan Robbins threw an ill-advised pass that got intercepted by sophomore linebacker Jaden Kelly, setting up the Conqs offense with first-and-goal.

Two plays later, Jefferson connected with tight end Greg Genross for a four yard score which put Dodge City on the board 7-0. The Conqs got a drive going late in the first quarter as well which covered 61 yards in ten plays but Angel Dominguez missed a 25-yard field goal that would have extended the lead.

Neither offense was able to score in the second quarter as only one drive in the frame covered more than 20 yards. That lone drive came from the Scotties and was mostly due to sophomore receiver Benson Prosper who hauled in a 50-yard bomb from Robbins to get Highland into Conquistadors territory for the first time in the game. The drive stalled out there though and the Scotties turned it over on downs and went into the break trailing 7-0.

Bryce Conover came out to lead the Dodge City offense in the seance half. He drove the Conqs into Highland territory on his first drive, getting them all the way to the 36-yard line. A third down clipping penalty killed the drive though and the Conqs were forced to punt from their own territory in the end. After a defensive stop, Conover did it again leading the offense inside the Scotties 30-yard line but Stone Wilson fumbled on a third-and-one carry which gave the Scotties some momentum.

The used that momentum to make another big play as Robbins and Prosper connected for their second play of more than 50 yards to get the Scotties on the doorstep of the red zone. A roughing the passer penalty set up Highland at the 12-yard line but a rush for no gain and incompletion set up a pivotal third down. Robbins looked Prosper’s way again and he ripped the ball away from the defensive back in coverage for a 12-yard touchdown which knotted the game at seven with under four minutes to go in the third.

The defenses stole the show from that point on though. Conqs coach Terry Karg turned the offense back over to Trey Jefferson in the fourth quarter. With under five minutes to play in the game, Jefferson took over on the Highland 45-yard line a drove the offense inside the 25 but there they faced a fourth-and-three. Karg elected to keep his offense on the field and Jefferson found Reardon for a 24-yard score that put the Conqs back on top 14-7 with less than three to play.

“They brought pressure on us but we got into a play that was effective against what they were looking to do against us on that snap,” Karg said postgame.

The stout Dodge City defense forced a turnover-on-downs on the following series and the offense burned enough clock to stave off the Scotties comeback attempt and get the Conqs out of Highland with a seven point win.

“Just keep competing. Our defense played outstanding all day for the entirety of the game. We gave them a couple big plays but were able to hold them to seven points,” Karg said.

Dodge City is now 2-1 following the victory. They have a bye week this week before they welcome in Snow at 1 p.m. on September 23. The game will be broadcast live on Z98 with pregame coverage starting at 12:30

 

Terry Karg Postgame Interview