May 21, 2024

Buffaloes Football Stunned in Road Loss to Great Bend

Photo Credits; Adam Shrimplin, Shrimplin Photography

GREAT BEND, KS. – It was a night of firsts, for all the wrong reasons for the Garden City Buffaloes.

Week eight’s regular season finale was the first time the Buffaloes trailed at the half, the first time they’d given up more than 30 points, and the first time they turned the ball over more than three times in a game this season.

It cost them a potential split of the WAC Regular Season title.

The Buffaloes couldn’t come through in their final regular season result, losing to the Great Bend Panthers, 35-21. The result proved costly, in more ways than just one.

Garden City, like most games this season, came out firing. Quarterback Ethan Gomez threw his ninth passing touchdown of the season, finding senior Ethen Allen, for a 27-yard connection, giving the Buffaloes a 7-0 lead in the first.

Things got even better for GCHS (5-3, 2-2 WAC) when Great Bend kicker, Diego Soto, hooked a 31-yard field goal wide, keeping the Buffs in front going into the second quarter.

From there on in, everything seemed to bounce Great Bend’s way.

The Panthers (5-3, 2-2 WAC) would force three consecutive Garden City turnovers, scoring touchdowns on all three. Sophomore Ian Premer was at the heart of it all, recording an interception to set the Great Bend offense up with a short field, and a fumble return for a touchdown, giving the Panthers a 14-7 lead late in the second quarter.

Premer’s touchdown marked just the second time Garden City had trailed in a first half all season long, dating back to September 22nd’s overtime win at Hays.

There would be no comeback for the Buffaloes, and special teams made sure of it. The ensuing kickoff following the Premer touchdown was muffed, setting the Panthers up at the GCHS 28. Sophomore quarterback Daxton Minton found wide receiver Maddox Spray for a 13-yard touchdown, giving Great Bend a 14-point halftime lead.

They would grow on it immediately out of halftime, with freshman Cooper Ohnmacht returning the kickoff for a score, putting Garden City in their largest deficit of the season, 28-7.

The Buffaloes would respond in the second half. Mario Ruiz and Ethen Allen each would score on the ground in the final 24 minutes, but Garden City could never pull within one score, falling by 14.

Garden City will have to travel on the road for week nine’s playoff matchup, seeding in as the No. 10 seed in Class 6A West. The Buffaloes will face the Lawrence Free State Firebirds, the No. 7 seed in 6A West. Coverage will be provided on KWKR 99.9 ‘The Rock’.