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Late win over Garden City touches off wild celebration

POSTED September 17, 2011 11:23 p.m.

The scene in the Great Bend High School football locker room Friday night was a sight to behold.
Fresh off a come-from-behind, grind-it-out 14-7 Western Athletic Conference triumph over Garden City, Bo Black’s Panthers had a celebration that resembled a mosh pit at a rock concert.
This was no simple, laid-back Garden party. Far from it.
“I’m not so sure that I’ve ever seen a locker room with such a celebration the way we did,” Black said. “Those are the one’s you remember.
“We did exactly what we talked about last week. We found a way to get it done and not have any excuses. We had to do whatever it took to win and dominated the fourth quarter … just a super, super, super job. It’s what we always talk about … when you get in games like that and you never quit and you always believe.”
Although they endured a roller-coaster ride of emotions while trailing the entire game, quarterback Mitch Kottas found wide receiver Jace Bowman in the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown pass with 1:08 left in the fourth quarter to pull the Panthers from the brink.
This was also a game where Great Bend could hang its hat on a defensive gem, one where the Panthers refused to give up a big play time and again with Garden City clinging to a 7-6 lead the entire second half — until Great Bend’s late drive.
In 11 seasons as the head coach at GBHS, Black said his team’s defensive effort was one for the ages.
“You haven’t watched the film, but, really, walking away, you really feel like it was the best performance that we’ve had on this field, if not ever, in a long, long time,” he said. “It was a very emotional game and a very emotional win and to win it like that, it was a lot of fun.”
It was the second straight game for the Panthers where the outcome wasn’t determined going into the final one-plus minute. They had a Hail Mary pass from Kottas to wide receiver Mauricio Uribe that ended up just three yards shy of the end zone in a season-opening 21-14 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas two weeks ago in Overland Park.


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