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Dodge City field goal beats Panthers
dalton miller vs maize.jpg
Great Bend‘s Dalton Miller (16) gains yardage against the Maize Eagles. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune



DODGE CITY – An inspired rally brought Great Bend to a 21-21 tie with Dodge City from a 21-0 deficit.

But there would no last-minute miracles Friday night for the defending Western Athletic Conference football champions.

Dodge City escaped with a 24-21 Western Athletic Conference football victory, thanks to Alden Knedler's fumble recovery that led to Jose Valverde’s game-winning 22-yard field goal with 1:02 left in regulation.

Dodge City (4-0, 1-0) ran off valuable time when the Panthers were penalized on fourth down on Valverde’s successful 34-yard field goal with just over two minutes left. The Panthers were flagged for leaping over Dodge City's blockers.

“It was a wacky ending,” said Great Bend coach Erin Beck. “That one hurts. You hate to see the disappointment in the kids. It hurt when we got a penalty on the field goal because we had two minutes left.”

The Panthers (2-2, 1-1 WAC) erased a 21-0 halftime deficit with three second-half scores. Panther quarterback Dalton Miller scored three touchdowns and accounted for 326 yards offense and three rushing scores and 190 yards behind excellent offensive blocking.

The Panthers played the second half with All-WAC tailback Gage Fritz, who was sidelined with an injury.

"Dalton has success when he gets his running game going. Dalton kept us in that game,” said Beck. “It was nice to see our offense come alive because they answered the bell. Dalton was able to run it. We were limited when we lost Gage Fritz.”

Miller scored on a 1-yard dive after his 23-yard run and a 17-yard pass to Alex Schremmer set up the score.

Panther linebacker Zach Seymour recovered a Dodge City fumble on Dodge City's play. Miller dashed 15 yards to set up another 1-yard touchdown with 1:49 left in the third period.

Miller’s magical legs delivered a dazzling 63-yard touchdown run after Dodge City lost another fumble. Angel Razo’s extra-point kick tied the score at 21 with 9:35 left in the fourth quarter.

The Red Demons roared to a 21-0 halftime lead by dominating play on both sides of the football.

"We showed good fight,” Beck said. “But we waited until we were down when we responded. We responded well when stuff didn't go our way."

Foster fooled the Panthers' defense on a 32-yard dash from punt formation and added a 33-yard pass to Matt Friess. Knedler scored on a 2-yard dive for a 7-0 lead on a 81-yard drive.

Foster converted a 1-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead after escaping pressure for a key first down on a 67-yard scoring drive.

Dodge City’s Santonio Turner’s fumble recovery at the Panther 20-yard line set up Knedler’s 12-yard throwback touchdown pass to Beau Foster for a 21-0 lead.

Great Bend 0 0 14 7 – 21

Dodge City 7 14 0 3 – 24

DC—Alden Knedler 2 run (Jose Valverde kick)—5:31; DC—Beau Foster 1 run (Valderde kick)—4:59; DC—Foster 12 pass from Knedler (Valderde kick)—4:18; GB—Dalton Miller 1 run (Angel Razo kick)—2:56; GB—Miller 1 run (Razo kick)—1:49; GB—Miller 63 run (Razo kick)—9:35; DC—Valverde 22 FG—1:02

RUSHING—GB—34-202; Miller 30-190; Gage Fritz 4-12; DC—43-196; Foster 28-153; Knedler 11-28; Cedric Rosales 2-13; Jashon Taylor 1-(-1); team 1-(-3).

PASSING—GB—Miller 17-30-0, 136; DC—Foster 6-11-0, 65; Knedler 1-1-0, 12.

RECEIVING—GB—Alex Schremmer 10-93; Peyton Duvall 5-42; Sam Ryan 2-1; DC—Matt Friess 2-37; Gavin Jones 1-19; Foster 1-12; Josh Harshberger 1-9; Johnson 2-0.