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Garden City holds off Panthers' rally 28-21
Great Bend's Dee'Onn Jones gets to quarterback Celeb Wiese.jpg
Great Bend's Dee'Onn Jones gets to Garden City's quarterback Celeb Wiese. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez


Great Bend's winless football team stared adversity in the face and nearly survived. The Panthers dug a 28-point deficit and almost overcame four interceptions before an inspired rally fell short 28-21 to Garden City Friday.

The Panthers converted a fumble on the second-half kickoff and a blocked punt into touchdowns to nearly achieve one of the greatest rallies in school history. Two superb kickoffs by Paco Hernandez set up both scores on Senior Night. 

A tackle by Skyler McMullen and Mathew Moeder forced a fumble by Jerry Arteaga on the second-half kickoff. Chayse Gruber returned the fumble 21 yards for a touchdown off Johnathan Randall's block. 

Arteaga deflected Hernandez's ensuing kickoff out-of-bounds at the 3-yard line. Evan Wedel blocked Ryan Heiman's punt out-of-bounds at the 3-yard line. Cayden Scheuerman scored on a 3-yard run for a 28-14 score.

Scheuerman completed a 3-yard scoring strike to Maddox Spray with 3:38 left in regulation for a 28-21 score. Arteaga atoned for his errors with a game-clinching first down run on a sweep around right end.

"That was quite the performance that second half. It was electric," said Great Bend coach Erin Beck. "It was so fun to see our guys so excited and see that raw emotion. It was fun for the kids to feel the joy that football can bring. They realize how close we are. It was a team effort from special teams, defense and offense."

After getting torched the first half, the Panthers pitched a second-half shutout. Hernandez contributed five tackles and 10 assists. Mathew Moeder had three stops and 10 assists. Jade Poe led the line with two tackles and six assists.

"Our defense continued to plug away," Beck said. 

The No. 15 seeded Panthers (0-8, 0-4) ride a 16-game losing streak and will challenge Wamego (7-1) Oct. 29 in the 4A football playoffs. But they'll storm into Wamego knowing they played their best half of football all year.

"They're hurting from a loss, but they understand playoffs and everyone starts 0-0," Beck said. "We rallied at halftime and never gave up. That's who they are. it's been rough. To see them battle, it shows what type of character they have instilled in them. I'm proud to be their coach."

The Panthers nearly led 7-0 after Gruber's opening interception. But Scheuerman was stopped on back-to-back plays at the Garden City 1-yard line. Two plays later, Zach Keosongphet scored a 95-yard run to ignite a 28-point run. Emmanuel Charite scored on a 13-yard run. Zane Burns scored on an 85-yard run after a Caleb Wiese interception. Arteaga caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Wiese after Ryan Heiman's interception. Garden City's Micah Perez intercepted two Scheuerman passes.

Garden City (5-3, 3-1 WAC) earns a share of the Western Athletic Conference football title with Dodge City and Hays High.

Garden City 7 21 0 0 — 28

Great Bend 0 0 14 7 — 21

GC—Zach Keosongphet 95 run (Isaac Rivera kick)—2:14; GC—Emmanuel Charite 13 run (Rivera kick)—6:52; GC—Zane Burns 85 run (Rivera kick)—4:59; GC—Jerry Arteaga 19 pass from Caleb Wiese (Rivera kick)—0:53; GB—Chayse Gruber 21 fumble return (Alex Galindo kick)—11:48; GB—Cayden Scheuerman 3 run (Galindo kick)—8:14; ;GB—Maddox Spray 3 pass from Scheuerman (Galindo kick)—3:38


RUSHING—56-431; Keosengphet 28-209, Burns 5-91, Charlite 5-58, Wiese 9-38, Arteaga 5-32, Pilosof 1-5, Metzer 1-2; team 2-(-4); GB—24-51; Cody Miller 15-35, Scheuerman 8-15, Gavin Haberman 1-1.

PASSING—GC—Wiese 1-2-1, 19; GB—Scheuerman 16-33-4, 131.

RECEIVING—GC—Arteaga 1-19; GB—Maddox Spray 7-67, Miller 3-28, Stefan Spray 5-26, Haberman 1-10.


Hays High 3-1 6-2

Dodge City 3-1 6-2

Garden City 3-1 5-3

Liberal 1-3 4-4

Great Bend 0-4 0-8

10-22—*Garden City 28, Great Bend 21; Dodge City 57, Wichita SE 0; Wichita NW 60, Hays 41; Liberal 77, Wichita North 26

10-15—Goddard Eisenhower 32, Great Bend 30; *Dodge City 36, Garden City 29 (2 OT); Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 51, Liberal 0; Hays 47, Maize South 43

10-8—*Great Bend 22, Liberal 21; *Hays 39, Dodge City 17; Wichita East 50, Garden City 7

10-1—*Dodge City 31, Great Bend 14; *Garden City 49, Liberal 0; Hays 64, Abilene 7

9-24—Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 42, Great Bend 7; *Garden City 27, Hays High 20; Wichita Carroll 38, Dodge City 23; Liberal 36, Wichita Southeast 6

9-17—McPherson 34, Great Bend 19; *Hays High 58, Liberal 14; Dodge City 35, Wichita South 0; Garden City 49, Wichita West 0

9-10—*Hays High 51, Great Bend 0; *Dodge City 48, Liberal 12; Garden City 13, Hutchinson 7, OT

9-3—Maize South 51, Great Bend 0; Manhattan 21, Garden City 6; Hays 35, Wichita East 6; Dodge City 28, Wichita East 6; Liberal 56, Guymon Okla. 16


1 Buhler 7-1 vs. 16 Abilene 0-8

8 Independence 4-4 vs. 9 Winfield 3-5

4 Mulvane 6-2 vs. 13 Ulysses 2-5

5 McPherson 6-1 vs. 12 Arkansas City 3-5

2 Wamego 7-1 vs. 15 Great Bend 0-8

7 Augusta 5-3 vs. 10 El Dorado 3-5. 

3 Andover Central 7-1 vs. 14 Wellington 2-5

6 Circle 5-3 vs. 11 Rose Hill 3-5