‘BY JIM MISUNAS
When Great Bend’s 0-3 football team travels to 1-3 Dodge City Friday, Panther center Jason Scott is preparing for the postgame scene in the locker room.
“We’ve been preparing for our first win since summetime,” Scott said.
The 5-11, 240-pound Scott is the Panthers’ anchor for the Panthers’ offensive line, which has shown steady progress.
The Panthers average 83 yards rushing and 130 yards passing per game. QB Joseph Moeder has passed for 295 yards and rushed for 118 yards.
Guards Broc Reed and Elias Moreno join tackles Anthony Paez and Devin Lamb in the offensive line.
“We’ve been working since summer grinding every day,” Scott said. “Trying to form chemistry with one another is our biggest challenge. Every week, we’ve taken a step. Whatever plays work is what we’ll run.”
Scott likes the diversity of the Panthers’ offense, which mixes the passing and running game.
“My favorite play is when I trap block against a defensive end and get a chance to open a big hole for our back,” Scott said.
Scott also gains playing time at defensive rush end.
“Whenever the coaches put me in, I’ll play defense. I’ll play as much as they ask me,” he said. “We’ve made huge steps since week 1 to week 3. That’s what we need to keep doing.”
The only advantage of not playing Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel last week was an extra day studying Dodge City’s game plan.
“We were upset when we didn’t play, but we gained an extra day for Dodge City,” he said.
Great Bend coach Erin Beck is counting on a spirited Western Athletic Conference football game. One victory will vault the No. 14 seeded Panthers (0-3, minus 39 points) to as high as ninth in the 4A West.
“It’ll be a hard-fought WAC conference game, a great test for our team,” Beck said.
“Dodge City’s defense flies around. Our eyes are on Dodge City. It’s important to win a football game.”
Dodge City (1-3, 1-1) trailed 45-0 last week against Wichita Carroll, which triggered a running clock. Carroll’s Cade Gatschet returned an interception 70 yards and a punt 75 yards for touchdowns.
Michael Nance returned an interception 38 yards for a score.
In the second half, Dodge City QB Tucker Smith completed TD passes to Dylan Smith and Stone Wilson and added a rushing touchdown. Smith has thrown for 388 yards with seven interceptions and four TDs.