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Linebacker Mathew Moeder believes in teammates
Upset-minded Panthers head to Wamego
13 Mathew Moeder

Great Bend (0-8) at Wamego (7-1)

RADIO—104.3 FM

VIDEO— (GBHS Athletics)


WAMEGO — Great Bend’s football losing streak has stretched to 16 games over the past three years.

Yet, Great Bend Panther Mathew Moeder believes in his teammates heading to No. 2 seed Wamego (7-1) for the 4A football playoffs.

Moeder said the Panthers always remember why they love football.

“We trust our teammates. We love being around each other and playing football,” Moeder said. “We’ve kept competing and playing hard. We’ve pick everybody up, played better and worked for our teammates. We’ve improved a long ways.”

The Panthers nearly rallied from a 28-point deficit in a 28-21 loss to Garden City last week.

“It was awesome and things finally fell into place,” Moeder said. “Skyler McMullen knocked a fumble loose and Evan Wedel blocked a punt. Our secondary has improved a long way from the beginning of the year.”

When the Panthers travel to Wamego for a 4A football playoff showdown, the Panthers’ film study focused on quarterback Hayden Oviatt.

Oviatt accounted for 2,691 yards total offense and 24 touchdowns last year and has delivered similar number in 2021 directing the Wamego offense from the Indians’ one-back shotgun offense. 

“They leave decisions to the quarterback because everything goes through his hands,” said Great Bend coach Erin Beck. “The quarterback run game is a real threat. His runs are mostly counter read and zone read. He’s a fast runner who can make a big play on a scramble.”

Beck said the receivers are solid players.

“They operate from a spread offense, but they can play power football and pull a backside guard,” Beck said. “They look a lot like McPherson’s offense.”

Beck gathers other information from coaches.

“Coaches can tell you more about the physicality aspect, which you sometimes can’t see on film. You see their size and speed, but  you want to hear how good they are up front.”

The high-scoring offense permits an aggressive defensive style.

“They play an aggressive style and fly around on defense. They’ve got a good-looking defensive line with athletic linebackers. Their safeties play downhill football.” 

The return of leading receiver Braylon Council and tight end Colton Brack will bolster the Panthers’ offense.

“I’m encouraged because we’re still playing better football and everyone is trying to be successful," Beck said. "Our guys are plugging away. We played an awesome half of football, our best half of the season – defense, special teams and offense.”

2A—ELLIS (3-4) at HOISINGTON (7-1)

Last year’s 2A state runner-up Hoisington is poised to make another playoff run with seven consecutive wins. 

“We’re most pleased that the guys are mentally tougher,” said Hoisington coach Zach Baird. “They’ve made a commitment to do little things right. They’ve fought through adversity. We’re fortunate to rotate guys on defense to give our guys a break.” 

The Cardinals average 341 yards rushing keyed by C Logan Philbern, LG Spencer Mintz, LT Sam Baldyga, RG Caiden Hoffman, RT Cole Gilliland and TE Gage Britt.  RB Legend Robinson has gained 1,539 yards with 22 touchdowns. QB Wyatt Wikum has passed for 540 yards and rushed for 352 yards. RB-WR Tony Moore has gained 264 yards. 

“We knew Legend would develop into a quality back,” Baird said. “Wyatt Wikum has become a dangerous runner by making good reads. We’ve played assignment sound football.”    

Chase Steinert averages 5 tackles and Legend Robinson and Wikum average 4 tackles per game.


Ellinwood QB Drew Heinz has passed for 524 and WR Cody Zink has 315 yards receiving.  

3A—HALSTEAD (2-6) at LARNED (3-5)

Larned RB Fernando Herrera scored a rushing touchdown. Ian Orth scored on a kickoff return and Jayden Smith caught a scoring pass from Kaden Pontius in a 56-20 loss to Holcomb. Halstead’s RB Conner Boyd has gained 758 yards and QB Jackson Swift has passed for 537 yards.