BY JIM MISUNAS
GARDEN CITY — The Garden City Buffalo seniors earned payback with a dominating 45-0 football victory Friday over Great Bend. The Panthers' lone highlight was a second-half fumble recovery by linebacker Mathew Moeder.
The Buffaloes (3-5, 2-2 WAC) made every snap count, playing its starting offensive and defensive players deep into the fourth quarter. The Panthers had beaten the Buffaloes three consecutive years.
The Panthers missed seven days of practice after missing last week's football game with a quarantine order.
Great Bend (0-6, 0-4 WAC) ended its first winless season since 1996 when John Vincent coached the Panthers to an 0-9 record. The No. 15 seeded Panthers will travel to Andover Central (6-1) in the 4A football playoffs Oct. 31.
Garden City tailback Josh Janas was dominating with four touchdowns and 221 yards rushing behind the Buffaloes' physical offensive line that averages 257 pounds. The Buffaloes kept running toss sweep and the Panthers rarely contained the outside run.
The Buffaloes roared to a dominating 24-0 halftime lead over Great Bend behind an 81-yard touchdown pass and a 30-yard interception return.
The Buffaloes were pinned back, but quarterback Caleb Wiese completed an 81-yard scoring strike to a wide open Jerry Arteaga. Christian Reyes delivered the Buffaloes' second touchdown on a 30-yard interception of a pass by Joseph Moeder.
Janas' 1-yard touchdown made the Panthers pay for a 20-yard punt after a 25-yard scoring drive. Garden City kicker Isaac Rivera converted a 24-yard field goal for a 24-0 lead. Janas made the Panthers pay for poor tackling with a 49-yard touchdown on the first play of the second half. Janas capped a spectacular night with 5- and 22-yard scoring dashes after halftime.
Panther quarterback Joseph Moeder completed 15 passes for 117 yards and directed Great Bend into prime scoring position twice. The Panthers drove to the 8-yard line before halftime and ended with two incomplete passes. An identical second-half drive ended inside the Buffaloes' 10-yard line. Laken Webb caught six passes for 52 yards. Paco Hernandez caught six passes for 50 yards.
Great Bend 0 0 0 0 — 0
Garden City 14 10 14 7 — 45
GC—Jerry Arteaga 81 pass from Caleb Wiese (Isaac Rivera kick)—4:11
GC—Christian Reyes 30 interception return (Rivera kick)—2:30
GC—Josh Janas 1 run (Rivera kick)—9:04
GC—Rivera 24 FG—4:16
GC—Janas 49 run (Rivera kick)—10:14
GC—Janas 22 run (Rivera kick)—7:00
GC—Janas 5 run (Rivera kick)—4:16
RUSHING—GB—26-74; Joseph Moeder 14-56; Miller 3-16; Gavin Haberman 9-2; GC—31-236; Josh Janas 21-221; Caleb Wiese 4-(-7); Arteaga 1-9; Colin Kleysteuber 1-8; Ryan Pilosof 3-9; team 1-(-4)
PASSING—GB—J. Moeder 15-38-4, 117; GC—Wiese 4-8-0, 151
RECEIVING—GB—Laken Webb 6-52; Paco Hernandez 6-50; Haberman 3-15; GC—Jerry Arteaga 2-103; Janas 1-17; Cooper Ramsey 1-31