BY JIM MISUNAS
Great Bend receiver Alex Schremmer started a record-breaking season with eight catches, two touchdowns and 181 yards receiving against Andover High last year.
The Trojans visit Memorial Stadium Friday for a 7 p.m.rematch after the Panthers overpowered Andover 35-12 last year. The Panthers passed for 261 yards.
First-year QB Dalton Miller joins TB Gage Gritz (1,184, 8 TDs) in the backfield. WR Alex Schremmer (1,178 yds, 15 TDs) broke single-season school records last year.
He’ll join Peyton Duvall, Joey Soupiset, Bryce Brown and Sam Ryan as pass-catching targets.
The biggest question is how smoothly RT Barrett Lutt, RG Dalton Murphy, C Jason Scott, LG Devin Lamb and LT Tate Murray perform as a unit. The Panthers rushed for 184 yards and passed for 201 yards per game last year.
“You’d love to control the line of scrimmage and gain confidence offensively,” said Great Bend coach Erin Beck. “Anytime you throw the football, you’ve got to protect the quarterback, throw it and catch it. We’ll see who’s going to step up and play week 1.”
The Panthers feature more H-back/fullback for an extra blocker, but the offenses have similarities. Andover QB Eli Fahnestock threw for 1,079 yards after a freshman year with 1,753 yards passing. Leading RB Peyton Henry (475 yards) and Fahnestock (176 yards) lead the rushing game. WR Harper Jones (403 yards) and WR Ethan Richardson (334 yards) lead Andover’s top five returning receivers.
“Anytime you play a team with an explosive offense, it makes you nervous,” Beck said. “You never want an offensive shootout
the first week.”
The Panthers’ defense must answer some questions, but a solid secondary feature FS Dalton Miller, CB Bryce Brown and CB Carsyn Schooler. LBs Zach Seymour, Joey Soupiset, Alex Olivas join DL Alan Miramontes as experienced veterans.
Free safety Dalton Miller was the Western Athletic MVP with five interceptions and two defensive scores last year.
“Dalton will play defense, but he can’t do it all,” Beck said. “We’ll put our best football players on the field as much as we can.”
Andover’s Ashton Ngo (9 tackles per game) leads the Trojans’ top three returning tacklers.