WICHITA — Great Bend’s all-time leading tackler Dalton Miller and receiving record holder Alex Schremmer face the ultimate footbal challenge Friday at Wichita Northwest.
The Great Bend Panthers are 30-point playoff underdogs against No. 1 ranked 5A Wichita Northwest, according to preppowerindex.com.
Sounds about right since the Grizzlies downed the Panthers 31-0 in their first meeting Sept. 20. Th0e Grizzlies racked up 478 yards and the Panthers committed two goal-line turnovers.
Great Bend football coach Erin Beck has great respect for Miller, the Panthers’ all-time tackler with 422 stops. He’s doubled at quarterback with 1,110 yards passing and 1,278 yards rushing, accounting for 24 touchdowns.
“Dalton Miller will earn All-WAC honors four straight years, which is unheard of,” Beck said. “When we think back, we’ll realize how good a football player he’s been at Great Bend. He’s durable. He plays quarterback like a point guard in basketball. We play to his strengths. He’s a special player.”
Last year, quarterback Koy Brack and Schremmer quickly combined for Schremmer’s record-breaking season — 15 TDs, 1,178 yards and 205 yards against Wichita Northwest. Double coverage has limited Schremmer’s touches in 2019.
“Alex’s best attribute is his football IQ,” Beck said. “He’s a coach on the field. When we call his number, we have all the confidence in the world in him. He always helps get all our receivers lined up. He’s earned everyone’s respect as a receiver.”
The re-emergence of tailback Gage Fritz (745 yards, 5 TDs) and the addition of TE Alex Olivas and WR Peyton Duvall has sparked an improved running game. It’s a tall task against Northwest all-state linebacker Darius Cooper and Jack Wiens.
“We’ve committed to the run. Our ability to run the football has been a key, but it will be a challenge,” Beck said. “We’ve got to score points and put the ball the endzone. Northwest’s defense has great team speed. A lot of good-looking plays go 3 yards.”
Beck believes the success of the Panthers’ running game will dictate how the passing game fares as a secondary option.
Northwest quarterback Reagan Jones has passed for 1,150 yards and 18 TDs and rushed for 1,011 yards and 10 TDs. The Grizzlies average 495 yards behind tailback Julius Bolden (20 TDS) and receiver Zion Jones (10 TDs).
Jones rushed for 148 yards and the Grizzlies converted several screen passes on long-yardage situations.
“Their quarterback is an explosive runner and their offensive line gets to the second level,” Beck said. “Their offense can beat you a lot of ways.”
Beck said the Panthers are confident they can compete.
“We’ll definitely play with a chip on our shoulder,” Beck said. “We’ve got to play our best football game of the year. This is a group that has confidence. They want to show they deserve to play in this game.”
NORTHWEST—Carroll 21-17; Wichita East 75-8; Great Bend 31-0; Wichita West 63-14; Kapaun Mt. Carmel 45-0; Garden City 52-21; Wichita Heights 79-0; Wichita SE 55-0; Kapaun Mt. Carmel 55-14
GREAT BEND—Andover 13-10; Hays High 46-30; Wichita Northwest 0-31; Dodge City 21-24; Wichita Carroll 14-28; Andover Central 7-41; Liberal 49-20; Garden City 27-7; Wichita Heights 49-35
QB—Dalton Miller; TB—Gage Fritz; WR—Sam Ryan/Paco Hernandez; WR—Alex Schremmer; WR—Peyton Duvall; TE—Alex Olivas; LT—Tate Murray; LG—Dylan Lamb; C—Jason Scott; RG—Dalton Murphy; RT—Barrett Lutt
DE—Matt Neiman; DE—Greg Sommers/Broc Reed; NT—Elias Moreno; NT—Alan Miramontes; OLB—Joey Soupiset; OLB—Carsyn Schooler; ILB—Alex Olivas; ILB—Zach Seymour; CB—Bryce Brown; CB—Drew Liles; S—Dalton Miller
No. 1 TDs season—15;
No. 1 receiving yards—1,178
No. 1 receiving yards, game—205
No. 2 receptions, season—70—2019; (Bryce Lytle 73)
No. 2 receptions, career—130; (Bryce Lytle 155)
No. 2 receiving yards—1,926 (Bryce Lytle 2,473)
No. 2 receiving TDs—20 (Bryce Lytle 22)
No. 1 tackles—422 (111, 117, 96, 98)
6 forced fumbles
4 defensive TDs
5 fumbles recovered
Wichita Northwest 55, Kapaun Mount Carmel 14; Great Bend 49, Wichita Heights 35
Wichita Carroll 49, Valley Center 7; Andover 28, Salina Central 7
Maize South 31, Salina South 0; Hays High 31, Goddard Eisenhower 6
Maize High 49, Liberal 7; Emporia 41, Newton 29
DeSoto 62, KC Turner 22; Shawnee Heights 7, Lansing 0
Mill Valley 52, Topeka West 0; Olathe West 49, Topeka Seaman 28
St. Thomas Aquinas 63, Highland Park 0; St. James 27, Leavenworth 14
Blue Valley SW 31, KC Washington 6; KC Schlagle 61, KC Sumner 13
FRIDAY’S SECOND ROUND
Great Bend 5-4 at Wichita Northwest 9-0
Andover 3-6 at Wichita Carroll 7-2
Hays High 4-5 at Maize South 9-0
Emporia 6-3 at Maize High 8-1
Shawnee Heights 5-4 at DeSoto 9-0
Olathe West 6-3 at Mill Valley 6-3
St. James 5-4 at St. Thomas Aquinas 8-0
Blue Valley SW 2-7 at KC Schlagle 5-3