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Miracle on Morton Street
Panthers’ rally stuns Andover
spt_hg_Alex Schremmer catch.jpg
Great Bend wide receiver Alex Schremmer (2) catches the ball and gains yardage in Friday’s home opener. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez

If you believe in miracles, and we know you do, you'll enjoy the "Miracle on Morton Street."

A Hollywood finish delivered Great Bend's 13-10 overtime football victory Friday over the Andover Trojans against impossible odds. 

"It was a Miracle on Morton," said Great Bend coach Erin Beck. "We stole one. It's a testament to this team that they kept battling. We could tell we'd win that thing when we went to overtime. Our winner's mentality showed tonight."

Panther kicker Angel Razo made a stunning debut when he converted the game-winning 26-yard field goal after Andover's all-state placekicker missed a 27-yard field goal in overtime. 

Soccer standout Razo, who had never kicked a field goal, said his feet were shaking because he was so nervous. 

"But my buddies were hyping me up and I felt comfortable to kick," he said. "I knew I could do it. I decided to kick it normal. That was unexpected. My teammates were hyped up just like me." 

The Panthers were down 10-0 and nearly counted out when backs Gage Fritz and Dalton Miller were tackled at Andover's 1-yard line with three minutes left. But Great Bend's defense stuffed the Trojans on three consecutive plays with a minute left.

Great Bend sophomore Evan Wedel blocked Andover's ensuing punt for a safety to provide a glimmer of light for a 10-2 score with 54 seconds left. Wedel's previous career highlight was a 90-yard fumble return in seventh grade.

"Coach (Erin) Beck said we had to block the punt to get a one-score game," said Wedel, who blocked the punt with his left hand. "I ran past the tight end as hard as I could. I reached out and got it."

The odds were still stacked high when quarterback Dalton Miller faced the Panthers' final play at Andover's 44-yard line. 

Miller's high-arcing "Hail Mary" pass floated perfectly to Alex Schremmer, who beat Andover's double coverage.  Schremmer caught a 2-point pass for a 10-10 tie when two wideouts ran slants and he dashed to the flat.

"Coach said run a 'Hail Mary," straight down the field and Dalton would throw it up there," Schremmer said. "It was the best moment of my football career."

The Panthers' defense saved the day when Carsyn Schooler, Zach Seymour and Greg Sommers recovered fumbles when Andover's offense was dominating time of possession.

"We relied heavily on our defense," Beck said. "We had playmakers who made plays tonight. We've got work to do to get better. We've got to get back to fundamentals." 

Great Bend quarterback Miller completed 14 passes for 159 yards. Schremmer had nine receptions for 105 yards. Fritz gained 76 yards and the Panthers gained 143 yards, amazing since they lost 64 yards on 13 running plays. 

Andover all-state kicker David Kemp, a Division 1 recruit, misfired on a field goal attempt in overtime after missing an earlier 40-yard field goal. Kemp booted a 49-yard field goal on the final play of the half into a 10 mph northeast wind.

Andover quarterback Eli Fahnestock set the tone with a furious passing attack from the outset. The Trojans rolled 60 yards in seven plays for an opening touchdown. He completed 26 passes for 237 yards.

Wide receiver Justin Drummond beat the Panthers’ secondary on a 37-yard touchdown reception with 7:38 left in the first quarter.

Fahnestock completed 16 first-half passes for 167 yards. The Trojans finished off a crisp drive before halftime on Kemp’s field goal. Schooler and Seymour recovered Andover fumbles at midfield.

Six-foot-6 defensive end Connor Hall and Chandler Goodnight gave the Panthers fits. Great Bend had 13 plays for 63 yards in lost yardage. 

 Andover 7 3 0 0 0 – 10

Great Bend 0 0 0 10 3 – 13

A—Justin Drummond 37 pass from Eli Fahnestock (David Kemp kick)—7:38

A—Kemp 49 FG—0:00

GB—Safety (Evan Wedel blocks E. Fahnestock punt in endzone)—0:54

GB—Alex Schremmer 44 pass from Dalton Miller (Schremmer pass)—0:00

GB—Angel Razo 26 FG 

RUSHING—A—28-34; Peyton Henry 22-35; Eli Fahnestock 3-3; Ethan Richardson 1-7; Dillan Shobourgh 1-2; team 1-(-13); GB—39-143; Gage Fritz 17-76; Dalton Miller 22-76; team 1-(-9).

PASSING—A—E. Fahnestock, 26-37-0, 237; GB—Miller 14-26-0, 159.

RECEIVING—A—Drummond 8-104; Harper Jonas 4-54; Richardson 6-39; Adrian Mannie 2-15; Jerry Gariety 3-13; Henry 3-12; GB—Schremmer 9-105; Duvall 3-41; Fritz 1-9; Sam Ryan 1-4.