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Panthers beat Wichita Heights 49-35
Dalton Miller rush_1.jpg
Dalton Miller (16) escapes a tackle and rushes the football that ended with a touchdown. Miller scored four touchdowns Friday night against Wichita Heights. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez

Great Bend vs Wichita Heights football highlights 11-1-19

By: Hugo Gonzalez

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Great Bend quarterback Dalton Miller scored four touchdowns and passed for two scores as the Panthers raced to a 49-35 victory over Wichita Heights in a 5A football playoff game.

Safety Miller stripped John Randle for a game-changing fumble that Alex Olivas recovered to set up a 95-yard scoring drive for a 27-21 lead that the Panthers never lost. The Falcons wound 81/2 minutes off the clock prior to the fumble.

"It looked like we'd give up a score. It was a game-changer," said Great Bend coach Erin Beck. "Dalton made a play and we flipped the field. It was a huge momentum swing." 

Miller rushed for 276 yards with touchdown runs of 7, 16, 62 and 72 yards. Alex Schremmer caught 16- and 20-yard touchdown passes with 10 receptions for 145 yards. Schremmer's score with 1:24 left gave the Panthers a 49-35 lead at Memorial Stadium.

"I have a lot of confidence the way the offensive line played," Miller said. "Some of those I didn't break any tackles because it was open. Peyton Duvall made key blocks and I read which way to run. Shootouts like that are exciting football."

The Panthers' offensive line of center Jason Scott, guards Dylan Lamb and Dalton Murphy and tackles Barrett Lutt and Tate Murray paved the way for 378 rushing yards.

"That shows how ready we were tonight. We played pretty well for the most part, but we never thought we had it," said Lutt. "Dalton was doing an awesome job tonight." 

Miller threw for 159 yards passing for the Panthers gained 537 offensive yards. The teams combined for 1,007 offensive yards.

"Dalton Miller was unbelievable on both sides of the football," Beck said. "Peyton Duvall, Gage Fritz and our offensive line did the job tonight. It was up-and-down game, a roller-coaster. It was a track meet. Our kids kept battling and fighting. We kept plugging away. We made just enough plays to get a win. We'll enjoy it, but get back to work."

The Falcons (3-6) sliced the Panthers' two-touchdown lead to seven points twice in the second half.  Freshman tailback John Randle scored four touchdowns and gained 215 yards rushing to go with a 70-yard kickoff return. The Falcons rushed for 438 yards.

The Panthers (5-4) play at No. 1 ranked 5A Wichita Northwest (9-0) next week.

Wichita Heights matched Great Bend's fireworks with a 21-point burst for a 21-20 halftime lead in a 5A state playoff game.

Miller sparked an opening 13-point start with a dazzling 64-yard cutback touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. Tailback Fritz followed with a 16-yard touchdown to cap a 68-yard scoring drive. Fritz dashed 33 yards on the previous play.

The Falcons answered with the next 21 points by showcasing a stable of fast and hard-charging backs behind a solid offensive line. Randle dashed untouched for a 69-yard touchdown. Quarterback Dylan Depperschmidt scored on a 3-yard run to end a 77-yard drive.

The Falcons made the Panthers pay for a costly 5-yard offside penalty on a 3rd-and-10 play from midfield. Joshua Sanders converted a first down and Randle dashed home on a 2-yard touchdown for a 21-13 lead.

The Panthers responded with a clutch 66-yard scoring drive. Miller dashed nine yards for a fourth down conversion. Schremmer caught a 20-yard touchdown pass with 21 seconds left in the half for a 21-20 halftime score.

The half ended with a comical play as Wichita Heights guard Zane Tompkins caught an illegal pass for a 2-yard loss.

Wichita Heights 7 14 0 14 — 35

Great Bend 13 7 7 22 — 49

GB—Dalton Miller 64 run (Angel Razo kick)—11:39; GB—Gage Fritz 16 run (kick failed)—4:47; WH—John Randle 69 run (Kaden Claassen kick)—4:03; WH—Dylan Depperschmidt 3 run (Claassen kick)—9:37; WH—Randle 2 run (Claassen kick)—3:20; GB—Alex Schremmer 20 pass from Miller (Razo kick)—0:21; GB—Miller 7 run (Razo kick)—0:14; GB—Miller 16 run (Razo kick)—6:53; WH—Randle 40 run (Claassen kick)—5:28; GB—Miller 72 run (Razo kick)—5:06; WH—Randle 60 kickoff return (Claassen kick)—4:50; GB—Schremmer 16 pass from Miller (Razo kick)—1:24


RUSHING—WH—52-438; Randle 15-215; Joshua Sanders 18-113; Adrian Patterson 10-74; Depperschmidt 9-36; GB—36-378; Miller 22-276; Fritz 14-102.

PASSING—WH—Depperschmidt 3-6-1, 32; GB—Miller 11-16-0, 159.

RECEIVING—WH—Patterson 2-34; Zane Tompkins 1-(-2); GB—Alex Schremmer 10-145; Fritz 1-14.

'Thriller' performance by the GBHS Danceline