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Brawl Ball
Panthers refuse to back down, fall to Heights
A fumble recovery, by the Panthers sideline, touched off a free-for-all shoving match between the two teams, resulting in the ejections of four players, including Smith, a University of Kansas commitment. Heights, top-ranked in Class 6A, pulled away for a 45-14 non-conference victory at Memorial Stadium. - photo by Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune

At Great Bend
Memorial Stadium

Wichita Heights 45, Great Bend 14

Wichita Heights  14   7  14  10  —  45
Great Bend           0   0   7    7   — 14

First Quarter
     Wichita Heights — Matt Reed 16 run (Malichi Hoyer kick), 6:21
     Wichita Heights — Matt Reed 10 run (Hoyer kick), 4:41
Second Quarter
     Wichita Heights — Marquel Moore 42 pass from Reed (Hoyer kick), 2:23
Third Quarter
     Great Bend — Alex Reed 54 pass from Greg Hildebrand (Mario Espino), 8:56
      Wichita Heights — Daniel DeShazer 80 run (Hoyer kick), 8:44
     Wichita Heights — Jerry Jones 1 run (Hoyer kick), 3:26
Fourth Quarter
     Great Bend —  Alex Reed 27 pass from Hildebrand (Espino kick), 11:50
     Wichita Heights — Deshazer 63 run (Hoyer kick), 11:38
     Wichita Heights — Hoyer 27 FG, 3:10

                           Heights    Great Bend
First Downs           22                  8
Total Net Yards      555                205
Rushes-yards        59-482          25-39
Passing                  73                  166
Comp-Att-Int         2-3-1             12-24-2
Punts-Avg              1–49              7–32.4
Fumbles-Lost         3-3                2-1
Penalties-Yards      11-125          3-20

     RUSHING — Wichita Heights, Dreamius Smith 1-22   Matt Reed 23–169, Jon Wilcoxson 2-8, Jerry Jones 14-55, Marquel Moore 4-42, Deshazer 6-152, Jesse Moore 3-26. Great Bend, Sigler 11–47  Hildebrand 12-(minus-8), Alex Reed 1-0.
      PASSING — Wichita Heights: Reed 2-3-1 73. Great Bend:  Hildebrand 11–23-2 166.
     RECEIVING — Wichita Heights, Marquel Moore 1-422, Moreland 1-31. Great Bend, Reed 4-105, Bowman 3-35,  Buehler 2-12, Sell 2-7, Hafner 1-7

This one should be remembered in Great Bend High School football lore as Brawl Ball on Homecoming Night — Great Bend vs. Wichita Heights.
No one was going to come into Memorial Stadium and push around the Panthers in their house — not even the consensus No. 1-ranked team in Class 6A in Heights Friday night before a near-capacity crowd.
Even before the game was a minute old, four players — Great Bend senior linebackers Dakota Ellis and Louis Burley, along with Heights senior running back Dreamius Smith and senior tight end Marcus Floez — had been ejected. It came in the aftermath of a near-brawl, a free-for-all shoving match that broke out between the two teams near the Panthers’ sideline after Logan Buehler recovered Smith’s fumble on Heights’ opening play from scrimmage.
“It’s something that you never want to see,” Great Bend head coach Bo Black said of the melee, “and it’s something you never obviously want your kids to be a part of.
“But at the same time, we talked to all week to our players about being emotionally and physically ready to play and not backing down from anybody. It kind of set the tone for the entire game. It was an intense game, a physical game on both sides, and sometimes things like that happen when emotions are running high.”
In a penalty-filled, emotionally-charged game, where the two teams combined for seven first-half turnovers, Heights proved there’s no substitute for speed. The Falcons accumulated 483 rushing yards racing past Great Bend, 45-14.
While Great Bend drops to 1-2 and prepares for a road trip to Dodge City next Friday, Heights, the defending state runner-up, which improved 4-0, was everything as advertised. The Falcons dazzled the Homecoming crowd with their breakaway speed, scoring five of their six touchdowns on the ground.
“We knew that we had to try to contain them in there and if they did break free, that was going to make for a long night and in the end, it did,” Black said.
“Speed was the name of the game. They had it and we didn’t, and the one thing that we told the kids was that we were really disappointed with the loss, but I was proud of their effort.”
Daniel Deshazer, subbing for Smith, a University of Kansas commitment, had a pair of long second-half touchdowns runs (80 and 63 yards) and finished with 152 yards in just six carries.
Deshazer became the second straight backup running back to come to Great Bend and have a big game against the Panthers. In the season-opener three weeks ago, Andrew Gettemeier of St. Thomas Aquinas, subbing for Dagan Reed, rushed for a career-high 172  yards in a 52- 28 win over Great Bend.
Friday night, Falcons quarterback Matt Reed, described by Black as a “right-handed high school version of a little Michael Vick,” of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, was a headache for the Panthers.
Displaying his escapability and quickness, Matt Reed finished with 169 rushing yards in 23 carries, including 16- and 10-yard touchdown scampers in the first half. On several occasions, he simply took off out of the pocket and outraced everyone downfield.
Matt Reed also threw a 43-yard scoring pass to speedster Marquel Moore, giving Heights a 21-0 halftime lead.
“They brought a kid in there that did just fine,” Black said of Deshazer. “They’ve just got a great football team. We talked about that all week.
“You take away the big plays … I thought our kids hung in there and played really, really tough defense all night, even though the scoreboard doesn’t necessarily show that.”
Great Bend, which failed to muster a first down in the opening half, sliced the margin to 21-7 early in the third quarter, when senior wide receiver Alex Reed caught a 56-yard touchdown bomb from quarterback Greg Hildebrand off a play-action pass. Reed raced behind the coverage and caught the pass in stride.
Reed, who finished with a team-high 105 receiving yards in four receptions, also caught a 26-yard scoring pass from Hildebrand for the Panthers’ only points in the fourth quarter, making it 35-14 with 11:50 remaining.
“I’d say we’ve been waiting two years for Alex Reed to have this kind of night and really put the team on his shoulders,” Black said. “He really showed confidence in himself and he played with great confidence and did some great things.
“There seems like there’s always been just a little bit of holding back from Alex at times, but that wasn’t anywhere to been seen. He stepped up, had a great game and grew up as a football player. It’s tough to play Alex Reed one-on-one. He’s going to get by you because he’s as fast as anyone in the State of Kansas.”
Twelve seconds after Alex Reed’s score, Deshazer got free in the heart of the field and set sail on his 63-yard touchdown run to increase the margin to 42-14 after Malichi Hoyer kicked the extra point. Hoyer also added a 33-yard field goal to close the scoring.