Not by a long shot.
It was the Greyson Tempel Show on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Tempel, Garden City High School’s elusive running quarterback, torched the Great Bend Panthers for four touchdown runs and threw for two more during a 45-28 Buffaloes triumph. He finished with 276 rushing yards and accounted for 453 yards in total offense.
“We knew he was a good athlete and he had a fantastic game,” Great Bend head coach Bo Black said of the 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior. “(Garden City) had a great game plan against us.
“I just never would have dreamed in a million years that our defense would play as bad as it did tonight. We just couldn’t tackle all night, we struggled defensively and it was an embarrassment how the defense played.”
In a series filled with numerous cliff-hangers — Great Bend had won eight of the previous 11 — the Buffaloes’ 17-point win was the widest margin of victory between the longtime Western Athletic Conference opponents since the 1999 season. Garden City won 39-0 that year, on the way to its only Class 6A state championship in school history.
Tempel continually riddled a beleaguered Panthers defense, weaving through traffic to a tune of 190 rushing yards in the first half alone. He started doing his damage early, running for 67- and 39-yard touchdowns in the opening quarter for a momentum-seizing 14-0 lead.
“We’re down 14-0 and then we get the momentum back and we get two of them back and tie it up,” Black said.
Midway through the second quarter, Matt Marshall, who shared the Panthers’ quarterback duties with Bryce Beck throughout, hit wide receiver Brock Ibarra for a 20-yard scoring pass on third-and-10 at the 8:07 mark to chop the deficit in half at 14-7. The pass play culminated a 9-play, 66-yard scoring march, highlighted by Beck getting outside for a 24-yard gain.
The Panthers later tied the game at 14 after a second-, third- and fourth-effort TD plunge from a yard out by Josh Lopez with 4:54 remaining in the second quarter. Setting up the score was Ibarra’s diving catch over the middle at the Buffs’ 3-yard line. Tempel’s third touchdown bolt, an 11-yard burst, came with 1:02 left in the second quarter and regained the lead for the Buffs at 21-14.
“They put together another drive once again where we can’t tackle and can’t line up right,” Black said.
After an interception of a Great Bend pass following the ensuing kickoff, Tempel scored his fourth touchdown on a 16-yard bolt with 45.8 seconds left in the half, making it 29-14 at halftime.
Great Bend took the opening kickoff of the second half and promptly drove into Garden territory, moving the yard markers to the 31-yard line before getting the ball at the 16 after a Garden pass interference call, defending Ibarra on a pass play.
But a microcosm of the Panthers’ fortunes occurred shortly thereafter. On third-and-7 at the 13, the Panthers’ Mitch Johnson caught a pass near the end zone and fumbled it as he crossed the goal line. The Buffs’ Hunter Delgado picked up the ball, tried running and was tackled near the back of the end zone.
The official rulebook states if a player tries advancing a ball out of the end zone and is tackled, it is a safety. But the officials ruled it a touchback and Garden took over possession, armed with more momentum.
“The fumble in the end zone in the second half hurt,” Black said. “We talked at halftime about coming back out and staying resilient putting one in and we put a great drive together.
“We fumble it right as he’s crossing the goal line, and that was a terrible way to start the second half.”
Tempel also had a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Taylor Foley, coupled with a 23-yard scoring pass to his brother, Dustin Tempel, during the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Marshall had a 1-yard TD run, and Chad Touslee caught a late TD pass from Beck from 11 yards out with 22 seconds left.
“If there’s some silver lining, I thought we did a lot of good things offensively and played our best offensive game to this point,” Black said.
Garden City improved to 2-1 overall, 1-0 in conference play.
Great Bend, 2-1, 0-1, is at home again on Friday night, playing host to non-conference opponent Wichita North for Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 7.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Western Athletic Conference
At Great Bend
Garden City 45, Great Bend 28
1 2 3 4 F
Garden City 14 15 13 3 — 45
Great Bend 0 14 0 14 — 28
Garden City — Greyson Tempel 67 run (Rudy Chavez kick), 11:08
Garden City — G. Tempel 39 run (Chavez kick), 7:47
Great Bend — Brock Ibarra 20 pass from Matt Marshall (Mario Espino kick), 8:07
Great Bend — Josh Lopez 1 run (Espino kick), 4:54
Garden City — G. Tempel 11 run (Chavez kick), 1:02
Garden City — G. Tempel 16 run (Denton Keller run), 0:45.8
Garden City — Taylor Foley 12 pass from Tempel (kick failed), 5:36
Garden City — Dustin Tempel 23 pass from G. Tempel (Chavez kick), 0:19.0
Great Bend — Matt Marshall 1 run (Espino kick), 9:18
Garden City — Chavez 23 FG, 5:07
Great Bend — Chad Touslee 11 pass from Bryce Beck (Espino kick), 0:22
First downs 23 16
Rushes-yards 44-347 33-109
Passing yards 106 165
Passes (Att-Com-Int) 10-14-0 14-26-2
Fumbles-lost 5-3 1-1
Penalties-yards 10-74 1-15
Punts-avg. 1-35.0 1-35.0
RUSHING—Garden City, G. Tempel 26-276, Love 9-53, Bean 5-16, Dechant 1-(minus-5), Keller 3-7; Great Bend, Beck 4-36, Lopez 10-29, Marshall 7-28, Jonathan Allende 5-19.
PASSING—Garden City, G. Tempel 10-14-0 106; Great Bend, Beck 5-7-0 52; Marshall 10-22-2 118.
RECEIVING—Garden City, D. Tempel 3-36, Banner 3-19, Foley 2-28, Nevola 1-9; Great Bend, Ibarra 6-68, Zach Reynolds 4-40, Mitch Johnson 2-26, Beck 1-20, Touslee 1-11.
GBHS DEFENSE STATS
Hunter Harrison 15 tackles, Ethan Henderson 11 tackels,1 tackle for loss, fumble recovey, Bryce Hofmesiter 10 tackles, Chris Burley 9 tackles, Jayce Brack 7 tackles, 42-yard fumble return, Ryan Zecha 6 tackles, Greg Burley 5 tackles.