If history repeats itself tonight, the Great Bend-Garden City high school football game once again won’t be decided until the waning minutes.
Since their 2006 meeting, the widest margin of victory between the Western Athletic Conference counterparts has been eight points, which occurred two seasons ago as the Panthers held on for a 21-13 road win over the Buffaloes.
Last season, Great Bend nailed down a 14-7 victory after senior quarterback Mitch Kottas threw a game-winning 19-yard touchdown strike to senior wide receiver Jace Bowman with 1:08 left in the fourth quarter. Up to that point, Garden City had led the entire game.
Since 2006, besides the aforementioned seven- and eight-point wins, three other games were decided by two, three and four points. The 42-40 win in 2007 came against a talented Garden team, led by former Kansas State wide receiver Brodrick Smith.
“Traditionally, it’s always been that type of game for the last decade or so and they’ve always been very, very exciting,” Black said. “We’ve been fortunate to get out on top of most of it, and it’s always been a great football game.
“It’s been a matchup of two teams that are heading into conference play and it’s an important game for both programs, something that both teams can build off of in moving forward.”
The Panthers have won eight of the last 11 meetings, losing only in 2002, 2008 and 2009. They had a five-year streak snapped in 2008.
“Every year is different,” Black said. “You’ve got new kids. The kids playing this year could care less about what happened four, five, six, seven, eight or nine years ago. We’re anticipating another real good football game.”
2011 — Great Bend 14, Garden City 7
2010 — Great Bend 21, Garden City 13
2009 — Garden City 23, Great Bend 19
2008 — Garden City 25, Great Bend 22
2007 — Great Bend 42, Garden City 40
2006 — Great Bend 28, Garden City 21
2005 — Great Bend 28, Garden City 14
2004 — Great Bend 17, Garden City 10
2003 — Great Bend 42, Garden City 7
2002 — Garden City 20, Great Bend 19
2001 — Great Bend 28, Garden City 8