BY JIM MISUNAS
Great Bend Panther Dalton Miller enjoyed the highs and lows of football during a wild two-way ride Friday night. Linebacker Zach Seymour was just happy to contribute.
Great Bend earned five takeaways to blow out Wichita West 42-18 in Friday’s non-league football game at Memorial Stadium.
Miller recovered a fumble, intercepted a pass off Townshend’s Kurth’s tip and scored a rushing touchdown. Miller also gave away a second-half touchdown when he lost control of the football attempting to push the football over the goal-line. He recovered a fumble on the next Wichita West series.
“It was exhilarating playing offense and defense,” Miller said. “I’m just happy to contribute to our team – offense or defense. Coach (Erin) Beck said I’d get some offensive snaps to give our quarterback a break.”
Miller’s run would’ve handed the Panthers 1st-and-goal at the 1 when his
fumble at the goal-line was ruled out of the endzone for a touchback.
Zach Seymour scored on a botched snap from punt formation for a 28-12 lead. Blake Penka, credited with 14 tackles, and Brock Blessing also recovered Wichita West fumbles.
“It was great to recover a fumble in the endzone, but our whole defense played great tonight,” said Seymour, who had 13 tackles after missing two games with an injury. “It was good to see our defense getting some turnovers.
Seymour continued a 28-0 scoring burst on a fumble recovery in the endzone.
“Our defense earned a three-and-out and they snap it over their head and we scored a touchdown,” said Great Bend coach Erin Beck. “I was proud of the way our defense played. Our linebackers did a nice job reading their counter. Our kids responded.”
Great Bend (3-2) continues a three-game home stand against Wichita East next week.
Brack added two more second-half touchdowns for a 41-12 lead.
Great Bend (3-2) overcome three lost fumbles against Wichita West (2-3).
“It was uncharacteristic for us, but the turning point was when we went down and punched one in for a 21-12 halftime lead,” said coach Beck.
Offensive tackles Valentine Delgadillo and Grant Keller filled in for injured all-state tackle Aaron Clark, who missed the game.
“Grant Keller is a staple program player,” Beck said. “He’s had a monster two weeks. He’s smart and plays hard. The offensive line did a nice job.”
Panther quarterback Koy Brack rushed for 124 yards and three touchdowns to lead a 242-yard rushing game.
The Panthers led 21-12 at halftime when Brack completed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Bieker, who caught four passes for 106 yards.
Great Bend led 14-0 with a dominant early stretch. Brack scored on a 4-yard run to cap a 41-yard drive and Miller scored on a 5-yard run with 10:22 left in the second period.
But the Panthers lost back-to-back fumbles and Wichita West converted the friendly field position for Jermaine bell and Zion Parks touchdowns for a 14-12 score. But the Panthers moved 77 yards and Bieker caught a 48-yard pass.
PANTHERS 42, PIONEERS 18
WW 0 13 0 6 — 18
GB 7 14 14 7 — 42
GB—Koy Brack 4 run (Dani Franco kick), 5:45
GB— Dalton Miller 5 run (Frnnco kick), 10:22
WW—Jermaine Bell 4 run (kick failed), 7:33
WW—Zion Parks 6 run (kick failed), 2:31
GB—Dalton Bieker 21 pass fdrom Brack (Franco kick), 1:00
GB—Zach Seymour fumble recovery (Franco kick), 10:21
GB—Brack 2 run (Franco kick), 7:11
GB—Brack 3 run (Franco kick), 5:00
WW—Bell 5 run (run failed), 0:59
RUSHING—WW—53-194; Shauker Johnson 17-75; Janus Gilbert 11-56; Parks 11-37; Bell 10-25; Xavier Sellers 1-3; Seandale DeShazer 1-(-1); Jeremiah Brown 1-(-1); GB—49-242; Brack 21-124; Miller 11-60; Gage Fritz 13-59; Brown 2-5; team 2-(-6).
PASSING—GB—Brack 10-17-0, 158.
RECEIVING—GB—Bieker 4-106; Miller 5-40; Ty Esfeld 1-12.