In a perfect scenario, visiting Great Bend High School will beat Salina Central Friday night, giving the Panthers the Class 5A District 6 football championship.
“If we beat Central and Hays beats South,” Great Bend head coach Bo Black said. “I think not only would be in (the playoffs), we’d also win the district.
“We’d be 2-0, Central and Hays would be 0-1 and South would be 0-2, and we would have beaten both Central and Hays, head-to-head.”
The reality is, the Panthers (3-3) will face a difficult test in Salina Central (5-2), inasmuch as last Friday’s 17-6 win over Hays was a difficult task.
After one game, Great Bend, 1-0 in district play, holds the district points system lead at plus-11. Central is second at plus-3 after beating Salina South 31-28 last Friday night. South sits at minus-3 and Hays is at minus -11.
The top two teams out of the district advance to the state playoffs.
“We’re just hoping to win, man,” Black said. “Points are something to think about as you’re going into your last game.
“Right now, you just want to play the best you can and win a football game and survive. The district is just the same philosophy as the playoffs themselves: you need to continue on and you have four evenly-matched teams in there and anything can happen on Friday night.”
Central will be another stern test for the Panthers, a situation they have been in for most of the season.
“Central is a good football team,” Black said. “We’re going to try to find a way to score some points. (Salina Central’s) defense is very comparable to Hays and the offense is comparable to Hays, with the exception that they throw it more than Hays.
“They’re still a run-oriented team, but they’re going to throw it more. They dabble in a little of everything. Their base formation is the Pro-I and they like to go to Power-I and one-back shot-gun.”
The Mustangs have already defeated the likes of 6A schools Derby and Maize. Their only losses are to powerhouse Hutchinson and Andover Central.