Already one-third of the high school football season has been played, and the Great Bend High School Panthers still haven’t put together four solid quarters in a game.
“I think the biggest thing is that we haven’t performed yet,” Panthers head coach Bo Black said of his 2-1 team, which entertains Wichita North (0-3) tonight for Homecoming. Kick time at Memorial Stadium is 7. “We feel like our defense has a lot of potential, and they haven’t performed — they haven’t played a great game all year.
“We think our offense is going to be OK, when it is all said and done … we haven’t played OK yet. And, we think our special teams are going to be solid.”
Great Bend returned seven starters from last season’s 4-4 team, although their run defense was exposed last Friday night during a 45-28 loss to Garden City. Buffaloes quarterback Greyson Tempel accumulated 276 rushing yards and 453 yards in total offense against the Panthers.
“We just have to come out and perform on Friday night,” Black said. “We have failed to do that in three games now, and we’re at that point of the year where we quit talking about potential and play up to our expectations … this is the time of the year to come out and execute.”
While Great Bend’s defense has allowed the second-fewest points through the first three games among conference teams, the Panthers also rank No. 2 in yards allowed with 878 — a chunk of those coming against Garden City.
The Panthers rank fifth among Western Athletic Conference teams in passing and total offense, along with fourth in rushing yardage and total points scored.
Wichita North has lost to Wichita East (39-12), Bishop Carroll (55-0) and Kapaun Mt. Carmel (61-0) this season.
“They have a very fast running back and a very fast quarterback and they really, really struggle,” Black said of North, which competes in the Wichita City League. “They have played three games and their opponents have punted only three times.
“They have scored 12 points in three games, and they have played some really good football teams. The truth of the matter is, they’re 0-3 and haven’t looked real good, but we’re 2-1 and we haven’t looked real good, either.”
Great Bend senior offensive tackle Wyatt Bayless has been ruled out of tonight’s game because of a cracked rib. … Sophomore kick returner Trent Uselton is questionable with a pulled groin. … Senior quarterback Matt Marshall (bruised knee) is also questionable. … Senior running back Josh Lopez has been slowed the first three games with a sore knee.
• WAC leaders
Great Bend senior linebacker Hunter Harrison leads the conference in tackles with 43. Senior defensive end Chad Touslee ranks fourth with 35 stops.