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Maize South beats Panthers 26-14
Penalties prove critical
Great bend's Brayden Smith (9) catches a touchdown pass from Bryce Lytle in Friday's Class 5A football playoff game against Maize South. The Panthers lost 26-14. - photo by Photo by RUSS EDEM


The Great Bend defense forced four turnovers Friday against Maize South at Memorial Stadium.
But game-changing plays by Maize South quarterback Korie Frausto accounted for three touchdowns in the Mavericks’ 26-14 victory over Great Bend in the Class 5A football playoffs.
Frausto scrambled and completed a 40-yard pass and scored the game-clinching touchdown with 5:27 left.
“Frausto is electric,” said Great Bend coach Tony Crough. “He’s the best dual-threat quarterback in the state. Maize South was a better team tonight.”
The Panthers were hit with a pair of personal foul penalties to keep the Maverick drive moving. Frausto accounted for 192 yards rushing and 73 yards passing.
“We had two huge penalties and a breakdown in coverage,” Crough said. “Those penalties late in the game hurt. It felt like the difference in the game.”
The Panthers finished with a 7-3 record in their first playoff trip since 2010.
“It’s pretty painful. There are guys hurting in the locker room,” Crough said. “It’s tough to end this way. But it’s a big step for this program. They’ve brought football and excitement back to the community. I’m extremely proud of these young men.”
The Panthers converted three trick plays – an onside kickoff recovery, a double pass for a touchdown and a 56-yard completion off punt formation.
“We prepared all week for those plays. Credit Great Bend for their execution,” said Maize South coach Brent Pfeifer.
The Panthers’ defense forced four turnovers and delivered a goal-line stop.
Great Bend quarterback Jacob Murray was pressured all night and worked hard for 44 yards rushing and 147 yards passing. Brayden Smith caught two touchdown passes and Bryce Lytle had 122 yards receiving and a touchdown pass.
“They had seven guys in the box,” Crough said. “They decided to blitz us and it was a good strategy.”
Maize South led 20-7 at halftime keyed a touchdown pass from Frausto to Brayden Wiens with 14 seconds left in the half.
It was a busy night for the referees with flags flying from the start with 180 yards of penalties.
The game was also spiced by controversy. It appeared the referees missed a clear fumble recovery by Maverick Luke Moore. On the final play of the half, Panther Brayden Smith appeared to catch a touchdown pass, but it was ruled an incomplete pass. Another Panther touchdown was called back on a holding penalty.
The Mavericks rushed for 223 first-half yards. Frausto gained 133 yards and Jordan Maxon gained 85 yards.
Murray kept the Panthers alive with 110 yards passing and several defensive penalties against the Mavericks’ defense.
Murray’s best play was a 56-yard completion to Bryce Lytle off punt formation as he beat Maverick Lance Storrer.
The Panthers’ defense responded with an interception by Jensen Randall and fumble recoveries by Brady Michel and Jose Batres, but the Panthers scored no points.
Great Bend reached the 15-yard line after a touchdown run was negated on a holding penalty. The Mavericks led on Maxson’s 7-yard run that was kept alive when Maverick Dalton Smith recovered a Maxson fumble at the 4-yard line.
Frausto showed off his speed on a perfect cutback run for a 80-yard touchdown for a 13-0 Maverick lead.
The Panthers responded on a touchdown pass from Murray to Brayden Smith on a 6-yard score after Lytle’s 56-yard completion with 8:04 left in the half.
Murray nearly rescued the Panthers with an amazing left-footed punt after a poor snap left him scrambling. But the Mavericks scored when Wiens caught a touchdown pass.
The Panthers nearly scored. Two 15-yard penalties moved the football to the Maverick 14-yard line with two seconds left.

Maize South 7 13 0 6 – 26
Great Bend 0 7 7 0– 14
MS—Jordan Maxson 7 run (Jim Sheehan kick), 3:05
MS—Korie Frausto 80 run (kick failed) 10:22
GB—Brayden Smith 6 pass from Jacob Murray (Franco kick), 8:04
MS—Brayden Wiens 20 pass from Frausto (Sheehan kick), 0:14
GB—Smith 39 pass fom Bryce Lytle (Franco kick), 11:44
MS—Frausto 6 run (pass failed), 5:27
RUSHING—MS, 53-312; Frausto 29-192; Maxson 15-89; Max Domnick 8-33; team 1-(-2); GB 34-80, Murray 24-44; Cal Marshall 7-30; Lopez 3-6.
PASSING—MS, Frausto 4-7-1, 73; GB, Murray 13-29-0, 147; Lytle 1-1-0, 39.
RECEIVING—MS, Preston Seiler 1-40; Wiens 1-20; Brett Parke 2-13; GB, Bryce Lytle 8-122; Smith 4-59; Marshall 1-5; YellowWolf 1-0.