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Panthers eye WAC title, top seed
spt deh gbhs fball v liberal off run
DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune Great Bend High School Panther wide receiver Bryce Lytle (20) is brought down by Liberal Redskin Jorge Humaron (21) with the assistance of Ty Johnson (12) in the GBHS 49-7 victory last Friday night at Liberal.


The No. 1 ranked Class 5A Panthers (7-0, 3-0 WAC) will seek its first Western Athletic Conference outright football title since 2008 when Garden City (7-0, 3-0 WAC) invades Memorial Stadium Friday night.
The stakes are sky high with Great Bend (7-0, plus 123) seeded first after seven weeks of the Class 5A playoff system. The top western seed is assured of home-field advantage. Garden City (7-0, plus 130) is seeded third in western side of Class 6A.
“We treat each game one at a time, but there’s a little bit more riding on this one,” said Great Bend coach Erin Beck. “It’s been a while since Great Bend won an outright title. If we win, we control our own destinty and the home-field edge in the playoffs would be big.”
Last year’s Panthers clinched a home playoff game in a similar situation.
“It’ll carry a championship-type atmosphere,” Beck said.
Great Bend averages 451 yards and 45 points per game. Garden City averages 381 yards and 39 points per game. An offensive shootout is possible since both defenses will be challenged to slow each other’s high-powered offense.
“Our ability to be balanced offensively between the run and pass helps usd,” Beck said. “We generally take what the defenses gives us and take advantage if we see a mismatch anywhere.”
The game features the top two statistical quarterbacks in the WAC. Great Bend’s Jacob Murray has rushed for 972 yards and 19 scores. Garden City’s Jesse Nunez, a state champion wrestler, has gained 1,013 yards and 19 TDs. Murray has thrown for 1,238 yards and 14 TDs. Nunez has 843 yards passing and eight TDs.
“Jacob is a more polished passer, but they are both athletic,” said Garden City coach Brian Hill. “Both pose a dual threat to the defense and make it difficult to defend.”
Panther TB Cal Marshall has gained 776 yards with 10 TDs and Peyton Hill has gained 475 yards with six scores for Garden City. The Buffaloes run several plays to use Nunez’s speed on the edge with a full compliment of blockers.
“Garden City runs quarterback power and counter,” Beck said. “They have good tough football players. Their running back Peyton Hill is a big back and you have to hit him hard to tackle him.”

Great Bend 7-0, 123
Wichita Heights 6-1, 104
Valley Center 6-1, 95
Goddard 6-1, 85
Maize 6-1, 66
Wichita Carroll 5-2, 47
Andover High 5-2, 43
Liberal 4-3, 7
Emporia 3-4 (-35)
Arkansas City 3-4 (-40)
Wichita Kapaun 2-5 (-20)
Eisenhower 2-5 (-78)
Newton 1-6 (-97)
Topeka West 1-6 (-117)
Salina Central 0-7 (-123)
Salina South 0-7 (-124)

16 Salina South at 1 Great Bend
9 Emporia at 8 Liberal
13 Newton at 4 Goddard
12 Eisenhower at 5 Maize
15 Salina Central at 2 Wichita Heights
11 Wichita Kapaun at 6 Wichita Carroll
4 Topeka West at 3 Valley Center
10 Arkansas City at 7 Andover

KC Schlagle 6-1, 105
Topeka Seaman 6-1, 60
Aquinas 5-2, 63
Pittsburg 4-3, 21
Lansing 4-3 (2)
Mill Valley 3-4, (-10)
KC Turner 3-4 (-41)
St. James 3-4 (-44)
KC Sumner 2-4 (-49)
Shawnee Heights 2-5 (-19)
KC Washington 2-5 (-58)
Bonner Springs 2-5 (-67)
Blue Valley SW 1-6 (-49)
Leavenworth 1-6 (-63)
KC Harmon 0-6 (-100)
Highland Park 0-7 (-126)

16 Highland Park at 1 KC Schlagle
9 KC Sumner at 8 St. James
13 Blue Valley SW at 4 Pittsburg
12 Bonner Springs at 5 Lansing
15 KC Harmon at 2 Topeka Seaman
10 Shawnee Heights at 7 KC Turner
14 Leavenworth at 3 St. Thomas Aquinas
11 KC Washington at 6 Mill Valley

Western Athletic Conference
Great Bend 3-0 7-0
Garden City 3-0 7-0
Liberal 1-2 4-3
Dodge City 1-2 4-3
Hays High 0-4 1-6

Friday’s Games
Abilene at Hays High
Dodge City at Liberal
Garden City at Great Bend