TEAM ALL WAC
Hays 5-1 3-1
Dodge City 6-0 3-0
Great Bend 2-3 2-1
Garden City 3-3 1-2
Liberal 2-4 0-4
Great Bend 42, Liberal 16
Dodge City 35, Hays, 7
Garden City 42, Wichita East 22
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Great Bend 42, Liberal 16
Liberal 3 0 6 7 — 16
Great Bend 14 14 7 7 — 42
Liberal — Jesse Quintero 28 FG, 10:29
Great Bend — Greg Hildebrand 1 run (Mario Espino kick), 4:23
Great Bend — Jace Bowman 22 pass from Hildebrand (Mario Espino kick), 1:57
Great Bend — Hildebrand 4 run (Mario Espino kick), 3:45
Great Bend — Bowman 31 pass from Hildebrand (Mark Espino kick), 4.5
Liberal — Justin McPhail 2 run (run failed), 7:49
Great Bend — Jeremy Sigler 3 run (Mario Espino kick), 4:03
Great Bend — Hildebrand 2 run (13 kick), 6:23
Liberal — McPhail 4 run (Quintero kick), 5:15
First Downs 18 24
Total Net Yards 337 525
Rushes-yards 183 248
Passing 154 277
Comp-Att-Int 18-28-1 17-24-0
Punts-Avg 3-97 1-35
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 7-55 6-50
RUSHING — Liberal: Slader McVey 19-147, McPhail 5–11, Isaac Gallegos 3-9, Michael Sena 2-12, Cathey 1-4. Great Bend, Sigler 16-88, Hildebrand 15-86, Mitch Kottas 4-29, Dakota Ellis 2-17, Behrens 2-11, Matt Marshall 1-1, Daniel Herrman 1-10, Bryce Hofmeister 1-2, Montes 1-4
PASSING — Liberal, McVey 19-28-1 154; Great Bend: Hildebrand 17-24-0 277; Kottas 0-0-0 0
RECEIVING — Liberal: Jade Cathey 6-36, Michael Sena 5-35, Tyson Deaton 6-73, Lewis 1-10. Great Bend, Bowman 8-135, Logan Buehler 3-23, Alex Reed 2-60, Sigler 1-11, Mario Uribe 1-17, Sell 1-16, Ellis 1-10.
LIBERAL – Perhaps there couldn’t be a better prelude to Class 5A district football play for the Great Bend High School Panthers than their mauling of Western Athletic Conference opponent Liberal Friday night out on the Pecos.
The Panthers, desperately needing a win to gain some momentum for the upcoming district opener against Hays at home on Friday, took the Redskins out behind the woodshed and administered a 42-16 whopping at Redskins Field.
While bottling up Western Athletic Conference receiving leader Jade Cathey, the Panthers, led by quarterback Greg Hildebrand and wide receiver Jace Bowman, burned the beleaguered ’Skins defense to a crisp to a tune of 525 yards in total offense.
Great Bend improves to 2-3 overall, 2-1 in the WAC, and has an added spring in its step after beating up Liberal on both sides of the ball.
The Panthers’ offensive line, called out by Great Bend head coach Bo Black last week, was instrumental in freeing up Hildebrand, who ran for three touchdowns and also had a trio of scoring passes to Jace Bowman, who had a season-best 135 receiving yards in eight catches. Bowman had scoring catches of 22, 31 and 7 yards.
“The simple fact is that I think our guys really want to be good and (the offensive linemen) really took it to heart,” Black said. “The whole group stepped up, and where we’re at right now is we’re starting to peak going into our last three games. We kind of put it all together (offensively and defensively).”
In essence, the Panthers did to the Redskins (2-4, 0-4) what Wichita Heights and Dodge City did in succession the previous two weeks to Great Bend: controlled the line of scrimmage and totally dominated the game.
Defensively, it all started with shutting down Western Athletic Conference receiving leader Jade Cathey. The Panthers limited him to only 36 yards in a team-high six catches in keeping the 6-foot-5, 200-pound Kansas State recruit out of the end zone for the second straight week.
Much like they did to Garden City’s top receiver, Raul Silva, in Week 2 during a 21-13 road victory, holding him to season-low receiving yardage, the Panthers bottled up Cathey.
“We had two on him most of the night,” Black said of Logan Buehler, Dakota Ellis and others taking turns on Cathey. “We were trying to disguise where we were coming from, and where help was coming from. We’d bring a linebacker out on him and a corner over the top.
“We always accounted for him until late in the third quarter, and we were able to play some backup kids. We were always sending two at him and really took him out of the game. We were really trying to jam him, bringing one inside and one outside on him.”
Conference passing leader Slader McVay exposed the Panthers’ run defense, which allowed big yardage to a quarterback for the second-straight week. One week after Jared Helfrich of Dodge City had 109 yards in 14 carries, the elusive McVay riddled Great Bend for a game- and season-high 147 yards in 19 carries.
Yet it mattered little, when Hildebrand was busy mixing the pass and the run with effectiveness. Hildebrand had 277 passing yards, and running back Jeremy Sigler finished with 16 carries for 88 yards. Hildebrand added 15 rushes for 86, as the duo accounted for 174 of their 248 yards on the ground.