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Home game at stake for Panthers
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Great Bend High School Panther defenders Thomas Bobbitt and Nick Reed bring down the Salina Central ball carrier Michael McMullen during the Panthers home stand Friday night. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

The Great Bend football team will attempt to sweep the Salina schools after a 0-6 record the past three years.
At stake for Great Bend (6-2, 2-0) at Salina South (5-3, 2-0) Friday at Salina Stadium is a coveted Class 5A home playoff game Nov, 6. The Panthers secured their first playoff berth since 2010 with a dominating 57-38 victory over Salina Central last week.
Just like last week, Friday’s game promises to be an offensive shootout, similar to all four district games so far. A forecast of rain might make things especially tricky on Halloween’s eve.
Salina South rallied to beat Salina Central by throwing the football. Last week, the Cougars ran for 423 yards.
“South is a pretty dynamic offense with weapons everywhere,” said Great Bend coach Tony Crough. “The way teams score points, it’s difficult to stop offensive teams. What makes Salina South is they’ve also got three good receivers.”
Great Bend’s Thomas Bobbitt scored a defensive touchdown for the second straight week and Dominique Rideaux scored on a 74-yard interception return. The Panthers have scored five defensive touchdowns. Payton Mauler leads with 79 tackles. Sam Witte has 74 tackles and Jose Batres has 67 stops. Rideaux has accounted for eight takeaways with 12 stops for losses.
The Panthers play a quick and undersized defense.
“We feature a bunch of competitive kids who don’t like to lose. We’re so small, it’s like playing with six linebackers,” Crough said. “We thrive on speed, toughness and aggressiveness. We’ll focus on South’s run game that runs counter, Veer and trap. We’ll pick our spots to make a big defensive play.”
Last week, Panther quarterback Jacob Murray threw for 253 yards and receiver Bryce Lytle had 10 catches for 191 yards and two scores. Cal Marshall scored three touchdowns and gained 109 yards. Rideaux had 12 tackles and four stops for losses. Jared Maneth had 13 tackles, two for losses.
The Panthers’ offensive line of center Alex Deist, guards Devon Boone and Kade Southard and tackles Aaron Clark and Jake Dearman has delivered good protection for Murray.
Murray has thrown for 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns. Lytle has 919 receiving yards. Murray has rushed for 644 yards and Marshall 540 yards.
“We throw the football pretty well too, and our quarterback runs the ball well enough the defense has to be aware,” Crough said. “We’re very confident, if we play a great football game, we’re going to win.”
Salina South cruised past Newton 53-30 last week. The Cougars gained 554 yards as Sam Corona rushed for 180 yards and DeAngelo Turner gained 123 yards. Quarterback Jacob Yarochowicz has thrown for 1,429 yards. Top receivers are Dylan Becker (689), Jacob Marcotte (512) and 6-7 Trace Kochevar.

X-playoff qualifier
Class 5A, District 6
X- Great Bend 6-2  2-0
X- S. South 5-3  2-0
S. Central 3-5  0-2
Newton 1-7  0-2

Friday’s games
Great Bend at Salina South
Salina Central at Newton