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Tonights Great Bend-Central winner enhances 5A state playoff chances
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Great Bend two-way lineman Tyler Uselton (above, at top) leads the Panthers into a criticial district showdown tonight against Salina Central at Memorial Stadium. Kick time is set for 7. - photo by Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune

It’s time for the swing game in Class 5A District 6 football, the second of a three-game district season in determining which two of the four teams qualify for the state playoffs.
Whoever wins between Great Bend High School and Salina Central tonight will put itself in position to remain in playoff berth contention. Meanwhile, the losing team will find itself hoping to finish in a three-way tie with the district points system taking effect.
“It’s all about winning,” Great Bend head coach Bo Black said, “and one thing we strive very hard to do is not talk about winning football games.
“It’s the little things that you have to take care of and work on, and winning will take care of itself when you do that. But when you get down to this point of the year, it’s pretty obvious, you need to win.”
Both Great Bend and Salina Central are 0-1 in district play as each are coming off narrow losses to their arch-rivals.
Using a motto coined by the late Al Davis, owner of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, Just Win Baby.
“That’s exactly what the focus is,” Black said. “We don’t have time to sit around and lick our wounds. We have control of our own destiny, that’s for sure.”
Hays beat Great Bend 43-42 in overtime last Friday in the district opener, meaning Hays is 1-0 at +1 in the district points system that serves as a tiebreaker.
Salina South, which edged Salina Central 44-41 in the other district battle, is 1-0 at +3. Salina South and Hays meet tonight in Salina.
Salina Central is sitting at -3 in the district points system while Great Bend is at -1.
“We have four teams in our district that are battling in there that are pretty equal, for the most part,” Black said.
As for tonight’s opponent, Black says Salina Central parallels Hays in what it brings to the table, although the Mustangs have a 1,000-yard passer in Jackson Rolfs, so they’re more balanced offensively than the David Cardinal-run minded Indians.
 “They have a good football team,” Black said. “They’re big, physical kids and they want to run the ball right at you. They’re pretty well-balanced with a quarterback that can throw it and they have some talented wide receivers.”

Team                  Record          Points

Salina South          1-0                +3
Hays                      1-0                +1
Great Bend            0-1                -1
Salina Central        0-1                -3