HAYS — The Great Bend High School football team was locked down on Friday night at Lewis Field Stadium by Western Athletic Conference foe Hays.
The Panthers finished with 235 yards of offense in a 47-14 rout.
“It was just a lopsided game,” GBHS head coach Bo Black said. “We just got outplayed. We got outhustled. Most importantly, they won the physical battle. We knew coming into this game, that we needed to win that physical battle.”
The loss drops Great Bend to 4-3 overall, and 2-2 in the WAC. Hays improves to 6-1, 3-1.
Hays’ one loss came at the hands of Garden City, which is 2-1 in the conference with a WAC matchup against Dodge City set for Week 9.
If the Buffaloes win the game, they win the conference. If Dodge City beats them, Hays wins the title.
Great Bend drops to 0-1 in Class 5A’s District 7. Hays and Salina South are 1-0, with the Cougars beating Salina Central 55-27 on Friday night.
The Panthers host Salina Central next week at Memorial Stadium.
“Our main concern is to find a way to have a winning season and win five games,” Black said. “If we can find a way to win at home next week and rebound, then we’ll look at the playoff picture.
“The way we played tonight, it would be embarrassing to even get in.”
Both defenses held in the first quarter, and the game started to look as though it would be a defensive battle as Hays forced a trio of three-and-outs and the Panthers sported a bend-but-don’t-break defense that saw the Indians get within 20 yards of the end zone but held them scoreless.
But Hays started to take advantage of great field position in the second quarter.
“Field position, we struggled catching kickoffs,” Black said. “We struggled blocking people on kickoff returns. We struggled blocking people offensively.
“We only ran 14 plays in the second half because we never had the ball. We couldn’t get the defense off the field.”
Starting their drive at the Panthers 39-yard line, Indians quarterback Alex Delton unleashed a rainbow of a pass to Lane Clark, who caught it deep in the right corner of the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown.
The ensuing kickoff bounced off Ty Yager’s feet and out of bounds at the Great Bend 2-yard line.
Hays’ Hayden Kreutzer recorded a safety on the next play.
Adam Klaus returned Great Bend’s free kick to the Panthers 22-yard line, and Indians running back Preston Weigel, who had 210 yards on the night, capped a three-play drive with a 6-yard score.
In one minute, 26 seconds, the game went from a scoreless tie to a 16-0 Hays advantage.
The Panthers responded with a booming 72-yard catch-and-run by Johnny Allende, courtesy of the arm of quarterback Bryce Beck.
After a two-point conversion from Beck, Great Bend cut the lead to 16-8.
Allende, who missed last week’s game due to a contusion and was a game-time decision for the district game, finished with a team-leading 56 yards.
Beck completed 6 of 12 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns. He threw one interception.
Clark hit a 29-yard field goal to widen the margin to 19-8 for the Indians with 3:50 remaining in the half.
Weigel, who averaged 6.18 yards per carry, punched in his second rushing score, a 9-yard plunge to make it 26-8.
Great Bend’s Justin McGinnes made a diving catch in the end zone for a 6-yard score with 16 seconds remaining in the half.
The Indians led 26-14 at halftime.
Great Bend attempted an onside kick to start the second half, but the referees ruled that a Panthers special teams player touched the ball before it traveled 10 yards.
A penalty allowed the Indians to start on the Panthers 36-yard line.
With the Tribe knocking at the door again, Great Bend knocked the ball loose from Klaus’ hands for a turnover.
Great Bend was unable to take advantage of the turnover, going 3-and-out on the following drive. The Panthers had seven first downs on the night.
Delton, who finished with 78 rushing yards, took over the Tribe, rattling off 24- and 7-yard TD runs in the third quarter.
The Indians quarterback continued to add to his team’s lead, diving into the end zone for a 1-yard TD with 10:01 remaining in the game.
“We never stopped them,” Black said. “They may have only punted once. We seldom made a tackle. It was just disappointing from the outset.”
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Western Athletic Conference
Lewis Field Stadium
Hays 47, Great Bend 14
Great Bend 0 14 0 0 — 14
Hays 0 26 14 7 — 47
Hays — Lane Clark 24 pass from Alex Delton (Clark kick), 10:11
Hays — Hayden Kreutzer safety, 10:04
Hays — Preston Weigel 6 run (Clark kick), 8:45
Great Bend — Johnny Allende 72 pass from Bryce Beck (Beck run), 7:55
Hays — Clark 29 field goal, 3:50
Hays — Weigel 9 run (Clark kick), 1:33
Great Bend — Justin McGinnes 6 pass from Beck (run failed), :16
Hays — Delton 24 run (Clark kick), 5:13
Hays — Delton 7 run (Clark kick), 4:47
Hays — Delton 1 run (Clark kick), 10:01
First Downs 20 7
Total Net Yards 415 235
Rushes-yards 63-357 25-114
Passing 58 121
Comp-Att-Int 3-6-0 6-12-1
Punts-Avg 1-43 6-37.8
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-2
Penalties-Yards 3-35 6-52
RUSHING — Great Bend, Allende 14-56, Beck 5-44, McGinnes 3-4, Keaton Elliott 2-12, Ty Yager 1-(minus 2); Hays, Weigel 34-210, Delton 20-78, Ty Whittington 4-19, Adam Klaus 4-50, Hayden Kreutzer 1-2
PASSING — Great Bend, Beck 6-12-121; Hays, Delton 3-6-58
RECEIVING — Great Bend, Allende 2-91, Greg Burley 3-24, McGinnes 1-6; Hays, Clark 2-34, Klaus 1-24