The historic battle between Dodge City and Garden City football for the Hatchet always seems to bear important ramifications. Not only does the winner take home the hatchet and pride but on Friday night the winner earned rights to the postseason. The Demons needed a four point win over the Buffs as well as a heavy Hutchinson victory against Maize. They would get both. Dodge City defeated Garden City 24-20.
Garden City junior quarterback Greyson Tempel enjoyed his air attack. He completed 14 of his 31 passes for 215 yards on the game. However, the first quarter quickly started off in Dodge City’s favor. Demon senior Jordan Doan intercepted one of Tempel’s passes giving the Demons a momentum boost. Demon senior running back Parker Davis was the first to score. Out of the wildcat he drove ten yards with three minutes left in the first quarter.
The second quarter belonged to Garden. A critical pass from Tempel to his brother Dustin gave the Buffs the momentum. It resulted in a Brady Bean power push into the end zone for Garden’s first six points, tying the game at 7. The senior running back was the second leading rusher for the Buffs with 16 carries for 78 yards and the touchdown. The Buffs ground attack was just as potent as their receiving. They combined for 181 yards rushing.
Dodge could not covert. When the Buffs regained possession, Tempel found Dodge senior Taylor Murphy for an interception. A pass interference call gave it back to the Buffs and with 13 seconds remaining a beautiful 10 yard slant and connection between Tempel and Bo Banner gave Garden the lead heading into halftime 14-7.
The uncertainty of the Hatchet game returned when the Buffs and Demons took the field for the second half. Dodge City kicker Dillon Burkhard opened the half with a field goal on the Demons opening possession. The Buffs stayed ahead 14-10. Garden aimed to return the favor but instead a botched snap became an 82 yard interception for Demon junior Immanuel Galloway. The momentum could not shift quicker. Dodge City took the lead 17-14.
Garden City was unable to respond. Dodge pounds away with their running game and with only a few yards to gain for a touchdown, the Demons go into their goal line wildcat formation. Davis took the direct snap and fumbled inches from the goal line. In a mad scramble to find the ball, Dodge City offensive lineman Bernabe Rincon fell on it and earned himself six points. The Demons took a bigger lead 24-14.
With four minutes left in the game Garden City put together a solid 47 yard drive. Buff senior receiver Brad Swick got open and on his second reception of the night he scored. Here’s the kicker. Garden City needed the following PAT to get to the playoffs but the Dodge City defense blocked it. The Demons keep the lead 24-20.
The Demons got the ball back and junior quarterback Kelan Newton conducted a dominant 63 yard drive. They got the ball down to the two yard line with 1:33 remaining. Instead of kneeling the ball, they decided to run the ball. Instead of solidifying their win, Davis fumbled the ball and the Buffs recovered it.
A little over a minute remained. The Buffs attempted to manage the clock by making passes and getting out of bounds. However with only ten seconds left, Tempel aired out a long pass that was broken up by Dodge City defenders. Dodge City took home the Hatchet and a playoff berth 24-20.