GREAT BEND, Kan. The Great Bend Panthers defeated the Garden City Buffaloes 49-6 to win their first outright WAC title since 2008.
Great Bend came into the night looking for a win and some help to guarantee a high seed going into the Class 5A playoffs starting next week. The Panthers also knew a victory would hand them the Western Athletic Conference title where a loss would put them in a three-way tie for the league championship with Garden City and Dodge City.
The Panthers received the ball to start the game. They marched down the field and put seven points on the board after Gage Fritz ran in a touchdown from 26-yards out.
On the very next play from scrimmage, Dalton Miller stripped the ball from Garden City's Ethan Martin. Miller turned around and ran the ball in for another touchdown. Only 14 seconds separated the two scores.
Garden City took over and marched to within the 15-yard line only to have a low block penalty push them out of the red zone. They turned the ball over on downs.
Great Bend then took the ball and set up Gage Fritz for his second touchdown of the night. He ran 47-yards for his second touchdown of the night. The Panthers now held a 21 to nothing lead.
Before the halftime whistle, Great Bend added two more touchdowns. The first came on a two yard rush by quarterback Koy Brack. Brack threw a 29 yard pass Calan Haberman.
They went into the locker room with a 35-0 lead.
Koy Brack threw another touchdown pass in the third quarter. This time he found Alex Schremmer in the end zone.
Garden City finally got on the board thanks to a short one-yard rush by Recee Morss.
Great Bend answered right back driving down the field and having Brack punch in the ball from one-yard out.
Great Bend Head Coach Erin Beck was happy for his kids.
"They have wanted this title for a long time," said Coach Beck. "And to come out and do it the way we did tonight makes me very proud as a coach."
Great Bend finishes the regulars season with a 6-2 record. Garden City sits at 2-6 record.
Both teams will wait for the results from other games to figure out where they stand for the start of playoffs next week.