GREAT BEND, Kan. (KWCH) -- Great Bend entered Friday’s night against Andover Central with two losses on the season, both to Class 5A powers Wichita Northwest and Bishop Carroll. After a late stall and 36-33 loss to Carroll last week, the Panthers put the hammer down in week six.
“Let’s just say it was easy to get these kids fired up to play this football game,” said Great Bend coach Erin Beck during a second weather delay. “You could even feel it in the locker room as we were getting ready to come out after this delay. The energy was pretty electric. These kids are hungry and they’re ready to play.”
But things were a little lackluster early on. Junior Gage Fritz ran 18 yards on an early run but the first drive stalled. The Panther defense picked things up with a safety on the second Andover Central play from scrimmage.
The Jaguars were caught moving backwards several times in the first half. Andover Central netted minus 27 yards on its first four possessions of the game, and Great Bend junior Dalton Miller picked off a Chase White pass.
“Our defense came out and played exceptionally well to start the game,” Beck said. “That’s kind of what we needed because offensively we had a couple we sputtered on and missed a couple shots. That’s what I love about our kids. They stayed calm and came back and responded.”
Great Bend led just 2-0 after one quarter but eventually got the ball rolling. Senior quarterback Koy Brack completed just two of his first eight passes on the night. Early in the second quarter he found junior Alex Schremmer for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
“They kept giving us fits with their hangers,” Beck said. “We were able to take some shots with Schremmer over the top. We do such a good job of taking what the defense gives us. That’s nice to see as a coach when your guys can adapt on the fly.”
Schremmer had a big first half with 127 yards and three touchdowns on seven receptions. His 38-yard run on the next Great Bend drive set up Brack’s 1-yard touchdown run with 7:44 to play in the half.
After another Andover Central punt, it was again Brack and Schremmer doing the damage, this time on an 18-yard pass for a 23-0 score with 4:42 left in the second quarter.
The Jaguars did get on the board. Late in the second quarter, Central drove 65 yards, capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from White to junior Xavier Bell.
The Panthers had a final answer before the weather arrived. Great Bend needed less than two minutes to drive 60 yards down the field. Schremmer completed that drive with an 11-yard touchdown catch from Brack.
Just as the Panther Dance Line took the field during halftime, cool winds moved into the area. The game was delayed 30-plus minutes due to rotation in the clouds north of the stadium. The teams re-took the field at 8:30 p.m. and were five minutes away from action before play was again delayed due to lightning in the area.
Brack threw for 214 yards and three touchdowns on 15-of-25 passing through two quarters. Calan Haberman pulled in two passes for 33 yards. Fritz rushed for 67 yards on nine carries in the first half.
White completed 10 of his first 13 passes in the game with an interception and a touchdown. With a big loss on a play, his throws netted 11 yards. Bell hauled in four passes for 74 yards.