Garden City High School and Dodge City’s football teams squared off Friday night at Buffalo Stadium in the annual Hatchet Game.
The Red Demons came away with a victory, 17-7, in the 122nd meeting between the schools.
As the game was within minutes of beginning, a weather front moved through Garden City, adding dust rolling in with a gusty north wind, as well as some rain and lightning. The lightning moving in to the area forced a weather delay for the start of the game of approximately an hour and 25 minutes.
The weather, or at least the gusty wind, played a roll in making decisions for plays, with both teams moving to more of a ground game than try to battle the unpredictable wind. A majority of the game turned in to a defensive battle, with a wind-aided field goal by Dodge City’s Jose Valverde in the first quarter as the only score in the first half.
During halftime, Garden City High School’s 1999 state champion football team was recognized at midfield.
The defensive battle continued in the third quarter as neither team could score.
Garden City took the lead in the fourth quarter at the 9:30 mark, as running back Josh Janas blasted in from one-yard out for a touchdown. The point after kick by Isaac Rivera was good, to give the Buffaloes a 7-3 lead.
The lead didn’t last though, as Dodge City quarterback Beau Foster connected with De jon Delgado for a 62-yard touchdown pass with 6:32 left in the game. Valverde kicked the extra point to give the Red Demons a 10-7 lead. Foster threw another touchdown pass in the final minutes of the game to Aiden Knedler, with the extra point kick good by Valverde, for a 17-7 lead.
The scoreboard can be deceptive though.
The Buffaloes ran 71 plays in the game, while the Red Demons ran 31. Garden City had 268 total yards of offense, 21 yards passing and 247 yards rushing, while Dodge City had 129 total yards, all from passing - zero yards rushing. GCHS had one turnover while DCHS had two.
Garden City’s Janas lead both teams in rushing with 197 yards on 42 carries.
Quarterback Zane Burns was one of three passes for 14 yards for the Buffaloes, while the Red Demon’s Foster was seven of 16 for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
“I thought our kids played with a lot of heart and just came up short against a good football team,” GCHS Head Coach Brian Hill said. “They made a couple plays at the end of the game that was the difference.”
Garden City is now 2-5 overall while Dodge City is 7-0.
The Buffaloes will host Great Bend at 7 p.m. on Friday at Buffalo Stadium in the final Western Athletic Conference game and regular season finale.
Dodge City 3 0 0 14 - 17
Garden City 0 0 0 7 - 7