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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Conqs hope transfers improve 'O'

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  • The Dodge City Conquistadors offense scored less than 14 points a game last year as they never could get either quarterback to move the ball.
    New DCCC head coach Gary Thomas brought in some of his former College of DuPage Chaparral players to help jumpstart getting the ball moving this season.
    Running back is going to be a strong season with last year's DuPage offensive most valuable player Tyris Thomas and Keymonne Gabriel in charge of running the ball.
    "Tyris has good vision and real good acceleration," said Coach Thomas. "He does everything to protect the football and protect the quarterback. Gabriel is a big back, but a fluent runner. Both of them can run and catch the ball. We have a good chance of being a spread offense with backs who can do both."
    Coach Thomas said the receiving corps can challenge any other team in the conference. DuPage's best wide receiver, Michael Thomas, comes to Dodge City, along with two transfers from Division I schools (DeVonte Robinson of West Virginia and Kyle Foster of Syracuse). Two players who played at Dodge City last year are back: Mark Smith and Shane Brittain.
    The quarterback battle was between four players at the start of the season and freshman DeAndre Ford will be the starter in Saturday's first game of the season against the Butler Grizzlies in El Dorado.
    "He's just the most consistent," Coach Thomas said. "He's a freshman and makes freshman mistakes, but he has the quickest release and has run the offense the smoothest. We think he's the real deal when he reaches his potential. We just have to keep him from making mistakes to keep our chances to win."
    All six offensive linemen from last year's squad are back and Thomas said they have improved since they got back from last season. They will be the key for the season for the line to keep opposing defenses away long enough so there will be time for plays to be made.
    "Spring ball was rough, but we have killed it in the room. Most of them have put 20-25 pounds," Thomas said. "They are bigger, faster and stronger versions of what they were. They give us a good nucleus and they have an understanding of the speed. They don't lack for effort and that's a good jumping point to start."
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