The Dodge City Red Demons football team will try to rebound against the Great Bend Panthers after falling last week 63-0 to Wichita Heights.
That effort was led by Heights junior quarterback K’Vonte Baker who had been suspended the first two games of the season. Baker had 432 yards rushing and eight touchdowns, in addition to 51 yards passing.
“Baker, their quarterback, was by far the most talented kid that we’d seen all year or will see all year,” Dodge City head coach Dave Foster said. “They put the ball in his hands and essentially we couldn’t tackle him.”
The game was difficult for the Red Demons in terms of injuries as well. Starting quarterback Beau Foster went down in the first half with concussion-like symptoms, and former starting quarterback Dawson Williams went down with a shoulder injury. Losing Williams affected all three phases of the game Foster said, from offense and defense to special-teams.
Both players, as well as sophomore wide receiver John Johnson, remain questionable for Friday’s game, coach Foster said.
Foster said he expects Friday’s game against the Panthers to be very competitive.
“They’re a mirror-image of us offensively, defensively as well,” Foster said.
Last week, Foster said, the game plan employed against Dodge City was designed to test Dodge City’s athletes, the “Jimmy’s and Joe’s” and see if Dodge City’s could beat those playing for Wichita Heights. They couldn’t.
This week, however, the athletes on the two teams are similarly talented athletically.
“It’s one of those games where our Jimmy’s and Joe’s are very similar, and I think you’re going to see that from this point forward,” Foster said. “It’s going to come down to kids doing the little things right continuously, the discipline of playing the game of football fundamentally sound snap-in and snap-out.”
The Red Demons are 1-2, but Foster said there’s still time for the team to make a push for a league championship.
“Our kids have had a short-term memory,” Foster said. “We brought them in on Saturday morning and that’s what we told them: ‘We said we’re looking at things right now saying we’re going from 1-2 to 6-2. That’s five in a row.’ And that’s our whole thought-process and our kids haven’t thought anything else. The only thing that lies in the way are five opponents that want to win as bad as we do. What goes with that is a WAC championship and it has to start Friday-night because any hiccup you take along the way jeopardizes that.”
The Dodge City Red Demons take on the Great Bend Panthers at 7 p.m. Friday night in Dodge City’s Memorial Stadium.