Dodge City scored 21 points in the final four and a half minutes of the second quarter this past Friday night — including a passing touchdown in the last seven seconds before intermission — to gain all the momentum it needed to cruise to a 45-7 victory over Salina South.
Quarterback Beau Foster was 9-for-14 passing for 216 yards and three touchdowns, including the toss that gave the Red Demons a 28-7 lead at halftime, while Matt Friess carried the ball for 52 yards and added two touchdowns. Aiden Knedler had 84 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and Jashon Taylor had four carries for 27 yards.
The Demon defense also played a starring role while holding the Cougars to several three-and-outs. De' Jon Delgado had an interception on Salina's first drive of the third quarter and took it in for touchdown.
"Our defense is playing extremely well," coach Dave Foster said, noting that linemen Josh Bertholf, Jashon Taylor and Santonio Turner led the charge and accounted for five sacks.
The Demons also got strong contributions from inside linebacker Tommy Bermudez, as well as John Johnson in all three phases.
Going into the game, Foster said the Demons knew Salina South's defense was aggressive, liked to blitz and employed man-to-man coverage. The Demons offset that coverage by going over the top.
Dodge City struggled to stop the Salina South running game early on, but adjustments by the linebackers proved effective.
"It made things tough for Salina throughout the game," Foster said, "but we do need to clean up some things on defense."
Penalties were also an issue with six for 46 yards, including one that nullified a big Demons gain.
"It definitely gives us something to work on," Foster said.
"We've got to get better in some areas."
The Demons will take a 2-0 record to Wichita Heights this Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Though Dodge City took a 49-27 win last year, Heights is flexible on offense. Foster said Dodge will have to work hard to stop Heights' fullbacks, who key the Falcons' attack.
"(Heights) has some tremendous athletes. They have a lot of experience on the offensive line are they are bigger on the offensive line," Foster said. "The ball hits the line of scrimmage quickly behind those big bodies."
The Demons ran the ball a lot against Heights last year, and Foster said that helps open everything else up.