By BRETT MARSHALL
If anyone asks, homecoming is just what the Garden City High School football team would like to see every week on its schedule.
For the third consecutive Friday night, the Buffs celebrated a dominating victory during a homecoming game.
This time, though, it was the Buffs' own homecoming, and the fireworks capped off a 35-7 missile attack that left the Blue Aces of Wichita East limping home.
Following road homecoming wins over Hays and Liberal in the Western Athletic Conference, the Buffs stepped out of league play, but the results were still the same.
In posting three-straight victories (well, the Hays game was only one half at 35-0), the Buffs have outscored their opponents by a margin of 131-27.
"It's always a different, wild week with homecoming," a happy GCHS coach Brian Hill said afterward. "There's a lot of distractions. We had a bunch of kids up for homecoming king, but I thought the kids handled it well."
Indeed they did.
Despite playing with a stomach ailment, senior quarterback Greyson Tempel once again provided the offensive spark for the Buffs' quick-strike offense.
He scored on a 33-yard run midway through the first quarter to put the Buffs up early, 7-0, after Ismael Hernandez booted the PAT.
Then, early in the second, he hooked up with his brother, Dusty, for a 58-yard bomb and, following a blocked extra point kick, the Buffs were on top 13-0.
"The season kinda started a little rough for me, but ever since the Liberal game, I think we've been able to make a good connection," Dusty Tempel said. "They were doubling on Caleb (Tramp) and that meant I had single coverage."
He hauled in the post pattern at the 20-yard line, broke free and raced untouched to the end zone.
East's lone score then came quickly when Joseph Patrick took the ensuing kickoff, raced up the middle of the field behind his blockers, broke free and scampered 92 yards. Tre Thomas booted the extra point and it was 13-7 GCHS with 9:03 remaining before half.
Two possessions later, following a Cody Warren fumble recovery at the East 33, Jared Koster scored on a 5-yard burst up the middle, stretching out for the TD. A 2-point run attempt was stopped short and it was 19-7 with 3:42 showing before the break.
The Buffs then had a high and short kickoff down the right side of the field and Alex Espinosa was able to catch the ball and ended up being tackled on the Blue Aces 22-yard line. Six plays later, Greyson Tempel connected with the 6-foot-5 Tramp deep in the left corner of the end zone for another score. When a pass for conversion failed, it was 25-7, and that's how it stood at intermission.
With the temperature falling after halftime, and the north wind increasing, the Buffs were satisfied with playing field position football. Neither team scored in the third period.
The Tempel brothers went back to work on a fly pattern TD pass where Dusty was able to turn his single coverage cornerback to the inside and Greyson threw it to his outside shoulder for icing on the homecoming cake. Hernandez booted the extra point and it was 32-7 with 5:42 left in the game. Two plays later following the kickoff, sophomore linebacker Dylan Darter recovered a George Bousfield fumble at the 16. It resulted in a Hernandez 30-yard field goal with 2:59 to play.
"They pretty much did what we prepared for," said Darter, a linebacker. "I thought we did a good job of shutting down their outside run. They made some good runs on the inside, but then we'd contain them. The fumble recovery was just being in the right place at the right time. It's my first fumble recovery and it feels good, but the bigger part is the success of the team."
Greyson Tempel finished the game with 161 rushing yards on 20 carries and was 7-of-15 passing for 150 yards and one interception. Dusty Tempel led the receivers with four catches for 123 yards. East's offense was led by fullback Deonta Thomas, who gained 155 yards on 28 carries. The Blue Aces were held to a total of 162 yards.
"Defensively, we did what we needed to do and that was to force them into long drives," Hill said. "They had some fullback dives that were successful, but our kids rallied to the ball. Eventually, they got greedy and we got them into some turnovers."
The Buffs, now 4-2 overall, hit the road on Friday for their first Class 6A-District 8 game at Maize. It's the "new" season and the Buffs will face the Eagles, Hutchinson and Dodge City over the next three Fridays in search of their third playoff appearance in Hill's four seasons. East falls to 2-4.
Wichita East 0 7 0 0 -- 7
Garden City 7 18 0 10 -- 35
GC--Greyson Tempel 33 run (Ismael Hernandez kick), 7-0, 6:48.
GC--Dustin Tempel 58 pass from G. Tempel (kick blocked), 13-0, 9:15.
WE--Joseph Patrick 92 kickoff return (Tre Thomas kick), 13-7, 9:03.
GC--Jared Koster 5 run (run failed), 19-7, 3:42.
GC--Caleb Tramp 8 pass from G. Tempel (pass failed), 25-7, 1:29.
GC--D. Tempel 42 pass from G. Tempel (Hernandez kick), 32-7, 5:42.
GC--Hernandez 30 field goal, 35-7, 2:59.
First downs 12 13
Rushes-yards 54-150 35-179
Passing yards 12 160
Passes 1-8-0 7-15-1
Fumbles-lost 7-4 1-0
Punts-avg. 7-29.7 6-33.0
RUSHING--Wichita East: Thomas 28-155, Bousfield 16-(-9), Hisken 8-(-9), Edwards 2-13; Garden City: G. Tempel 20-161, Koster 5-(-2), Norquest 2-(-4), M. Hernandez 1-4, Howard 6-9, D. Tempel 1-11.
PASSING--Wichita East: Bousfield 1-8-0--12; Garden City: G. Tempel 7-15-1--150.
RECEIVING--Wichita East: Edwards 1-12; Garden City: D. Tempel 4-123, Tramp 2-22, Richman 1-5.