Busters look to get back to winning ways against Huskies
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
Two. That's how many weeks the Garden City Community College football team has had to wait to get back on the gridiron after a disappointing loss to conference rival Hutchinson on Sept. 7.
It's also the number of starters the Busters will be without on Saturday as they host Air Force Prep.
Sophomore Defensive lineman Ralphael Bernard was suspended two games for his part in a melee during the game against Hutchinson in which Bernard threw punches at an opposing player. In addition, sophomore linebacker D'Vonta Derricott was suspended for one game under the new targeting rule. He was not flagged during the game, however a video replay of the game showed the targeting hit by Derricott, prompting the suspension, according to Jayhawk Conference Commissioner Bryce Roderick.
Buster head coach Matt Miller declined to comment on the suspensions.
Without the services of Bernard, who has seven tackles and two sacks from his end position despite missing the first game of the season, and Derricott, who is commited to Kansas State and is second on the team in tackles with 22 and has an interception, the Huskies' vaunted triple-option offense may be harder to stop.
Though, knowing what to expect makes it a little bit easier.
"You know what their base schemes are going to be," Miller said. "They tweak them a little bit, so you're going to have to be ready for that."
After a penalty-ridden game in Hutchinson, Miller said his team's composure and discipline needed to improve. However, he believes those issues have been addressed.
"Any time you lose a ball game, if you're a halfway decent coaching staff, you know there's stuff you need to correct," he said, citing the last two weeks of work have helped the team progress. "Our team is disciplined. They understand our schemes, and that's why I've hired the coaches I've hired."
Miller also noted the leadership freshman linebacker Errol Clarke can provide at the middle linebacker position, even without Derricott next to him. Clarke leads the team in tackles with 32 and tackles for loss with six. He also is tied for the team lead with 1.5 sacks.
The Busters will be trying to get back on track after the Hutch loss, their first of the season, before getting back into conference play on Sept. 28 at Fort Scott.
On the other side of the field, Air Force Prep will be playing only its second contest of the season after dropping its opener at home on Sept. 14 to New Mexico Military Institute, 35-24.
The late start gives the Huskies some pros and cons, according to coach Justin Handley.
"The advantages are, a lot of times, we have had a lot of time to prepare for the first game, so we're able to get our schemes down," he said. "The disadvantage is, we have to catch up to the speed of the game, and it usually takes about a quarter to do that."
That might have hurt the Huskies in the opener as New Mexico Military scored on its first possession. However, Handley saw a lot of positives.
"I thought for the most part, we play hard, with a lot of effort. They adjusted well to the speed of the game," he said.
Against the Busters, he knows they'll need to improve even more, limiting their mental mistakes.
"I think that (the Busters are) a team that plays very hard," he said. "They seem to be well coached, very athletic. I'm expecting a well-played game between two insitutions. I'm expecting a battle."
The Huskies will be led by Dominique Allen, a two-star dual-threat quarterback recruit from Richmond Hill, Ga.
In the backfield, tailback Andrew Kwateng, a two-star recruit from Roswell, Ga., will be joined by fullback Zach Tamburo and Hunter Atyia in the wing.
On defense, Handley noted three players that have "hands down stepped up."
Linebacker Connor Johnson is listed at "bandit" for the Huskies, a position that is a hybrid linebacker/safety, racking up three tackles and a tackle for loss in the opener.
At middle linebacker, Ross Grant anchors the Huskies' modified 3-4 defensive front, totaling four tackles and a tackle for loss against New Mexico.
And in the front three, Cody Morehead is a "high-energy guy who leads by example" at the defensive end spot.
Know the foe
Who: Air Force Prep at at Garden City C.C.
When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
Where: Buffalo Stadium, Garden City High School
Last Meeting: 2012, Garden City 47, Air Force Prep 21
Series Record: Garden City 25-7
First Meeting: 1974, Air Force JV 42-14
Garden City (2-1, 1-1)
League: Jayhawk Conference
Coach: Matt Miller, (1st year)
Probable Starting Lineup:
T--Dontavious Blair, 6-7, 275, So.; Ryan Johnson, 6-5, 330, So.
G--Mitch Moore, 6-2, 275, Fr.; Colby Hamel, 6-3, 305, So.
C--Jason Carreon, 6-2, 295, So.
TE--Alan Kramer, 6-2, 215, So.
WR--Nile Daniel, 6-2, 200, So.; Brandon Snell, 6-1, 205, Fr.
HB--Tyreek Hill, 5-9, 190, So.; Mike Gerst, 5-11, 205, So.
QB--Akeem Jones, 6-3, 207, Fr.
PK--Tyler Peterson, 5-11, 180, So.
E--Richard Obi, 6-3, 255, So.; Dondre Elvoid, 6-4, 315, Fr.
N--Michael McEachern, 5-10, 280, Fr.
MLB--Errol Clarke, 6-3, 240, Fr.
OLB--Dalton Gantz, 6-0, 210, Fr.; Darius Jones, 6-2, 230, So.
CB--Wonderful Terry, 5-10, 180, So.; Tim Hill, 5-9, 190, Fr.
S--Sam Green, 6-2, 210, Fr.; Makail Grace, 6-3, 205, Fr.
P--Tyler Peterson, 5-11, 180, So.
KR--Tyreek Hill, 5-9, 190, So.; Nile Daniel, 6-2, 200, So.
PR--Nile Daniel, 6-2, 200, So.
Aug. 24--INDEPENDENCE, W 67-0*
Aug. 31--at Cisco, Texas, W 35-21
Sept. 7--at Hutchinson, L 34-24*
Sept. 21--AIR FORCE PREP
Sept. 28--at Fort Scott*
Oct. 19--at Dodge City*
*--Denotes Jayhawk Conference game
Air Force Prep
Coach: Justin Handley
Probable Starting Lineup:
T--Daniel Echevaria, Haydon Johnson
G--Matt Reinstra, Mike Sutton
E--Cody Moorhead, Aubry Duty-Tyson
OLB--Connor Johnson, Jarrod Hardrick, Matt Evans
CB--Jordin Hamilton, Marquis Griffin
S--Shaq Vereen, Kieron Williams
Sept. 14--NEW MEXICO MILITARY INSTITUTE, L 35-24
Sept. 21--at Garden City
Sept. 28--at Cole College
Oct. 5--HUTCHINSON C.C.
Oct. 26--DODGE CITY
Nov. 1--at Air Force JV