By BRETT MARSHALL
During the week of practice leading up to the Garden City Buffaloes' home matchup with Woodward, Okla., both wide receiver Mitchell Hernandez and quarterback Greyson Tempel were going through the typical scout team plays, preparing their best for what the Boomers would bring to town.
Evidently, the two took a cue from those scouting reports, as the seniors combined for eight pass completions totaling 219 yards with the 5-foot-8 Hernandez scoring two touchdowns on similar routes that covered 84 and 45 yards that helped propel the Buffs to a 35-34 dramatic victory.
Tempel finished the night by hitting 13-of-19 passes for 303 yards (3 TDs) and rushed for 135 yards on 17 carries, scoring once. His 438 yards of total offense eclipsed his one-week school record of 395 which was set at Bixby, Okla., the week before. That mark bettered the 390 yards set by Broderick Smith in 2007.
"I couldn't envision the number of catches and certainly not the yards," said Hernandez, who has moved into a starting spot after mostly seeing action as the team's punter in 2012. "There were a lot of plays available in the slots when we watched film. As soon as the safety's hips turn out, the picture you see is the end zone."
Hernandez' first scoring reception came on the game's third play from scrimmage. Running a deep post pattern from the right side, Hernandez caught Tempel's pinpoint pass at the Woodward 45 and broke free to the end zone. His final score, which tied the game before Israel Hernandez booted the game-winning extra point, came on a similar play, but this time from the left hash mark.
"It was important to get the win and I thought we started out good," said Tempel. "We let 'em back in, but I thought we showed our potential at times. We've got a lot of speedy receivers and they're doing a great job of catching the ball. I'm just trying to do the things that will help us win."
Both Tempel and Hernandez agreed that seeing a game plan come to fruition provides a lot of confidence going forward.
"We know the coaches do a great job of preparing us," said Hernandez. "It's really fun to see those plays work as well as they did."
Between Hernandez and the other two starting wideouts — 6-5 junior Caleb Tramp and 5-11 Dusty Tempel, Greyson's twin — the triple threat receiving corps provides Greyson with a multitude of weapons.
"I really like our offense," Greyson said of the up-tempo style installed by coach Brian Hill this year. "It fits our style, and I think we're comfortable in it. Our offensive line is blocking good, and the receivers are doing their job in catching the ball."
Hernandez remains the team's punter, and it was his coffin-corner kick at the end of the game that put the Boomers 99 yards away from scoring that eventually helped the defense come up with a big interception in the closing seconds. From the Woodward 35, Hernandez nailed the punt 34 yards with Dusty Tempel downing the ball at the one.
"The first goal was just to get it inside the 20," Hernandez said. "I knew I wanted to go right because I just kick better that direction. We've worked on it a lot. I'm more comfortable kicking it that way. Dusty's fast and that just makes it easier."
Top Area Performances — Week 2
Zeke Cox, Ingalls — Passed for two touchdowns and ran for one more in a 50-20 loss to Spearville.
Marcos Cruz, Dighton — Scored four TDs on runs of 26, 32, 31 and 1 yards in a 38-0 win over Greeley County.
Alex Gomez, Elkhart — Scored three touchdowns, two running and one passing, in a 26-7 triumph over Southwestern Heights.
Adrian Longoria, Satanta — Scored three touchdowns in the Indians' 42-0 shutout of Moscow.
Caleb Fischer and Christian Fischer, Cimarron — Caleb had three TD passes and a punt return, while Christian caught all three of the TD passes from his twin brother and also returned a punt for a score in the Bluejays' 60-0 win over Syracuse.
Ty Clark, Cimarron — Clark rushed 10 times for 135 yards and two touchdowns in the 'Jays' big win over the Bulldogs.
Jett Little and Morgan Olvera, Meade — Little had 26 carries for 185 yards and four touchdowns, while Olvera added 18 carries for 119 yards and one TD in the Buffs' 41-13 victory over Lakin.
Gage McAtee, Lakin — In the loss to Meade, McAtee still had a solid performance, rushing for 121 yards on 15 carries and scored one TD.
Yates Sutton, Hugoton — Rushed for 149 yards on 16 carries, scoring all three Eagle touchdowns (53, 80 and 3 yards) in a 20-7 victory over Holcomb.
Ian Rudzik, Ulysses — The sophomore running back had 20 carries for 173 yards in helping the Tigers knock off Class 5A Great Bend, 21-14.
Adrian Gum, Stanton County — Rushed 26 times for 152 yards and scored three touchdowns in the Trojans' 27-20 win over Wichita County.
Colton Nothrup, Wichita County — Had 14 carries for 101 yards in the loss to Stanton County.
Mitchell Hernandez, Garden City — Had 8 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns (84 and 45 yards) in the Buffaloes' 35-34 win over Woodward, Okla.
Greyson Tempel, Garden City — In the Buffs' 35-34 victory, Tempel completed 13-of-19 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 135 yards on 17 carries and scored one TD. His 435 yards of total offense broke his own school record of 395, which was set the week before against Bixby, Okla.