Garden City shuts out Highland
Through three games, the Broncbusters have put together quite the offensive resume. The scary part? They haven't even played four full quarters of football. But even at 60 percent of their full potential, Tom Minnick's bunch showed no mercy on Saturday, annihilating another conference opponent.
Jordan Ford hit the century mark for the third straight week with 111 yards and two touchdowns, Devin Larsen threw for a season-high 198 and pair of scores, and No. 3 Garden City Community College blew past overmatched Highland 58-0 at Broncbuster Stadium. It was the first time since 2004 that the Broncbusters have scored 50 or more points in three straight games.
"We have to keep trying to get better," Minnick said afterwards. "We're not going to sit here and keep running the ball. We must be able to throw it against the big boys down the road. I mean, we can keep running it all day, but we have to get better in other areas, no matter what the score is."
As good as the offense has looked through 12 quarters, it was the defense that shined in this one. Jerry Dominguez's unit had five takeaways, intercepting former eight-man star Quinn Buessing twice while forcing three fumbles, none more impressive than Keylon Kennedy's spectacular chase down of Raequan Prince in the third quarter where he punched the ball out of the sophomore receiver's hands after he galloped 76 yards to the Garden City 2. Exzavieus Roberson recovered it in the end zone, and the shutout was preserved.
"He's a big-time corner for us," Minnick explained. "We've got some pretty good pieces in the secondary."
That much is true, and you can add Roberson's name to the mix. The freshman safety gave the Broncbusters a five-touchdown lead in the second quarter when he read a telegraphed pass from Buessing, picked it off, and raced 60 yards down the right sideline for Garden City's second defensive touchdown of the season. Sprinkle in a pair of Tahron Sims fumble recoveries, and the Broncbusters smothered Highland into submission. They limited the Scotties to minus-12 yards on the ground, the second straight game where they held an opponent to negative yardage.
"We knew Highland couldn't block us," Minnick said. "I mean, we've got some really good kids up front."
For the second time in three weeks, Garden City scored on its opening drive. The Broncbusters marched 63 yards in six plays highlighted by Larsen's 31-yard strike to Scieneaux Jarmon on third-and-6 that set the brown and gold up at the Highland 28. Three plays later, Garden City faced another third down, this time Khamran Laborn scooped up Larsen's ankle-high throw and darted 30 yards up the right numbers for a touchdown. It was one of two scoring strikes in the first period with the other coming in the final 90 seconds when the Iowa State transfer connected with Ford on 23-yard screen pass that put Garden City up 13-0.
"I think we got a little better after this game," Minnick said. "I don't know how much better we got after watching the Fort Scott game. But we have to be ready because we have five really good teams that are waiting for us now."
There was no way on earth Garden City was going to bust out the entire repertoire against Highland. But leading 20-0 after Ford raced 14 yards to the end zone early in the second, offensive coordinator, Mike Orthmann reached deep into his bag of tricks. On first-and-10 from the Highland 37, Larsen took the snap, faked a pitch to Martez Jones then rolled to his left. A split second later, he pitched the ball back to Jarmon who then floated a pass to a wide-open Jones, who slipped free down the right sideline for a touchdown. It was a perfect play design, and it gave the Broncbusters a commanding 27-0 lead.
"We know we can throw the ball," Minnick stated. "We just have to be able to do it with more consistency."
The Broncbusters proceeded to put the Scotties out of their misery in the second half. Ford added a four-yard rushing touchdown in the third, and Devion Hodges slammed in from three yards out one minute into the final period to make it 51-0. That's when Minnick pulled Larsen and inserted Oregon transfer, Mike Irwin, who polished off a five-play, 31-yard drive late in the game with a perfect dart to Makholven Sonn in the back-right corner of the end zone.
"We are excited to play teams like Independence and Hutchinson," Minnick said. "I would play those types of teams every week if we could. This schedule just got a lot tougher."
Hodges finished the day with 11 carries for 93 yards, filling in for Xavier Peters, who missed the game with a foot injury.
"He (Peters) probably could have played," Minnick said. "But we wanted to be cautious knowing who we have next week."
Laborn caught three balls for 118 yards and a score, and Jarmon had two catches for 45.
Buessing finished 10-of-19 for 145 yards and two picks for the Scotties, which dropped their seventh straight game to Garden City. Prince reeled in six balls for 123 yards.
Garden City is at Independence at 7 p.m. on Saturday.