Liberal is six points away from being 2-1 in the WAC. Instead they sit firmly in the basement after another gut wrenching loss Friday night at Redskin Field. The big homecoming crowd saw Garden City clip Liberal 15-13. The Buffaloes put up 367 yards of offense while Liberal amassed 167 yards. Garden City junior quarterback Cody Burnbeck passed for 215 yards (16-24 1 td and one interception) and ran for 116 yards and a touchdown. Liberal's passing offense came to life. Slater McVey was 11-20 with 131 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Liberal head coach Wade Standley says his team gave great effort. "I am extremely proud of the way these kids fought," Standley said. "We've got a bunch of fighters in this group. We're going to be ready next week and play our best football in week six." Standley says there were positives on both sides of the ball. "The way our defense hit tonight and pursued the football and our offense we've got some bright spots throwing the football and doing some things. We'll watch the film and we'll learn from it."
Garden City struck first. Burnbeck lofted a pass in Jacob Vasquez's bread basket for a 27 yard score with 7:48 to play in the first quarter. Garden's next drive reached the Liberal eight yard line. A holding penalty cost Garden City a touchdown. The drive would result in an interception in the endzone by junior safety Brian Morris. Liberal junior quarterback Slader McVey went up top to junior receiver Jade Cathey for a 35 yard touchdown over the Garden defensive back. The next play was key however as Liberal missed the point after wide left. Liberal trailed 7-6 at halftime. Garden City scored on their first drive of the second half beginning the drive in their spread but finishing the drive out of the power I. A Burnbeck one yard quarterback sneak with 3:43 remaining in the third quarter made it 13-6 and a fake kick for a two point conversion from Raul Silva to Cole Billinger made it 15-6 Garden. The resilient Redskins came right back and after a 30 yard completion from McVey to Kowan Russell and a 31 yard pass from McVey to Deaton, a Michael Cummins one yard run would make it 15-13 after the point after. McVey says he had some help Friday night. "My grandpa passed away this week and I'm sure right now he's up there helping me. He helped me be calm. It was a great team effort. We all worked hard. I just wish we could have got that last touchdown," McVey said.
Liberal is 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the WAC. Garden is 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the WAC. Liberal travels to 3-2 Great Bend Friday night for a 7:00 PM game on Talkradio 1270 and kscb.net. Garden hosts Wichita Northwest.
The win marks for first for the Buffaloes in Liberal since 2003 (14-13).