Gary Cornelsen never lost to Great Bend. But since his last year in 2003, the Panthers have been on the prowl in week six. Great Bend has seven consecutive wins over Liberal including four in a row at Great Bend Memorial Stadium which included blowout playoff losses in 2004 and 2006. Last year the Panthers won at Liberal 37-22 at Redskin Field. Liberal senior Akile Powdrill has no knowledge of Great Bend's dominance. He transferred to LHS from Wichita East. Powdrill says the Skins just need a win. "It' very important to go into the district with some momentum," Powdrill said. "We're very hungry. We're looking very sad right now but I believe we can pull it off."
Bo Black is in his ninth year as Great Bend's head coach. He is 8-2 against the Redskins with the only two losses coming against Cornelsen in 2001 and 2003. Black is 64-26 which includes at least a share of the WAC title each of his seasons. His 2006 Panthers were 11-2 and went to the state title game. Liberal head coach Wade Standley says you can expect Black to reach into his bag of tricks. "There's more formations and more things you have to be ready for," Standley said. "But I feel like we've had a good week of preparation so it's just about going out and executing and playing our game plan."
The Redskins are 1-4 and 0-3 going into the WAC finale. But senior Carlos Rodriguez says their coach is leading them the right direction. "He's done a lot of stuff for us," Rodriguez said. "He tells us everyday we're getting there and we are getting there. It's just one more step we have to take to be a good team. He tells us everyday and that gets the defense motivated."
The Redskins may be catching the Panthers at the wrong time. Great Bend (3-2, 1-1) rallied from a 27-6 halftime deficit to beat Dodge City 28-27 at Great Bend last week. The Panthers blocked two punts for touchdowns in the win. The game will air Friday night on Talkradio 1270 and kscb.net with Redskin Pre-game at 6:00 PM.