(Kenny Felt/Special to the Tribune)
Due to Fort Scott's probation, the game does not count in Jayhawk Conference standings.
Garden City (1-3) led 14-0 with 13:37 remaining in the first half after each of its first two possessions went 83 yards and resulted in scores. However, Fort Scott (2-2) held the Busters to just 36 yards of offense in the final 43:37.
"Part of it, I think (Fort Scott) settled down a little bit," Garden City head coach Jeff Tatum said. "They had a couple of mismatches on our guys blocking. After that second drive, we just got beat a couple of times. It was nobody's fault. We just missed a block here or there."
Garden City's first scoring drive took 14 plays and 7:29 before Andrew Pitts went into the end zone with 6:01 left in the first quarter. After forcing the Greyhounds to punt, the second scoring drive went 9 plays and 5:29 ending on a 12-yard scoring pass from Rashard Burkett to Kenny Cook.
However, kicker Wes Spangler missed the PAT after both scores, and that turned out to be vital.
Fort Scott's Luke Lundy broke through the middle of the line and ran 77 yards for the Greyhounds' first score with 9:34 left in the opening half. Kicker Drew Russel was able to convert the PAT to bring Fort Scott within 12-7.
The 'Hounds had a chance to take the lead before the end of the half but the Busters were able to stop quarterback Matt Bollig on a quarterback sneak from the 5-yard line. It appeared that the Greyhound center snapped the ball early on a fourth down play anticipating an offside call against Garden City. However, no call was made and Bollig was handed a one-yard loss with just under two minutes to go.
Fort Scott took the lead on its first possession of the second half when Martese Jackson, the Jayhawk Conference's leading rusher, went to the left sideline and sped to the end zone from 65 yards out with 12:17 left in the third. Russell again converted the extra point.
The Greyhounds would continue to run the ball right at the Busters, even employing offensive lineman Ryan Kincade in the backfield as a blocking back.
"We put our 'Tank' personnel in," Fort Scott head coach Curtis Horton said. "We were trying to get an extra man at the point of attack. And it paid off for us."
Garden City, meanwhile, was dealing with poor field position and an inability to move the ball. Even after Fort Scott's middle linebacker, Marceice Jackson, was ejected after a late hit to Burkette early in the fourth quarter, the Greyhounds refused to give up ground.
"We didn't have good field position in the second half," Tatum said. "You've got to give credit to them. They did a good job of shortening the game. They're bigger than us. They actually put an offensive lineman in the backfield. You have to give them credit; that's pretty smart."
Garden City burned all its second half time outs on consecutive plays in order to save time before forcing the 'Hounds to punt with less than 1:40 left. But on the first play of the Busters' possession, defensive back Kevin Short stepped in front of a pass for his second interception of the game to kill what hope remained for Garden City with 1:25 to go.
"Football's about big plays," Horton said. "We track that every week, who had the most big plays. Defensively, you have to keep them from making the big play."
Fort Scott rushed for 322 of its 372 total yards. The Greyhounds threw just four passes for the game, three of those in the second half. Martese Jackson gained 229 yards on 29 carries , the most by a Greyhound since Brett Biggs ran for 228 against Garden City in 2003. Lundy finished with 80 yards on 4 carries before a shoulder injury forced him out of the game.
Garden City finished with 207 yards of total offense, rushing for 117 of those. Pitts finished with 104 yards on 29 carries but was held to 32 yards on his last 18 rushes. Burkette failed to complete his last 5 passes in finishing 8 of 19 for 90 yards.
The Greyhounds travel to Coffeyville Saturday night. Kickoff at Veterans Memorial Stadium is set for 7 p.m.
NOTES -- Fort Scott has won six of the last seven meetings against Garden City....
Lundy was able to carry the ball just twice more before leaving with a shoulder injury.
This game's final score was reminiscent of one from last season when the Greyhounds defeated Independence, 14-12. In that game, Fort Scott trailed 12-7 but took the lead in the fourth quarter. And like Garden City this season, Indy lost because it couldn't kick an extra point....
Fort Scott has had a different leading rusher in each game. This is Jackson's second time, having been the leader in the season opener versus Blinn....
Highland lost at Hutchinson 90-7 Saturday night. The Scotties (0-4) have been outscored 179-7 in the last two weeks -- they fell to Butler 89-0 last week.
Highland has had five interceptions returned for touchdowns against them in these two games while their only score was on an interception return of its own. This means that the Scotties have been outscored by their opponents' defenses 35-0.
For the season, Highland has been outscored 257-13. Three of their losses have been to nationally-ranked teams....
Garden City..... 6 6 0 0 -- 12
Fort Scott...... 0 7 7 0 -- 14
|Team stats||Garden City||Fort Scott|
GC -- Pitts 10 run (kick failed), 6:01 [14, 83, 7:29]
GC -- Cook 12 pass from Burkette (kick failed), 13:37 [9, 83, 5:29]
FS -- Lundy 77 run (Russell kick), 9:34 [2, 79, :28]
FS -- Mart. Jackson 65 run (Russell kick), 12:27 [3, 73, 1:03]
RUSHING: Garden City -- Pitts 29-104, Burkette 6-9, Irsik 1-4. Fort Scott -- Mart. Jackson 29-229, Lundy 4-80, Brunson 6-10, Jones 3-6, Bollig 6-3, Ellis 1-2, team 2-minus 8.
PASSING: Garden City -- Burkette 8-19-2-90. Fort Scott -- Bollig 2-4-0-50.
RECEIVING: Garden City -- Payne 4-24, Kelly 2-48, Cook 2-18. Fort Scott -- Moylan 1-31, Green 1-19.
MISSED FIELD GOALS: None.