Both the Garden City High School Buffaloes and the Hays High Indians went into their respective games last week at 0-2.
Both were desperate to get their first tastes of victory. But it was the Indians who got it, completed in a thrilling 13-12 overtime win at WAC foe Liberal.
The Buffs, meanwhile, stumbled at home to Hutchinson in a 21-12 loss. Now, the Buffs have to hit the road to Hays for a 7 p.m. Friday kick-off at Lewis Field.
“Everyone has to take responsibility for who we are and what we do,” GCHS head coach Brian Hill said about how the Buffs can start a potential turnaround.
Fortunately for the Buffs, there is precedent for getting their first win of the season vs. Hays. A year ago, the Buffs were 0-3 and were able to down Hays, 35-28. They jumped out to a big 28-0 lead at half, and held on for the win.
This year, though, it will have to come on the road as the Buffs kick-off a three-game road swing, including stops at Liberal on Oct. 4 and Wichita Northwest on Oct. 11.
The focus, for now, though is just Hays and doing one big thing right:
“I think just keep competing — keep competing every down and every play and have high effort,” GCHS senior lineman Refujio Chairez. “Our effort hasn’t been there most of the time. If we have our effort up and compete, I feel like we have an opportunity to win.”
Prior to Hays’ win over Liberal, in which the defense only gave up 12 points, the Indians had given up 48 points to Junction City and 46 to Great Bend. That could give the Buffs’ offense — which is averaging 19 points per game — some momentum. Against Hutchinson, junior running back Josh Janas has 120 yards on 21 carries, scoring both of the Buffs’ touchdowns. But outside of Janas, the Buffs offense has stalled.
“We’re just not very consistent,” Hill said. “We haven’t been very consistent in practices day after day, and it leads to Fridays. We’re losing Monday through Thursday, not just on Fridays.”