By Mike Pilosof
Listen to the complete game in our archives section
Fort Scott, KS-In his three season as head coach, Jeff Sims has accomplished plenty. But on Saturday, his team did something that no other had ever done in the history of the program.
Terry Wilson threw three touchdown passes, Taylor Thomas added three scores on the ground, and No. 16 Garden City blasted Fort Scott 69-0 at Frary Field. The win was the most lopsided in the 71-year history of Brocbuster football. It also secured a second-place finish in the Jayhawk Conference behind Independence, who held on to beat Coffeyville 27-22 Saturday night.
"I'm just as proud of this team as I was the national championship team last year," Sims said after the game. "They've come such a long way."
Garden City's domination in their regular-season finale, further stated their case for a bowl-game invitation. It also showed how dangerous the brown and gold can be when they're clicking on all cylinders.
"We're a good football team," Sims said. "It just took us a little time to come around."
Well this is fact: Garden City wasted no time getting things going on Saturday. Once they did, they left absolutely no doubt.
After Fort Scott (4-6, 2-5) failed on a fourth-and-4 at the Garden City 14 on their opening possession, the Broncbusters drove 86 yards in 11 plays, capping it off with Wilson's 23-yard dash to the end zone on fourth-and-3, giving Garden City (8-3, 5-2) a 7-0 lead.
"Our offensive line is so much better now because we have hard working guys up there," Sims explained. "Everyone can see the proof now."
Garden City ran for 315 yards, but the line production was more evident in the passing game, where Wilson was nearly flawless.
The redshirt freshman completed 9-of-10 passes on the day. His first touchdown toss came on the first play of the second quarter when he hit tight end Nigel Kilby on a shovel pass for a 10-yard score to make it 14-0. On the Broncbusters next possession, Wilson zipped a bullet to Billy Mance, who made a sensational catch on his backside for a 12-yard touchdown and a 21-0 cushion.
"We just continue to work," Wilson said. "It all starts in practice and with our preparation."
Wilson wasn't finished, but before the Oregon-transfer threw his final scoring toss of the day, defensive back Warren Saba made the play of the game.
Fort Scott had moved the ball 51 yards in nine plays to the Garden City 27. But on third-and-12, quarterback Garret Sharp, who was filling in for the injured Dalton Sneed, forced a pass up the left sideline that Saba plucked out of the sky with one hand and returned 73 yards for a touchdown, pushing the lead to 28-0 with 3:53 to play in the second.
"We played well in all phases," Sims said. "I've said this all along that Warren is a guy that loves to play football."
Saba's spectacular pick-6 was the culmination of a near-flawless first half. Wilson then finished it off with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Davis, giving Garden City a 35-0 advantage going into the half.
"People were telling me that I would be the most hated guy in Fort Scott after this game," Sims said. "But that's not true. I loved my time here. And I had plenty of support. But I'm on the other side, and we were here to win."
What Wilson started in the first half, Thomas finished over the final 30 minutes.
The one-time Oregon State pledge found the end zone three times in the second half: a five-yard dash capped off seven-play, 79-yard drive to start the third; a three-yard scoring run following Davis's electrifying 40-yard punt return and a seven-yard scamper midway through the final period that put Garden City up 69-0.
"To do what we've done the last month of the season, these players deserve to play in a bowl game," Sims said. "It's all about them; they do the work, and they earned everything."
While the offense and defense had a coming out party, placekicker James White was equally as impressive. The freshman drilled two field goals in the second half, which included a season-long 43 yarder early in the third quarter.
"We feel very confident where we are at now at 8-3," Sims said. "Now we will find out on Tuesday."
Wilson threw for 89 yards for Garden City, who finished with their second best record in the last 15 years. Charles West inched closer towards the 1,000-yard rushing mark, totaling 177 yards on 19 carries. Davis caught three balls for 33 yards, and Kilby had three receptions for 31 and a touchdown.
The Broncbuster defense limited Fort Scott to just 160 total yards. Sharp finished the day 4-of-14 for 44 yards for the Greyhounds, who lost for the 30th time in their last 31 games against ranked opponents.