Demons head to Liberal for regular season finale after Hatchet Game loss
By: John Zetmeir
In past years, the Hatchet Game against Garden City was always scheduled at the end of the Dodge City High School football team’s regular season schedule. More times than not, a Hatchet Game loss meant the end of the Red Demons’ season. With the elimination of district play in the 5A and 6A classifications, Dodge City did not have time to hang their heads after last week’s 36-13 loss to the Buffaloes. The Red Demons (4-3, 1-2) will travel to Liberal on Friday. The following week they will play their guaranteed playoff game.
“The kids have bounced back great and have had short term memory which I’m proud of,” Dodge City head coach Dave Foster said. “We’ve had a great week of preparation. That’s one nice thing about having two guaranteed games after the Hatchet Game that we like. If you didn’t come out, didn’t play well and didn’t get the results you’re looking for, the kids realize that they have a lot ahead of them that they can control.”
The Red Demons will try to beat the Redskins for the third year in a row when they travel to Liberal (4-3, 1-2) for their regular season finale. With a run heavy offense and a defense that is built to slow down the Red Demons’ running game, Foster calls Liberal a formidable opponent.
“That’s one thing that I’ve seen with Liberal is that they’ve continued to play,” Foster said. “It’s not like they tank it as the game goes on. It’s a sign that their coaches are doing a good job and the kids believe in what they’re doing.”
While the Red Demons struggled to execute their game plan last week against Garden City, the Dodge City coaches are looking at the game as more of a learning experience than a step back.
Going into the final week of the regular season, the Red Demons are measuring their success based on their strength of schedule. Dodge City’s three losses this season have come against teams that have a combined record of 20-1 this season.
“We are extremely proud of where our kids are at at this time,” Foster said. “To be potentially sitting 5-3 going into the week nine game, if you would’ve told me that preseason, I would’ve said that’s a heck of a season. We’ve sat down as a coaching staff and reflected on that but we know to get to that 5-3 mark, we have to take care of business in Liberal.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Liberal.