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Redskin magic might be back, along with an attitude to succeed PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 October 2017 08:24

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Liberal quarterback Syris Dunlap hands the ball to Cesar Burciaga Friday night in Great Bend. Burciaga kicked the game-winning field goal with 12 seconds to play to give Liberal a 23-21 win. L&T photo/Earl Watt

By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

Some use the adage that four key plays will determine the outcome of a football game.

That may or may not be true, but one thing that is true is Liberal was able to get some big plays at the right time Friday night to pull off one of the all-time great comebacks for a 23-21 win.

A phrase I like better comes from the movie “The Incredibles” when Edna says, “Luck favors the prepared.”alt

That seems to hold more truth for what happened Friday night in Great Bend.

Great Bend shot out to a quick 14-point lead, and it simply looked like Liberal was outclassed.

But for every play, the Redskins players and coaches were able to study, to adjust, to prepare.

And so far this season, halftime adjustments seem to be the key to victory.

At Ulysses, against Garden City, in the Southeast game and most recently  against Great Bend, Liberal was more successful in the second half than in the first.

Coach Dunlap used the popular cliché of defining insanity as doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Liberal adjusted.

Twice Liberal had chances at interceptions earlier in the game, but when trailing by a touchdown in the fourth quarter and needing the ball back, It was Pancho Terrazas who was able to haul in a pass that was tipped high into the air.

Lucky?

No. It was an adjustment.

It wasn’t an easy catch coming off a deflection, but the Redskins had prepared all season for just such a play.

They were prepared.

Trailing 21-20 and facing a third-and-16, the Redskins again faced another make-it-or-break it moment.

With the game on the line, Dunlap took the snap, surveyed the field, and after it looked like Dunlap might scramble, he lofted the ball up to a well-covered Chandler.

He first looked inside, then over his outside shoulder, and he finally turned and took a leap high in the air in front of the Panther defender, and he got both hands on the football. He then drew the ball against his chest and came down right by the out-of-bounds line, and the 46-yard gain set up a key first-and-goal that led to the winning field goal.

And ice had to be running through Cesar Burciaga when Dunlap opted for the field goal attempt even though Burciaga’s previous field goal attempt on a  point after touchdown failed.

Dunlap still had confidence in Burciaga to kick the game-winning field goal, and the snap was perfectly placed on the tee by Braxton Hyde, and Burciaga connected while being hit in the chest by a Great Bend defender.

Still the ball glided over the crossbar, and with only 9 seconds to play, the Redskins had their first and only lead of the night, 23-21.

Liberal was prepared.

And luck favors the prepared.

It seemed as though Liberal simply wore out the Panthers, and while Great Bend had a chance at some magic on the final play of the game, tossing a pass to midfield over the middle but the Redskins were playing a prevent-style defense, and they were able to get the final tackle to secure the 23-21 win.

This team never seems to believe they are out of a game, and they reflect the same, scrappy attitude of their head coach, and the same desire to do the work to win.

Luck favors the prepared.

 

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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