By: Dana Becker, The Messenger Sports Reporter
GARDEN CITY, Kan. — The Iowa Central football team gets to test themselves yet again this week, hitting the road to face No. 3 Garden City.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. here Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
This marks the fourth ranked team for the Tritons (2-3 overall) on the year, including the second vs. a Top-5 program on the road.
Iowa Central fell earlier this year to No. 4 Iowa Western, dropped a contest to 13th-rated Highland last week and bested No. 19 Butler in the opener.
Three weeks ago, the Tritons appeared to be clicking on all cylinders in a 50-6 victory over College of DuPage. But after a bye, they were unable to keep the momentum going, falling to Highland, 21-18.
"Our guys know this is a good opportunity to go play another top-ranked team and really take advantage of the situation presented to us," ICCC head coach Jesse Montalto said. "We are still trying to battle through some adversity, but we are excited and know that we need to win four of the next six to get to a bowl game.
"I think they are locked in on that right now and they want to prove they can play with anybody."
Blake Dever threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns in the loss, as Emmanuel Logan-Greene had nine receptions for 137 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown. Eldridge Joyce caught the other score and Andrew Parchment have five receptions.
Dever had thrown for 851 yards and six touchdowns this year, completing 60 percent of his passes. Logan-Green leads the receivers with 29 catches and 393 yards, with Kevaughn Dingle adding 20 catches for 228 and Rashad Witty 20 for 137.
Draven Peeples is averaging just under 74 yards rushing per game for the Tritons.
Iowa Central held the Scotties to 136 yards of total offense, including just 48 yards rushing. Deqwunn McCobb had nine tackles, Dylan Douglas eight and Spencer Cuvelier seven, with the unit recording nine tackles for loss.
"We had two very physical practices this week," Montalto said. "We know the conditions in southwest Kansas are going to be windy, so we need to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
"If we can do that, and not turn it over, we wil give ourselves a chance at the end of the game."
Garden City (5-0) captured the 2016 NJCAA national championship with a victory over Arizona Western. They are 24-4 over the past two-plus seasons, including an 11-2 mark at home.
Leading the way for the Broncbusters is Charles West, as he is the top rusher in the nation. West has ran for 816 as part of a unit that is averaging 343 yards per game on the ground.
West is averaging 163.2 yards per game and his teammate, Dedrick Mills, ranks second in the country with 815 yards and 163 per game. The two have a combined 14 touchdowns.
Twice this year, both West and Mills have ran for over 200 yards, including last week when Mills had 240 and West 237.
Garden City is allowing just 260 yards of total offense and 16.6 points per game, including holding the opposition to 88 yards on the ground. They have pulled out close wins over Ellsworth (16-8), Independence (28-21) and Iowa Western (16-13), around 50-point performances vs. Dodge City (52-24) and Fort Scott (57-17).