Bluebirds also advance in playoffs
Goessel quickly took control of its eight-player football playoff game Friday to become one of just eight teams left in the Class 1A Division 1 playoffs.
The first play from scrimmage was a 40-yard gallop by Grant Bryant, bursting through the middle of the line and being dragged out of bounds near the goal line.
Bryant carried in the touchdown from two yards out, giving Goessel a 6-0 lead after 47 seconds.
Macksville answered with a touchdown and extra points to take a short-lived 8-6 lead, but on the ensuing kickoff, Jake Flaming found a seam down the right sideline and sprinted 74 yards for a Bluebird score. Jake Wiens carried in the conversion to give Goessel a 14-8 lead, and the Bluebirds never would trail again.
The Bluebird defense held the Mustangs on fourth down. Wiens then scooted 38 yards, deep into Macksville territory. Bryant finishing the drive with a two-yard plunge.
The offensive line, including Logan Sterk, Kyle Valdois, and Caleb Burkholder, went to work once again after the Bluebirds recovered a fumble early in the second quarter.
Caiden Duerksen caught a Bryant pass in stride for a 23-yard strike, and Bryant carried in the extra points.
Goessel’s defense came up big afterward. Macksville attempted a pass, but Bryant punched the ball into the air, and Kacen Smith intercepted. Goessel marched down to the two-yard line, where Bryant took the snap and all eight Goessel players moved into the end zone together, giving the Bluebirds a 36-8 lead at half.
Macksville scored the only points in the third period on a 25 yard run. Bryant answered early in the fourth, following blockers through the left side of the line and going 39 yards for another score.
The Mustangs threw an interception on their next play, and Wiens took the ball across midfield. Two Bluebird touchdowns were called back because of penalties, but Wiens scampered in from nine yards and Jake Flaming carried the extra points.
Goessel’s defensive front of Jevin Base, Logan Sterk, and Caiden Duerksen helped keep Macksville from running the ball in the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs’ attempt at another score was stifled by Skyler Wuest intercepting a pass near the goal line. The Bluebirds ran out the clock and will advance to sectional play next Friday. Goessel (8-2) will face Meade (10-0) 6 p.m. at Goessel.
Leading the way for the Bluebirds on offense were Grant Bryant with 148 yards rushing and 35 yards passing. Jake Wiens gained 114 yards rushing. Goessel’s defense was led by Caleb Burkholder with nine tackles followed by Wiens and Duerksen with seven each.
Last modified Nov. 11, 2021