The Centre Cougars stuffed the running game for the Bluebirds, forcing Goessel to go to the air in a non-district game at Goessel on Friday. The Bluebirds accumulated 233 yards passing but could only muster 72 yards rushing, which was not enough offense for the first game of the season.
Centre scored first on a 13-yard pass play from Tanner Brunner to Rustyn Kerbs. The Bluebirds prevented extra points. One minute and thirty seconds later, Neal Brubaker connected with Weston Hiebert for a 44-yard pass play and Brubaker found Cameron Stultz for the extra points, putting Goessel in the lead, 8-6.
The Cougars scored again in the first quarter on a 1-yard plunge by their big fullback Trout.
Just seconds into the second period, the Centre defense scored a safety and led 14-8. Neither team could score for most of the second period until the Bluebird’s John Berkholz scampered in from 8 eight yards and Stultz followed his blockers for the extra points. Goessel again led by two, 16-14, with less than two minutes remaining in the half.
Centre connected again on an 8-yard pass for another touchdown and the extra points were good, giving the Cougars a 22-16 halftime lead.
The Cougars scored with 6:39 remaining in the third quarter to take a 30-16 lead, but a 71-yard pass play from Brubaker to Hiebert got the Bluebirds back to within one touchdown, 30-24.
Centre scored again when nice blocking on the left side allowed Kerbs to go 21 yards for a score, giving them a two-possession lead with 3:11 on the clock. Tyler Schmidt connected on several pass plays to move Goessel down the field, but one long pass was intercepted on the Centre 18-yard line and the Cougars were able to run out the clock for the victory.
Schmidt was 6-for-11 in passing for 98 yards and Brubaker was 4-for-11 with 135 yards. Goessel averaged a disappointing 2.9 yards per carry rushing. On defense, Hiebert led the team with 18.50 tackles followed by Berkholz with 13.0. Centre managed 19 first downs to Goessel’s 10.
Goessel begins the season at 0-1, and will have three away games before they play at home. This week the Bluebirds will be at White City for another non-district game.