Nicolas Buller snagged five catches on Thursday with three of those going for touchdowns in Goessel’s 42-28 win over Hope.
The Bluebirds intercepted Hope four times, which helped the Bluebirds break a tie with Hope in the district standings and allowed the Bluebirds to finish in a tie for first with Chase. Tie-breaker rules gave Chase the first spot in the district with Goessel getting second.
Overall, Goessel is 6-3 and 5-1 in district games. The Bluebirds advanced to the playoffs to play Baileyville B&B on Tuesday.
Goessel got on the scoreboard first with Shane Goerzen running 12 yards for a touchdown. He also took in the extra points, but Hope returned the kickoff 79 yards for a score. Zach Showalter caught a 15-yard pass from Trey Schmidt and the Bluebirds led at the end of the first period 16-6.
Goessel extended their lead in the second period with Schmidt going 27 yards on the ground and Buller catching an 18-yard pass to make the score 28-6. However, Hope scored before halftime and the Bluebirds settled in with a 28-14 lead at the break.
Goessel scored first in the third period with another 18-yard pass to Buller from Schmidt, with the quarterback going in for the conversion. The Lions answered with eight points, but again Buller made it to the end zone with a 26-yard pass play to boost the Bluebird lead to 42-22. Hope would score once in the fourth quarter for a final score 42-28.
Although the Bluebirds punted five times, it was the interceptions that seemed to keep the Lions from making a comeback late in the game.
Defensively, seniors Trey Schmidt and Mark Schmidt led the team with six solo tackles each, while Austin Strunk and Buller got four each. Goerzen intercepted two passes with Trey Schmidt and Buller each intercepting the Hope quarterback once. Goessel accumulated 181 yards on the ground and 126 yards in the air.