GOESSEL: Playoff hopes energize Goessel football
Goessel’s Bluebirds lost only three football games in 2021, and all three were to teams that finished in the top four spots in last year’s playoffs.
Goessel advanced to the top eight before losing in a sectional playoff to Meade.
This year, speed and execution will come from the senior class in the form of Jake Wiens, Grant Bryant, Kacen Smith, and Caleb Burkholder.
Wiens led the team with 20 touchdowns last season.
Bryant was involved in 22 touchdowns, passing and running.
Smith contributed with his speed by scoring nine touchdowns.
Burkholder was the leader on defense with 73 tackles for the season.
Junior Kyle Valdois also returns as a starter to take his place on the offensive and defensive lines.
“We return lots of experience in the offensive and defensive backfields, but much less experience on the offensive and defensive lines,” coach Garrett Hiebert said. “It will be important that we avoid complacency. We must strive for precision in everything that we do.”
Every two years, football districts are restructured. The Bluebirds will have district games this year with Herington, Solomon, Pretty Prairie, Moundridge, and Little River.
Goessel did not disappoint a home crowd Friday with a 42-14 win over Bennington. As expected, speed and precision helped the Bluebirds to an early lead.
Goessel scored on long runs in the first quarter as deception with backfield hand-offs seemed to confuse Bennington defenders.
Bryant scored on a 25-yard run and a 50-yard gallop in the first quarter.
Sandwiched in between these scores was a 46-yard spring from Smith for another touchdown.
Bennington began depending on their passing attack in the second period and scored from 10 yards out.
After a 19-yard Goessel touchdown from Wiens touchdown, Jake Flaming recovered a Bulldog fumble, and Smith carried in the score from 7 yards out.
Goessel’s defense kept the Bulldog offense out of the end zone in the first half with the Bluebirds leading, 36-6.
Both teams’ defenses seemed to figure out the opponent, as neither team scored in the third quarter.
Smith intercepted a pass in the end zone late in the period, and no one could keep Wiens out of the end zone from one yard out early in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs put together a long drive with completed passes with less than two minutes to play, but Goessel won, 42-14.
The Bluebirds amassed 351 yards rushing and punted only once. The offensive line of Valdois, Caleb Burkholder, Luke Stucky and Eli Boden created enough holes for backs to slip into sprint mode.
Goessel will be home Friday with Canton-Galva.
Last modified Sept. 7, 2022