On a gorgeous evening for football, Goessel High School fans were entertained with an offensive performance by both teams that kept the scoreboard busy. But Goessel never led in the contest that ended with a final score of Canton-Galva winning 76-56.
Both teams exchanged punts on their first possessions as the defenses held and players on both sides were victims of dropped passes. Goessel gained ground on the second possession second when the Eagles successfully punched the ball loose and recovered a fumble. Canton-Galva got into the end zone with 6 minutes, 21 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but the Bluebirds answered quickly with a long pass to Nic Buller to get down field and a 20 yard pass to Zac Showalter for the Bluebirds first score.
As the passing game began to develop for both teams, the quarterbacks found open territory in the middle of the field when receivers were covered. The Eagles scored again before senior Shane Goerzen caught a short pass and avoided a tackle in the backfield and out-sprinted the rest of the field for another Bluebird score. Trey Schmidt ran in the extra point. Canton-Galva crossed the goal line again and led at the end of one quarter, 24-14.
Goerzen again electrified the Goessel fans with a catch at the 15-yard line and then spun out of a tackle to reach the end zone. The Eagles responded on the kickoff to take the ball on the first bounce and ran 70 yards to grab a 32-20 lead. After a Goessel punt, the Eagles marched down the field again and scored, extending their lead to 40-20.
With 1:07 left in the half, Buller sprinted down the right sideline and then came back to a slighytly underthrown pass. Buller was able to avoid two defenders to score, giving the Bluebirds hope for a second half comeback. However, Canton-Galva used the clock to their advantage and scored with 12 seconds remaining in the half. After a fumble in the Goessel backfield, the Eagles scored again with 5 seconds in the half to vault to a 52-26 halftime lead.
The first possession for Canton-Galva in the second half ended with a long punt rolling to the Goessel 12-yard line. Shane Goerzen picked up the ball and slithered through the oncoming traffic to go 68 yards for a score. Buller caught a pass for the extra points.
The Eagles scored again, but the a Trey Schmidt pass to Goerzen answered, with Kellen Froese taking in the extra point. The Bluebirds recovered a fumble and Buller kept his eye on a Schmidt pass and was able to score with Froese taking the football into the end zone for the extra points.
Canton-Galva scored again in the fourth quarter, but a Schmidt to Goerzen combination worked again for a Bluebird touchdown getting the Bluebirds within 12 points. Goessel intercepted an Eagle pass, but on the next play Canton-Galva intercepted a Bluebird pass dimming the hopes for a come-from-behind win. Canton-Galva scored one more time making a final score of Canton-Galva 76, Goessel 56.
Trey Schmidt passed for 287 yards and rushed for 71 yards. Buller gained 122 yards receiving, along with Goerzen’s 116 yards receiving. Zac Showalter led the team with 11 tackles, followed by Trey Schmidt with eight and Mark Schmidt and Brian Hiebert with six tackles each.
The Bluebirds will be at Miltonvale on Friday for the first game of district competition.