In a game that featured 13 touchdowns, 7 fumbles, 113 yards lost on penalties, and 761 yards of offense, Centre fell just short, losing 50-42 to Goessel and falling to 0-3 on the season. The teams combined for 544 rushing yards and 217 passing yards.
The Bluebirds came out strong, stunning Centre with touchdowns in each of their first two possessions and adding a third on an intercepted pass.
Centre trailed 22-0 after one quarter. Things began to turn around when Barrett Smith ran for three yards and a touchdown.
Centre recovered a Goessel fumble in the Bluebirds’ next possession, leading to another Cougar touchdown in less than a minute.
Goessel scored again before halftime and led 28-12.
The Bluebirds’ first possession in the third quarter resulted in a 63-yard run for a touchdown plus the 2-point conversion. Centre trailed by 24 points.
That’s when the game got interesting for Centre fans. The Cougars scored on their next possession on a touchdown run by Cole Methvin. After a successful conversion attempt, the gap was closed to 16.
A quarterback sack by Brendon Bina in Goessel’s next possession pushed the Bluebirds back to the 1-yard-line. They were forced to punt, and Dylan Deines returned the ball for a Cougars touchdown. The conversion attempt was successful, and Centre trailed by 8 points, 28-36.
Goessel then fumbled the ball to Centre on its 34-yard-line, after which Deines caught a 29-yard pass, putting Centre on the 6-yard-line. Centre scored again but failed to convert and still trailed 36-34.
After another quarterback sack by Bina and two incomplete passes, the Bluebirds punted again. Centre ended the third quarter on the go, as Methvin ran 53 yards to the 6-yard line.
The Cougars scored early in the fourth quarter. With a successful conversion, they took the lead, 42-36.
Head coach Tye Remy was pleased with the comeback but not with the start that made it necessary.
“We need to learn to come out and play right from the start,” he said. “It’s hard to dig yourselves out of a 22-point hole.”
Unfortunately for Centre, the game wasn’t over, and that was as good as it got. Despite another quarterback sack on Goessel by Daniel Rudolph and a forced punt, the Cougars gave up the ball on their next possession. Goessel scored on a 38-yard pass to retake the lead, 44-42.
Goessel recovered an onside kick but did not score on that possession. Centre turned the ball over with 1:21 remaining, and the Bluebirds surprised the Cougars by scoring a final touchdown on a long run, sealing the game at 50-42.
Centre sits at 0-3, which Remy said could easily have been different.
“Honestly, if we had done a few plays differently, we could be 2-1,” Remy said, “so I tell the guys not to get down.”