Home Sports Local Sports Goddard wins thriller in overtime, 28-27

Goddard wins thriller in overtime, 28-27

Goddard’s Robert Aragon blasts through two Tigers with the ball in the game against Los Lunas Friday night at the Wool Bowl. (Steve Notz Photo)

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Goddard football fans that were sitting in the stands on Friday night probably were pushing the panic button, and why not? It only took the explosive offense of the Los Lunas Tigers three plays to score and take a 7-0 lead with 10:58 in the first quarter.

And then the Rockets gave up a 12-yard slant for a touchdown and were down 14-0 to end the first quarter. But if a Goddard fan got frustrated and left and gave up on the team, chances are they missed an instant classic that will be shown at the quarterback luncheon this week.

“We dug a huge hole,” Coach Chris White said. “It takes a special, special, group of kids to come back from 14 to get off the mat and beat a team like that. I’ve known from day one that this team has a lot of potential. I think you can see that this is a group of kids that’s not going to quit.”

Goddard did nothing but buckle their chin straps extra tight and continue to pound the football with Dalton Bowles, Connor Downs, Robert Aragon and Sammy Zaragoza — they led a furious comeback that went into overtime as the Rockets defense made one stop to hold on for the win, 28-27, at the Wool Bowl Friday.

“I thought we were executing pretty good in the first half,” White said. “We had a couple of turnovers in the first half. Los Lunas coming in, they’re a salty team. You’re not going to beat teams like that putting the ball on the ground. I know we’ve got a pretty good defense,” White said. “We gave up three touchdowns in regulation and I figure, if we can hold a team to three touchdowns we ought to win.”

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It wasn’t that Goddard wasn’t moving the ball — because they continued to run the ball right at the middle of the Tigers’ defense. It was that they stopped themselves with two interceptions and one fumble, yet they continued to play and make plays on both sides of the ball.

Rockets quarterback Dalton Bowles ran the ball in from the 1-yard line to get his team on the board, with Jacob Wieser adding the PAT to make the score Tigers 14-7 with 6:07 in the second quarter.

White continued to be part daredevil and part risk-taker as he went for it on fourth down in this game six times. He went for it at his own 37-yard line and converted to ignite a scoring drive as Bowles ran over the right side to score again, with Wieser adding the PAT with 1:15 to play in the half.

“I just don’t care,” White said. “If we can’t make fourth down and a yard, I’ll sack up the equipment or something. We’re going to get a yard. That’s just who we are. Down by 14, I just didn’t feel like punting the ball. I knew that us (Goddard) being down by 14 we had a chance. We have some kids who run hard and some guys up front that bring it.”

The third quarter saw both teams dig in and play physical football with neither team able to take advantage. It was all quiet until the Rockets received the ball on their 35-yard line and put together one of their patented physical, punishing drives, all the way to the 20-yard line.

On the next play Zaragoza took a toss sweep into the left side of the boundary and was hit at the 5-yard line. He continued to churn his legs and take two tacklers with as he scored and Wieser adding the PAT to give them a 21-14 lead.

Los Lunas threw the ball early in the game but in the last quarter ran the ball up the middle on Goddard — and came back to tie the score at 21-21. Goddard drove the ball down to the Tigers’ 12 and then had a penalty called on them. The Rockets could not convert on fourth down. Los Lunas drove the ball down into Goddard territory and tried a 42-yard field goal with 6 seconds left but it was no good.

In overtime, Goddard got the ball at the 10-yard line and on the third play, gave the ball to Aragon up the middle and he scored from 6-yards out. Again Wieser converted to give them a 28-21 lead.

Tigers’ quarterback Kade Benavidez threw a 10-yard TD pass to Hunter Williamson to make the score 28-27.

Instead of going for the extra point to tie the game Los Lunas coach Jeremy Maupin called timeout. With the ball placed at the three-yard line, Tigers’ quarterback Benavides rolled out to the right side of the field and tried hit his receiver, but he was covered. He came back to his receiver on the short side of the field, but overthrew him. All the Goddard fans erupted as they had come from behind to win 28-27.

“Those are good games,” Tigers coach Jeremy Maupin said. “I’m gonna go for two at the end of the game and try to win it. I told my coaches on the headset, ‘Hey, if we have the opportunity to go for it and win it, I have a play that I like.’ We had been practicing this week, we liked it, we just didn’t get it there. I have confidence in our team, we just didn’t execute it. We were trying to hit our backside slot on that play.”

Goddard is 4-0-1 on the season. They will play Lovington at home on Friday.

“Quite an effort from the old Goddard Rockets,” White said. “This was an old-school football game, kind of what I like to see on a Friday night, just two teams battling it out. Los Lunas is a classy bunch. I’m proud of my team.”