WELLINGTON, Kan. Fans watching Friday's 4A playoff game between Goddard and Wellington saw a classic postseason duel between two evenly matched squads, and it was a tale of two halves. In the end the Lions won the half that mattered most as they dominated the second half and advanced to the next round of the playoffs with a 28-14 victory.
The Crusaders got the start they wanted in front of the home fans. Wellington forced two Goddard fumbles in the first 6 minutes of the game, and used one of the miscues to take the lead. DeAndre Washington scored from 17 yards out when Wellington executed an end-around perfectly. The Crusaders missed the point after attempt but led 6-0.
The rest of the first half was a defensive stalemate until late in the second quarter. That's when Wellington worked its way down the field and extended their lead on a Michael Ledbetter touchdown pass. With just 43 seconds to go until halftime, Ledbetter lofted a beautiful touch pass to the corner of the endzone and connected with Washington in stride for the score. The Crusaders converted a two point conversion attempt and went up 14-0 at halftime.
After struggling to find a rhythm on offense in the first half, Goddard head coach Tommy Beason elected to switch quarterbacks starting the third quarter. The strategic move paid huge dividends as the Lions offense started to roll with senior Jared Mocaby under center. Mocaby ran for ten yards to get the ball to the one and then scored on the next play on a keeper. That touchdown cut the lead to 14-7.
At that point the momentum clearly swung to the Goddard sideline and the Lions fed off that energy. After a three and out the offense went right back to work. This time Ben Bannister broke a tackle, used a strong stiff arm, and then rumbled 63 yards down the sideline to set up Goddard at the five yard line. Beason calls Mocaby the braver runner of his two very capable quarterbacks--not better, but braver--and Mocaby played like it. He then ran the ball to outside and followed his blockers to the corner of the endzone for another touchdown and it was all tied up at 14.
A short time later the Lion's offense was on the move again. Goddard worked it all the way down to the one and then Bannister hammered it home from two yards out to give the Lions a 21-14 lead. After being held scoreless for the first two quarters Goddard erupted for three touchdowns in ten minutes.
Bannister scored on a touchdown pass midway through the 4th quarter to ice the game for Goddard at 28-14. The Lions will play McPherson in the next round of the playoffs.