GOESSEL — The Goessel High School football team had six turnovers against the Hoxie Indians on Friday in a 58-12 Hoxie win in the quarterfinals of the Eight-Man Division I playoffs at Goessel.
Hoxie only scored three touchdowns on drives that didn’t start on Goessel turnovers. The game ended with 3:01 left in regulation on the 45-point rule.
"I think the first half was a pretty good representation of what the game could have been like," Goessel coach Garrett Hiebert said. "It was pretty even. We made some mistakes in the first half and didn’t capitalize when we had opportunities. In the second half, we got worn down a little bit. We’re not built to play from behind. We’re not big enough to swing with the big boys when we’re in that sort of situation. I’m proud of everything we did tonight and I’m proud of everything we did leading up to tonight leading up to this situation."
Goessel ends the season 5-4. While not the Bluebirds’ best record, the season does match the farthest the team has ever advanced in the playoffs.
"It’s been a crazy season for a lot of reasons," Hiebert said. "It started out, our first three games were against teams that made it to the final eight. Our record was not great to start the year, but it was obvious there was potential there. We won a couple of games, then went into quarantine. It was hard to know how to come out of that after not playing for three weeks. To have the first game of the playoffs as our first game. We came out with the right mindset and refreshed. The team we got at the end of the year was the team we had all year. We really didn’t get to see it until the last couple of weeks."
Hoxie, 9-1, was led by Ashton Dowell with 117 yards rushing and three touchdowns and 76 yards passing with a touchdown. Cade Gourley rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown. Gourley also caught a touchdown pass. Ryan Shaw rushed for 48 yards in the second half and three touchdowns.
Goessel was led by Luke Wiens with 77 yards rushing and a touchdown and 55 yards passing with a touchdown. Grant Bryant rushed for 41 yards and passed for 41 yards. Jake Wiens rushed for 50 yards and had 60 yards receiving with a touchdown.
A Hoxie turnover — an interception by Grant Bryant — set up a 51-yard touchdown pass from Luke Wiens to Jake Wiens. The two-point conversion run fell short.
After trading punts, Hoxie went 67 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 14-yard Dowell run. Dowell hit Caden White for the two-point conversion.
After trading fumbles, Goessel regained the lead on a 9-yard Luke Wiens run. The two-point conversion pass failed.
Hoxie then went 65 yards in nine plays, scoring on a 12-yard Dowell run on fourth and long. Hoxie was called for a chop block on the two-point conversion attempt. The second attempt was picked off.
Hoxie added two more scores to end the first half, both coming off turnovers.
Goessel recovered an on-side kick to start the second half, but gave up a turnover on the following play. The turnover set up a 3-yard Ryan Shaw run. Shaw ran in the two-point conversion.
Hoxie finished the game with two more scores off turnovers and one on a short-field drive when Goessel gave up the ball on downs.
Hoxie will play Wichita County Friday in the semifinals.
Goessel loses four seniors.
"Our seniors have been a big part of our program for a long time," Hiebert said. "They’ve all started since they were freshmen and sophomores. They have been playing both ways all that time. They’re going to be big holes to replace. There are spots to replace on the football field, but they are smart, kind, caring, unselfish leaders that we’re going to have to replace too. You can always find new players to fill those spots, but it’s hard to develop leaders. We had a ton of injuries early in the year and had a lot of young kids get playing-time experience. Our sophomores and juniors have played a ton. We’ve also had a freshman here and there. You can’t make up for Friday night experience."