By Garth Shanklin
With just four weeks left in the regular season, Clermont County teams with playoff aspirations are running out of time to make a statement. The Goshen Warriors made one on Friday, Sept. 30. Thanks to three touchdown passes in the second quarter, the Warriors were able to hold on and knock off Williamsburg 38-13.
The game started out fairly even. Goshen got on the board first, scoring on a two-yard touchdown run by Jimmy Strunk with 8:17 left in the quarter.
Less than five minutes later, Williamsburg answered with a 19-yard touchdown catch by Wyatt Lefker from Nate Bogan. The teams were tied at seven after the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Goshen struck. Strunk took a short screen pass 32 yards for a touchdown, putting the Warriors ahead 13-7.
The teams traded punts, one of which was blocked by Williamsburg’s Lefker, and eventually Goshen took over on their own 30 yard-line. One quick screen pass to Strunk later, and the Warriors led 19-7 thanks to his 70-yard catch and run.
The team would add another touchdown pass in the quarter, with Proffit hooking up with Sebastian Abshire from 28 yards out. The score was 26-7 Goshen at halftime.
Logan Mantz hauled in a 38-yard touchdown at the 3:54 marks of the third quarter. One quarter later, Johnny Kube scored on a two-yard touchdown run to put the Warriors ahead 38-7. Kolh Miller would catch a 36-7 yard touchdown pass from backup Andrew Smith with 1:13 remaining, but it was too late.
Smith was in the game due to an injury to starter Nate Bogan. He completed five of six passes for 55 yards and a touchdown and was intercepted once. Bogan completed eight of 13 passes for 66 yards, a touchdown and an interception prior to his injury.
For Goshen, Proffit finished the game nine of 19 for 276 yards and four touchdowns. He did not throw an interception. Strunk had three receptions for 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Mantz had three receptions for 101 yards and a score, while Abshire totaled two catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. Head coach Ryan George said the Goshen passing game is getting better each time Proffit takes the field.
“It’s improved each game,” George said. “In the first game, it wasn’t very good at all. Part of that’s just Proffit having more confidence, our receivers running good routes, getting open and catching the ball.”
Miller led the Wildcats with 13 yards rushing on 12 carries. Bogan tallied nine carries for -12 yards, while Smith carried the ball four times for -5 yards.
Williamsburg’s lack of rushing yards can be traced back to the Goshen pass rush. The Warriors totaled four sacks in the game, three by Sam Edwards and one by Strunk. George cited good technique as the reason the players were successful rushing the passer.
The defense helped set up the Warriors with good field position, especially with the special teams trouble Goshen had. Lefker was a nuisance for the Warriors on special teams, blocking three extra points and a punt.
“Our special teams weren’t very good,” George said. “They’ve been pretty good all year, and they just kind of fell apart on extra points. We had a punt blocked. You can’t do that. Overall, we were pretty good offensively and defensively, we just didn’t do as well as we needed to on special teams.”
Goshen finished the game on the ground with 87 yards on 19 carries by Strunk. Kube had seven carries for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Williamsburg also had three sacks in the contest, 2.5 by Noah Williams with the remaining half to Trevor Berry.
George said picking up the win in front of a large homecoming crowd is always something the team hopes to do.
“It’s always a good thing to win your homecoming game,” George said. “You always know you’re going to get a good crowd there, it’s always a good thing.”
Goshen has quite the battle on their hands on Friday, Oct. 6. The Warriors will head to New Richmond to take on the 5-1 Lions. The game is expected to begin at 7 p.m.