The rematch was no match.
No. 1 Goddard wasn’t pleased that its regular-season victory at Andover came down to the final minutes. On Thursday, the Lions landed a first-quarter haymaker against Andover in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs and kept adding to the barrage, defeating the Trojans 65-7.
Goddard (10-0), which will host the winner of Friday’s game between Salina South and Eisenhower in next week’s quarterfinals, edged Andover 21-17 on Sept. 14 on quarterback Blake Sullivan’s short touchdown run with 1:10 remaining. It was by far the closest of Goddard’s first nine victories, as the Lions defeated the others by an average of 33.5 points.
In the rematch with the Trojans, Sullivan ran for five touchdowns and passed for two in the first half as Goddard scored 36 points in the opening quarter and led 65-0 at halftime.
Sullivan and Goddard’s other first-stringers enjoyed the rest of the game from the sideline as backups played with a running clock.
“It was one of those nights where we just played with a chip on our shoulder and we knew if we came out and cracked them in the mouth, everything was going to click,” Sullivan said.
Boy did it.
With a strong north wind behind it, Goddard scored five touchdowns in the first quarter, including a defensive score. Senior defensive back Ian McSwain intercepted Andover quarterback Eli Fahnestock three times in the first half, taking one 25 yards into the end zone to stretch the Lions’ lead to 29-0.
“Andover said they wanted us and they got the full thing tonight,” said McSwain, who juggled the interception that he scored on before corralling it.
Goddard compiled 397 of its 409 yards before the break. Junior running back Ben Bannister ran 13 times for 159 yards and a touchdown before sitting out the second half.
Sullivan ran 14 times for 97 yards and completed 9 of 12 passes for 121 yards, including touchdowns to Owen Beason and Blake Mitchell.
The victory was thorough, and it looked like Goddard was out to prove a point.
“We didn’t play well the first time,” Goddard coach Scott Vang said. “It was a lot of things. Blake had two fumbles, we dropped two touchdown passes, and there were numerous missed o-line blocks.
“We weren’t platooning then, and it wasn’t long after that we decided we needed to, and all that stuff kind of came together. We’re a lot better when we’re playing one way.”
Andover, which finished 5-5 in its first season under coach Cade Armstrong, finished with four turnovers, including a fumble on the game’s final play. Fahnestock completed 7 of 25 passes for 85 yards. The Trojans managed just one rushing yard on eight attempts before halftime.
Andover avoided the shutout on Chase Gumeringer’s 18-yard run on the Trojans’ opening drive of the third quarter.
“Our defense is just amazing,” Sullivan said. “I’ll put them up against anybody.
“We were all frustrated after that first game. We want to go back to that state championship game, and our offense and defense played like it.”
Andover 0 0 7 0 – 7
Goddard 36 29 0 0 – 65
G—Beason 15 pass from Sullivan (Sullivan run)
G—Sullivan 3 run (Cole kick)
G—Sullivan 31 run (Cole kick)
G—McSwain 25 interception return (Cole kick)
G—Bannister 18 run (Cole kick)
G—Sullivan 1 run (Cole kick)
G—Sullivan 1 run (Bannister run)
G—Sullivan 11 run (Cole kick)
G—Mitchell 12 pass from Sullivan (Cole kick)
A—Gumeringer 18 run (Kemp kick)
Rushing—Andover, Gumeringer 5-54, Nicklaus 6-10, Henry 1-2, Ngo 2-1, Fahnestock 6-1. Goddard, Bannister 13-159, Sullivan 14-97, Hoefer 3-17, Atkins 4-9, True 1-3, Howell 3-3, Semrad 1-(-1).
Passing—Andover, Fahnestock 7-25-3-85, Nicklaus 3-7-0-28. Goddard, Sullivan 9-12-0-121, Semrad 1-1-0-1.
Receiving—Andover, Hartman 2-46, Jonas 3-28, Smith 2-23, Henry 2-12, Turner 1-4. Goddard, Beason 4-79, True 2-23, Mitchell 2-16, G. Morrow 1-3, C. Morrow 1-1.