Despite missing the playoffs for the 6th straight year the Goodland Cowboy football team had something to play for in their consolation game against Chapman. A win for GHS would mean they finished with a .500 record or better for the first time since 2014 and for just the fourth time since 2004.
But for the second straight game the Cowboy defense struggled to stop the run while the offense sputtered for most of the contest and they lost to the Chapman Fighting Irish, 39-13.
The first half turned out to be a low scoring affair. Goodland, after going three and out on their first two possessions were able o score on their third, early in the second quarter as Leyton Cure found the end zone for the 11th time this season on the ground with two yard touchdown run capping a nine play drive to give GHS the lead, 7-0.
Chapman responded just a couple minutes later as Trevor Erickson ran in for score from nine yards out and after a two point conversion the Irish took the lead 8-7 with three and a half left in the first half.
For the most part the Goodland defense stood strong in the first half stopping a 17-play drive by Chapman and also forcing two turnovers thanks to two Mason Hernandez interceptions. But despite the lone touchdown drive the Goodland offense only got one first down in the first half and totaled 86 total yards to Chapman’s 143.
The third quarter proved to be the decided point in the game. Chapman, who received the second half kick, scored in just three plays highlighted by a Kyler Welling 54-yard run followed by an Erickson one yard score making it 16-7 after the two point conversion.
Goodland went three and out on both of their third quarter drives while Chapman pulled away. The Irish capped an 11-play 60 yard drive and another three play, 64 yard drive with touchdowns to lead Goodland 32-7 going into the fourth quarter.
Chapman would burn most of the fourth quarter away with another 10-play 40 yard drive capped with a Welling touchdown from a yard out just before the Goodland offense found its footing.
With a little over three and a half minutes left in the game Goodland had its best drive of the contest going 64 yards in nine plays and capped with a Mason Hernandez nine yard touchdown receptions from Cure making it 39-13. After an unsuccessful onside attempt Chapman would run out the clock for the win.
Goodland offense put up just 158 total yards, just six yards more than their season low of 152 against Scott City. Leyton Cure ran for 47 of the teams 56 rushing yards, he also threw for 102 yards and a touchdown but completed just eight of his 32 pass attempts. Cure ended his impressive Goodland career with 4,889 total yards with 41 touchdowns. Mason Hernandez had one of his best games of his young career with a team-high 81 yards receiving with a touchdown, his second of the season. Plus four very good punts and two interceptions.
Chapman had 424 total yards of offense, all on the ground. Kyler Weiling led the Irish rushing attacks with a game-high 165 yards on 25 carries with a touchdown. Trevor Erickson also had a great game running for 136 yards and three touchdowns. The only thing that Chapman did not do well was pass the ball going 0-5 with two interceptions thrown.
Goodland ends the 2020 season with a 3-5 overall record. The three wins are the most in the Chase Topliff era and the most since 2016. Chapman ends its year with a 4-3 record. It is just the fourth winning season since the turn of the century for the Irish.
Goodland Head Coach Chase Topliff: