OAKLEY, Kan — After getting up two scores midway thru the third quarter the Goodland Cowboys weathered a late game comeback from the Oakley Plainsmen to win for the first time in 2019, 21-20.
Despite coming in winless and being outscored by an average of 51-6 thru their first three games the Cowboys out played the 2-1 Plainsmen in the first half. The Cowboy defense held Oakley to just 66 total yards of offense, 21 of it on the ground, and no points. While the Goodland offense ran for a first half season high 89 yards surpassing their previous high of 47 and got out to a 7-0 lead thanks to a Leyton Cure one yard touchdown run.
Goodland would come out of halftime and add to their lead with another Leyton Cure touchdown, this time from five yards out, capping a 9-play, over 5 minute drive giving GHS a 14-0 lead with just over half the third quarter left.
After not capitalizing on a long drive to end the first half Oakley would go down the field and knock on the door again only to throw their second interception of the night in the end zone. But from that point on the Plainsmen passing game took off as OHS ran just seven plays over the final 12 minutes and change, and scored on three long passing touchdowns of 68, 57 & 73 yards. All three from Eric Cain to Ellis Slack. But much to the Cowboys luck Oakley would miss PAT’s on two of those three scoring drives, which proved to be the difference.
After the the game got to 21-20, the Cowboys were able to cover a squib kick and then get two first downs highlighted by a Cure run of 25 yards in which Oakley was going to let him score but he wisely fell down short of the end zone.
The Cowboys offense was out-gained in the end by Oakley 343-307 but GHS ran for a season best 202 yards led by a career high 149 rush yards from QB Leyton Cure and two scores. Cure’s career total rushing yards coming into the game was just 76 yards. He also threw for 105 yards and touchdown to the converted tight-end Trevor Daise.
Cowboy defense played great for most of three quarters but gave up over 200 yards in the final quarter including 198 yards receiving and three TD’s to OHS wide receiver Ellis Slack.
The win for Goodland was their first since October 12th vs. Russell last year and their first road win since September 8th of 2017 at Wray, Colorado. It was the just the third win for Goodland over the Plainsmen since 2000. Cowboys were also able to end the shutout streak as GHS was outscored by Oakley in the prior four meetings 127-0.
Next week, the Cowboys (1-3) make the long trip to Beloit (2-2), who is coming off a 21-20 loss at Colby. Oakley (2-2) will head to Smith Center to face the 1A #1-ranked Redmen (4-0).
HEAD COACH CHASE TOPLIFF POSTGAME COMMENTS:
PHOTO CREDIT: Jackie Elliott