By STU SWARTZ
SPECIAL TO THE GOSHEN NEWS
The home team had a chance to notch its first victory of the season. It just didn’t happen.
Wawasee junior Nate Prescott kicked a 29-yard field goal with 52 seconds to play Friday night, lifting the Warriors to a 17-14 Northern Lakes Conference victory at Goshen’s Foreman Field.
Goshen had one possession in the fourth quarter with the score tied, but the Redskins’ drive fizzled under a pair of procedure penalties and a holding call.
After a punt, Wawasee took over on the G-39 with 3:14 to play. Senior Brandin MuCulloch’s 26-yard dash on a trap play got the Warriors down to the G-14.
Prescott, a straight-on kicker, nailed the game-winning field goal after Wawasee netted just two yards on three downs.
“We did not take Goshen lightly,” said Wawasee coach Josh Ekovich. “We told our kids all week that Goshen is a capable team. They’ve had good moments in several games, only to hurt themselves.”
Goshen coach Mike Cheviron said, “Effort-wise, we have a lot to be proud of. The kids fought until the very end and it’s nice to be in a game deep into the fourth quarter.”
Wawasee used a big play to take a first-quarter lead. Junior Gage Reinhard passed over the middle to senior Austin Lutz who broke free for a 68-yard scoring play with 4:44 on the clock. Prescott’s conversion made it 7-0.
Senior Sam Byler’s interception late in the first quarter set up Goshen for a tying score.
It took nine plays to cover 36 yards with sophomore Cameron Kline passing on fourth down to wide-open senior Jamie Graves who dodged a defender and went 20 yards to score. Kline’s conversion tied it 7-7 with 9:30 until halftime.
The Warriors had a six-play, 57-yard drive to take the lead with 3:12 until halftime. Reinhard passed 28 yards to Jordan Elliott for the big play, setting up a 10-yard throw to junior Clayton Cook for the score.
A personal foul on Wawasee set up Goshen for a tying score just before halftime. Senior Chase Goodman took a pitch from Kline and lofted an 18-yard strike to senior Sam Byler for the TD. Kline’s PAT tied it 14-14 with 0:33 on the clock.
The Redskins were stopped at the Wawasee 28 in the third quarter and the Warriors were halted at the G-16.
In the fourth period, the Warriors reached the Goshen 23 before a pass was intercepted by GHS senior Carlos Duarte.
Goshen couldn’t capitalize and the decisive field goal followed.
“We didn’t handle adversity very well throughout this game,” said Ekovich. “Goshen had a great game plan and took away our run, something I’m not very proud of.”
Cheviron commented, “Our defensive coaches did a great job and we stuffed their run, except for one trap play. Offensively, we had some shining moments and were winning the field position game.”
Lutz had 11 catches for 152 yards to spearhead the Wawasee offense. Reinhard passed for 242 yards and McCulloch ran for 91.
Kline had 64 yards rushing and senior John Trenshaw 43 for Goshen. Kline passed for 86 yards, connecting with six different receivers.
Wawasee hosts Leo in a Class 4A sectional game next Friday. Goshen has the week off before entertaining Elkhart Central in a 5A sectional game on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.