ELKHART — Big legs, big plays.
Central woke up from a sleepy first half and used four big second-half plays to overcome Goshen 27-10 at Rice Field Friday night.
The biggest play of all was a school-record 50-yard field goal by Matt Eppers, which tied the game at 10 on the first snap of the fourth quarter. Akeem Purnell added a dazzing 39-yard run and Austin McArt finished off the Redskins with a 50-yard interception as Central improved to 2-0.
“I couldn’t have done it without the guys in behind me ... I’ve got the easy part. I’ve just got to kick the ball,’’ said Eppers, a senior, who credited holder Spencer Schnell and snapper Joe Holmes.
The kick, which was launched high into the night air, barely carried the crossbar. The effort replaced a 46-yarder by Curtis Lasley in 1994.
“I hit it and thought it was too high and wasn’t going to make it ...I was just hoping it would bend back in,’’ said Eppers, who booted a 60-yard field goal in Thursday’s pre-game practice.
It was Schnell’s 58-yard punt return which finally got the Blazers going after the Redskins (0-2) banged their way to a 10-0 halftime lead.
“We came out too flat,” ECHS coach Levon Johnson said. “You can’t come out that way. The defense played well all night. It was a great overall effort where all three phases made a difference.”
“They came came up and played that ‘Bear’ defense and stuck everybody up in the box, but we were still OK,” said GHS coach Mike Cheviron. “We couldn’t get the yardage like we did in the first half.”
central 27, goshen 10
Scoring by Quarters
Goshen 0 10 0 0 — 10
Central 0 0 7 20 — 27
School — Scoring Play
G — Justin Klabusich 6 run; Jesse Good kick, 11:31.
G — Good 29 field goal, 6:44.
C — Spencer Schnell 58 punt return; Matt Eppers kick, 10:21.
C — Matt Eppers 50 field goal, 11:53. C — Eppers 24 field goal, 5:06.
C — Akeem Purnell 39 run; Eppers kick, 2:35.
C — Austin McArt 50 interception return; Eppers kick, 1:02
Officials: Max Doctor, Mark Scheumann, Kent Lundy, Rick Warmels, Dave Gentile, all of Fort Wayne.
Team Statistics Gos Cen
Net yards rushing 113 78
Net yards passing 40 183
Total Yards 153 261
First Downs 11 13
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties 5-45 13-138
Goshen: Rushing — Justin Klabusich 16-57. Passing — Derek DeMeyer 8-16-40 (2 int.). Receiving — Hans Singer 2-30. Interception: Luke Harris.
Central: Rushing — Akeem Purnell 6-63. Passing — Nick Faus 14-27-183 (1 int.). Receiving — Blake Faus 4-55, Spencer Schnell 4-51, JJ Stahl 3-35. Interceptions — Austin McArt, Vince Lucchese. Fumble recovery: Eric Landgraf.