ELKHART — Elkhart Central already owned a mountain of a mess to clean up by late in the first quarter, but to the Blue Blazers’ credit, they did so quickly enough.
Their shaky start morphed into a largely glistening performance during a 28-20 high school football victory over Goshen on Friday, Aug. 29 at Rice Field.
Workhorse running back Joe Phillips pounded for 228 yards on 34 carries and quarterback Antwaan Allen figured in three touchdowns — two passing, one running — as the Blazers built a 28-7 lead by late in the third quarter, then held on against the rallying Redskins.
Linebacker Vinncy Schnell’s interception at his own 36 and his 41-yard return clinched Central’s win with 1:25 remaining.
Central (2-0) prevailed despite a first quarter in which it twice almost didn’t have enough men on the field, committed a personal foul, three times dropped apparent completions and missed a field goal.
“We cleaned up a bunch, but not all of it,” Blazer coach Levon Johnson said. “It’s one of those things where if one guy’s missing an assignment or making a mistake, that’s all it takes. It’s an 11-man game, so everybody’s got to be on. We’ve also got guys who need to check themselves as far as getting excited. We want to be excited, fly around, but you just have to be a little smarter, stay in your mental comfort zone.”
The Redskins (0-2) fell despite 165 yards rushing and three TDs from junior Cam Kline on 21 carries. Kline’s third score pulled the visitors to within 28-20 with 3:33 remaining.
Goshen’s defense then stepped up with a three-and-out, leading the Redskins to possession at their own 42 with 2:27 left, but five plays and 11 yards later, Schnell made the decisive pick.
"We didn’t see quit in their eyes,” Redskin first-year coach Kyle Park said of his players. “We were in the game at halftime (trailing 13-7), then got down a little more in the second half than we wanted, but they kept grinding. That’s a testament to them buying into what we’re asking them to do. I told them we’re on the doorstep. Now’s the time to walk through it.”
ELKHART CENTRAL 28, GOSHEN 20
Scoring by Quarters
Goshen 0 7 6 7 — 20
Central 7 6 15 0 — 28
School — Scoring Play
C — Joe Phillips 1 run; Jacob aiser kick, 0:32.
G — Cam Kline 74 run; JT Plavchak kick, 9:02.
C — Kyle Moreno 7 pass from Antwaan Allen; kick blocked, 0:44.
C — Langston Johnson 66 pass from Allen; Phillips run, 8:13.
C — Allen 1 run; Kaiser kick, 4:19
G — Kline 11 run; kick blocked, 1:00
G — Kline 5 run; Plavchak kick, 3:33.
Officials: Tim Fogarty, Todd Clark, Ron Nagle, Bob Ritchie, Zach Shupe.
Central: Rushing — Joe Phillips 34-228, Antwaan Allen 13-50, Lincoln Bowers 7-30. Passing — Allen 13-24-134 (0 int.). Receiving — Langston Johnson 5-88, Lenzy Davis 1-12, Jontavius Webb 1-11, Kyle Moreno 2-10, Joe Holmes 2-10.
Interceptions: Central — Vinny Schnell.
Fumble recoveries: Goshen — Nick Gerber; Central — Schnell, Bowers.