None of Andover Central's statistics from Friday night are going to jump out at you. The Jaguars didn't have a 100-yard rusher. Their quarterback completed less than 40 percent of his throws. Their longest play from scrimmage was 35 yards.
But their offense was good enough, and their defense was even better, in a 19-12 victory over Goddard.
"We have some balance; we can pass and run," Central coach Tom Audley said about the Jaguars' offense. "Our offensive line's going to take a couple more games to where we're clicking on all cylinders. It's still early in the season. We played better tonight. I thought last week, even losing big to Derby, we got better. It's kind of what we do."
Both teams are now 2-1.
Each team had 23 first downs. Each punted just one time. Take away Zach Schulte's 31-yard interception return of Goddard quarterback Collin Nevil for a touchdown late in the third quarter and the game was about as even as could be.
"Schulte had pretty good coverage," Audley said. "... He's been playing well and he's aggressive. He's not waiting for them to catch the ball to go tackle them; he's making a play on the ball. He put himself in the right position, and that was a pretty nice play."
Virtually the entire first quarter was gobbled up by long touchdown drives by Goddard and Central. Goddard ended its drive with a three-yard run by Nevil; Central with an 18-yard run by Lucas Milner.
Milner would go on score another touchdown, a 35-yard catch on the fifth play of the second half, that broke open the 6-6 tie.
"Lucas had a nice game," Audley said. "He ran hard and got a lot of yards after contact. He ran physical and put his shoulders down."
Milner ended up carrying the ball 26 times, gaining 89 yards.
"It was a lot of carries, but that's fine with me," Milner said. "After a football game we're always tired and beat up. But I'm sure the (offensive) line is more tired and beat up than I am."
Central quarterback Blake Meier completed 7 of 17 passes for 124 yards, with no interceptions. His most impressive drive, however, did not result in any points.
After Goddard's Beau Fisher scored on a one-yard run, narrowing Central's lead to 19-12, nearly five minutes remained. Meier scrambled for two first downs, both on third down, to ensure the Jaguars still had the ball when the clock expired.
"He's a nice quarterback," Audley said. "For a first-year starter, he has a lot of savvy. He's taking control. The first half we didn't protect him real well. The second half I thought he did a real good job of making decisions … that was big on that last drive. He was smart in staying in bounds and getting down and he knew where the sticks were. I thought those guys did a great job."
Page 2 of 2 - The Jaguars play at Maize South Sept. 21.