Friday night’s AVCTL-III matchup between Buhler and El Dorado came down to the final minutes, which was strikingly different than last year’s 48-6 blowout victory by the Crusaders. Both offenses struggled to move the ball in the rain, but Buhler prevailed by a score of 19-6 thanks to two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter.
The Buhler victory marks 13 straight years that the Crusaders were victorious over the Wildcats. In the previous 10 games, Buhler averaged 52 points per game against the Wildcats.
In Friday night’s matchup, the Buhler offense was unable to get anything going on the ground as the El Dorado defense held the Crusaders to six points for most of the game.
Buhler quarterback Colton Goans opened the scoring with 26 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Goans took the snap and scampered nine yards to the corner of the end zone. After a missed extra point, Buhler led 6-0.
El Dorado responded with a long 17-play drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Jackson Schell with 5:04 left in the half. After a missed extra point, the Wildcats and Crusaders were tied 6-6.
Buhler put together a long drive right before the half, but Goans was picked off by El Dorado’s Jackson Schell in the end zone and both teams went into the locker rooms tied at 6.
Both defenses continued to overpower the offense in the second half. El Dorado moved the ball all the way down to the Buhler 2 yard line before Buhler recovered a fumble on a bad snap.
Finally, with 4:59 remaining in the game, Goans punched it in from one yard out to give Buhler a 12-6 lead. The ensuing point after attempt bounced off the upright, keeping El Dorado’s deficit at six points.
With two minutes remaining, El Dorado was forced to go for it on fourth and 20 from deep in their own territory. The Wildcats failed to convert, and Buhler took over from the El Dorado 13 yard line. Two plays later, Goans punched it in from the one yard line for his third rushing touchdown. After the extra point, Buhler led 19-6 with 1:46 remaining. An interception with 25 seconds left sealed the win for the Crusaders.
Jackson Schell led the Wildcats with 115 yards on the ground.
El Dorado (1-1) will host McPherson (2-0), one of the top 4A teams in the state on Friday. McPherson has outscored their opponents 68-7 in two games this season.
Buhler (1-1) will look to get above the .500 mark as they travel to Augusta (1-1) on Friday, Sept. 14.