GODDARDMost folks following Class 5A football know the Andover Trojan defense is legitimate. The unit had led the Trojans to a 2-1 start coming into Friday’s AVCTL-II road matchup with the Goddard-Eisenhower Tigers.
On Friday night, it would wind up being the Eisenhower defense that stole the show as they completely stymied the Trojan rushing attack.
Andover rushed the ball 18 times for negative-11 yards. The Eisenhower offense meanwhile didn’t put up a lot of points, but they held onto the ball for long stretches and that combination led the Tigers to a 16-7 win.
The game began with both sides turning the ball over on downs near midfield. Then after Eisenhower’s second possession, the Trojans took over and struck with a big play.
On 3rd-and-8 from the Andover 35, sophomorequarterback Brady Strausz found wide receiver Isaiah Maikori open beyond the last defender and hit him perfectly for a 65-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was good and Andover led 7-0.
Then the wind became a factor as the teams switched ends after one quarter. After a short Trojan punt against the wind, the Tigers marched just 27 yards and running back Cade Shubert capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. The PAT kick failed and Andover led 7-6 with 8:47 left in the second quarter.
The Trojan offense attempted to establish the run but was turned back at the line of scrimmage time after time.
"(Eisenhower) just outplayed us up front," Andover coach Ken Dusenbury said. "They had some players that made plays and hats off to them."
The Tigers then took the lead on a 15-yard keeper by quarterback Nick Hogan into the end zone with 36 seconds left before halftime. A successful two-point play allowed Eisenhower to go into the break with a 14-7 lead.
The Tigers then forced a punt to start the second half and took over at the 10:42 mark of the third quarter. Eisenhower then marched 23 plays, covering 69 yards in 9:16. But the drive was essentially killed off when on first and goal at the Andover 5, the snap went over Hogan’s head and he covered the ball at the 17. The Tigers would turn the ball over on downs. But the poor field position only made things more difficult for the Andover offense.
With 6:28 to play, the only points of the second half came on a safety when Strausz was sacked in the end zone.
On the Trojans’ final drive, Strausz found Ethan Richardson for a 43-yard gain to the Eisenhower 15. But two plays later, Strausz’s pass over the middle was deflected and intercepted by Tate Omli.
The Trojans dropped to 2-2 overall and currently do not have a game scheduled for Week 5. It is expected Andover will fill that slot. It is unknown at this point.
Asked if there was a particular point of emphasis for next week, Dusenbury said simply: "We have to get off the ball."
A – Isaiah Maikori 65 yard pass from Brady Strausz (Carter Champlin kick good)
E – Cade Schuber 3 yard run (kick failed)
E – Nick Hogan 15 yard run (Hogan 2-point pass to Mason Turney)
E – Safety, Strausz sacked in endzone
RUSHING: AND – Middleton 5-(-7); Strausz 5-(-17); Ngo 6-10; Sparks 2-3. EIS – Hogan 17-48; Schuber 21-53; Turney 2-4.
PASSING: AND – Strausz 11-25-162-1-1. EIS – Hogan 13-38-118-0-1.
RECEIVING: AND – Richardson 4-62; Middleton 4-17; Maikori 2-78; Born 1-5. EIS – Turney 6-47; Friend 3-42; Rush 3-23; Cinotto 1-6.