The energy wasn’t there a week ago and it showed. The Trojans riding a two-game winning streak left Goddard realized there was much more to prove.
On Friday night against Hutchinson, they did just that.
The Trojans were balanced as they have been all season in the 14-7 win over the Salthawks in a short notice game that surprised some but Andover.
"We put it on our coaching staff to get us ready," Junior linebacker Chandler Goodnight said. "They prepare us to their best and we go out there and just execute."
Execute they did.
The Trojan defense forced three turnovers, including two fumbles in the first half by one of the state’s leading rushers in Alec McCuan.
The turnovers stunted opportunities by what had been known as an explosive offense for Hutch. They had scored 88 points over their last two games.
Andover pitched almost a shutout, holding the Salthawks without a score in the final two quarters of the game.
"We’re continuing to get better," head coach Ken Dusenbury said. "We’re still learning and growing.
A large part of it was keeping Hutchinson off the field. Andover held the ball for more than 30 minutes on Friday night, running 15 more plays and keeping the clock running, limiting those explosive opportunities.
They were few and far between, too. Andover limited Hutch’s opportunities as only four plays went for more than 20 yards. They also held them to 4-of-12 on third down, including 0-of-4 in the first half.
"We are just focused right now," Goodnight said.
Hutch finally found the end zone on a deep pass to Noah Khokhar with 11 seconds remaining in the first half. After running the ball for a couple of plays, they called a couple of time outs, setting up the deep ball from Myles Thompson. Khokhar found himself behind the defender and off into the end zone for the 7-0 lead at the break.
Andover scored on their first possession of the second half, going 84 yards in six plays, including the 57-yard bomb from sophomore Brady Strausz to Isaiah Maikori to tie the game at 7-all with 6:17 remaining in the third quarter.
Strausz, outside of an early interception was in his rhythm early and often. He was 4-of-4 in the second half passing, including 95 yards.
"It’s easy when you have the weapons around me," Strausz said. "They make it easier to get into rhythm."
Strausz’s growth as a quarterback and a leader continues to grow game-by-game. After a rough 11-of-25 passing last week, he finished 10-of-16 for 188 yards and the touchdown.
"He [Strausz] leads in a quiet way," Dusenbery said. "They are drawn to him as a quarterback and a leader."
The difference is a year older and a year healthy. As the Trojans dealt with injury after injury, especially at the quarterback position, Andover is winning those games where they were losing last season.
"Last year we just couldn’t get over the hump," Maikori said. "It’s nice having that consistency with Brady and it allows our offense to continue to get better."
Hutchinson went on a 5-play 69-yard drive that was squashed when Carter Booe missed a 28-yard field goal wide right to give Andover new life.
The Trojans marched 80 yards in nine plays that spanned almost five minutes to put the game away. Max Middleton slipped into the end zone with 3:59 remaining to put the Trojans up 14-7. Andover converted two third downs on the drive to keep the game alive.
Middleton, only a junior, finished with 99 yards on 30 carries and a touchdown. While he only had two runs that went over 5-yard on the night, he was consistent in helping Andover extend drives.
Maikori intercepted Thompson on the second play of the final drive for Hutch, ending any hopes of a comeback.
The Trojans now turn their attention to Valley Center in Week 6.
"This family is a family," Goodnight said. "We’ll enjoy this tonight. Then, we’ll get ready for Valley center."
HUTCH 0;7;0;0 — 7
ANDOVER 0;0;7;7 — 14
2Q (0:11) Hutch - 68-yard TD pass from Thompson to Khokhar (kick is good).
3Q (6:17) 57-yard TD pass from Strausz to Maikori (kick is good).
4Q (3:59) 8-yard TD run by Middleton (kick is good).
TEAM STATSANDOVERSTATSHUTCHINSON49-165ATTEMPTS-RUSHING YDS35-190188PASSING YARDS118353TOTAL YARDS3086-12-1COMP-ATT-INT5-15-14-2FUMBLES-LOST3-34-40PENALTY-YARDS11-695-13 (38.5%)3RD DOWN4-12 (33%)1-3 (33.3%) 4TH DOWN1-2 (50%)30:12TOP17:48
Rush: And - Middleton 30-99; Sparks 7-42; Strausz 7-16; Ngo 5-8. Hutch - McCuan 24-134; Khokhar 8-39; Thompson 2-14, Barlow 1-3.
Pass A-C-TD-I: AHS - Strausz 10-16-1-1; Hutch - Thompson 5-14-1-1
Rec: AHS - Maikori 2-85; Born 5-66; Richardson 3-37. Hutch - Khokhar 3-101; Peterson 2-17.