The Waynesfield-Goshen Tigers were overwhelmed early in Friday’s game, as their opponent, the Riverside Pirates, used a potent rushing attack to record with a 27-0 halftime advantage.
Riverside had three scoring plays of 20 yards or longer in the first half, and the Pirates eventually posted 438 yards rushing in Friday’s contest, a 40-8 win over the Tigers in a Northwest Central Conference varsity football game.
The loss put the Tigers at 2-6 this season, after winning two games entering Friday following an 0-5 start.
“It took me by surprise, after the last two weeks of winning, seeing confidence go up and our practice approach, especially in a league game in a rival game,” W-G varsity coach Doug Foley said about the start to Friday’s game. “I did not anticipate starting as flat as we did. I thought we were prepared and was looking forward to the game.
“You just can’t spot someone 27 points early and expect to come back,” he said. “Give Riverside credit. They were physical and jumped on us, and we didn’t have an answer defensively.”
Three different Riverside rushers exceeded 100 yards rushing in Friday’s game, as the Pirates bruised the W-G defense with outside sweep plays routinely.
Connor Cotterman was the leader with 173 yards and two TDs. Ryan Davidson added 133 yards on eight carries, while Tanner Lane gained 127 yards on 17 attempts.
“It was the sweep. Knowing they’re a wing-T offense, they ran that power sweep and ran it all night long with effectiveness out of multiple formations and we just didn’t get the play we needed out of our front and linebackers to make them do something different.
After the lopsided first half, the teams were scoreless in the third quarter before Riverside edged W-G 13-8 in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers ended the shutout with a TD in the fourth quarter on a TD pass to Brandon Turner from Lake Turner.
“We challenged the kids at halftime,” Foley said. “We did a much better job in the second half. We did better job competing and giving effort.”
The Tigers will continue their season next Saturday in their second of three straight road games, as they will face a solid team in the Lehman Catholic Cavaliers, who are 7-1 this season.
“We’ve got to regroup,” Foley said. “We face a tough Lehman Catholic team next Saturday.”