Vicksburg kicked off the Halloween season in grand fashion Friday night by giving No. 1-ranked Edwardsburg its biggest scare of the season so far, but the Eddies were able to come away with a 38-22 victory to improve to 8-0 and solidify a Wolverine Conference championship.
Vicksburg (3-5) received the opening kickoff of the game and started their drive at their own 31-yard line. They would then proceed to drive the ball 69 yards in 10 minutes and 19 seconds. After Caleb Welch scored the opening points of the game Edwardsburg didn’t even have two minutes remaining in the quarter. Vicksburg punched the Eddies defense continuously by alternating carries with Welch and Fullback Brandon Thompson. The Bulldogs were in several third and fourth down situations on that drive but would then turn to sophomore Quarterback, Jacob Conklin, who would find his target 10-15 yards downfield for a first down reception. That was the pattern of the night for the Bulldogs. Edwardsburg can’t score if they don’t have the ball.
After the Bulldogs punched it in with Welch on the fourth and goal from the 2-yard line they attempted to catch the Eddies off guard with an onside kick. Luckily for the Eddies, Skylar Johnson stayed home and was able to bring in the kick, which set up the Eddies up with excellent field position. It took Edwardsburg a grand total of 5 plays to travel 53 yards in 1 minute and 46 seconds to tie the game up at 8 points apiece. Caden Goggins would score the first of three touchdowns on an 11-yard run.
Vicksburg’s second drive was almost a carbon copy of the first. Long and methodical. It took them 16 plays to travel 70 yards, and they scored on a Conklin QB sneak on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line. With over 3 minutes to play in the second quarter, the Eddies had more than enough time to march 57 yards down the field. The big run on this drive was from Isaiah Mitchell who rushed it in the end zone from 30 yards away. The two-point conversion put the Eddies up 16-14 going into halftime.
Edwardsburg would start the third quarter with the ball. The fireworks were on display quickly for this offense, and it was Goggins again. Caden found a seam up the middle, and then cut it towards the left sideline for a 62-yard rushing touchdown. The Eddies went up 22-14, but in spite of a Bulldogs turnover on their next drive, they would not go away. Vicksburg was able to get the Eddies to turn it over on downs, and then go 64 yards in 11 plays. The drive would result in a 1-yard TD run by Welch, and with the two-point conversion being successful it was tied at 22 apiece.
The decisive play of the game may have come moments later. After the Bulldogs took the momentum back from Edwardsburg and scored with 9:52 remaining in the game it took the Eddies all of one play to strike. Again, Goggins found a hole to run through and hit the afterburners. He was able to run it in from 73 yards away to give the Eddies a lead they would not relinquish. After the Bulldogs punted on their next drive Mac Gaideski got in on the offensive action and rushed it in from 41 yards away. The final score of tonight’s contest was 38-22 in favor of Edwardsburg.
This was the toughest game of the year for the undefeated Eddies as the gameplan was perfectly executed, until late, by the Vicksburg Bulldogs. They controlled the clock. Made accurate throws when needed, and ran it downhill. The two backs for the Bulldogs were extremely difficult to bring down, and constantly gained yards after contact. Welch ran the ball 27 times for 107 yards – most of which were after contact – and two scores. The fullback, Thompson, rushed 14 times for 38 yards. Conklin was 9/12 passing for 92 yards and 1 INT, and Chase Myers brought in 5 passes for 64 yards.
Edwardsburg was led by Goggins who ran the ball a mere 7 times for 175 yards and 3 touchdowns. Chase Sager rushed only 4 times for 19 yards, and Mitchell ran it 6 times for 55 yards. Unusually low numbers for the Eddies offense, but when the Bulldogs offense was on the field for almost 3 full quarters those are the kind of numbers you get.
Edwardsburg 0 16 6 16 – 38
Vicksburg 8 6 0 8 – 22
1:41 – Welch 2yd TD run (2pt conversion good) 8-0
11:55 – Goggins 11yd TD run (2pt. conversion good) 8-8
3:13 – Conklin 1yd TD run (2pt. conversion failed) 14-8
1:34 – Mitchell 30yd TD run (2pt. conversion good) 16-14
11:16 – Goggins 62yd TD run (2pt. conversion failed) 22-14
9:52 – Welch 1yd TD run (2pt. conversion good) 22-22
9:41 – Goggins 73yd TD run (2pt. conversion good) 30-22
6:28 – Gaideski 41yd TD run (2pt. conversion good) 38-22