Humboldt traveled to Rossville with frigid weather conditions Friday night for a sectional 2A playoff matchup. After a terrible start to the ball game the Cubs joined the fight that was about to take place. And a fight is what was going to have to happen if they would continue their journey through the 2A state playoffs.
With two fumbles lost on their first two possessions Humboldt would be down 10-0 after the first quarter. It could of been nerves . It could of been the cold or it could of been good defense by the Bulldogs. But the ferocious Cubs would not let that get in the way of their journey of being the best Cub team in history.
Humboldt’s defense has been as much of a reason for their perfect season as anything. The defense gets a tough stop of the Rossville offense and the special teams came away with might be the igniter to the Cubs victory. A blocked punt would set the offense up with fantastic field position. They would have less than five minutes on the clock in the first half to try and get the first Cubs score. Goodner would use his legs on a 4th and 8 pass play with a minute and half left and stretch for the first down to keep the drive alive. Tucker Hurst would bring in a 28 yard pass reception to give Humboldt third and goal from the four yard line . After a Wyrick timeout Goodner would call his own number for the touchdown with :25 left in the first half. He would also get the two point conversion to cut the Bulldog first half lead to 10-8.
The second half would start as bad as the first half with the Bulldogs scoring after just two plays to go up 16-8 after a missed extra point. The Cubs would use tough defense and opportunistic offense the rest of the way. They would score 16 points in the third quarter to get their first lead in the ball game. And they would hold on to get the tough fought victory. Goodner would get injured on a tough run and the Cubs would use Haviland in the wildcat set to their advantage to get him in some open field . It had been tough running for Haviland all night with Rossville keying on him throughout the game and rightfully so. He would find the endzone with Goodner out of the ballgame but the one of the biggest plays of the season came just right after that. Haviland would snatch a Bulldog pass and take it 30 yards the other way to give the Cubs great field position once again. Goodner would come back into the ballgame because that is just who he is . You can’t keep a leader like him down. Wouldn’t you know it he would find paydirt to give his team the lead .
The entire defense would be needed the rest of the ball game to secure the biggest victory in Cubs history up 24-22 after three quarters of play. And every player on the defense would come up with a big play. They had to stop a great running quarterback plus the defensive backs had to cover well because Rossville had shown throughout the game to be able to beat you with the passing game. And that is exactly what the Humboldt defense would do . Nothing bigger than the quarterback sack by David Watts on the Bulldogs final drive. Humboldt would run a play then could just kneel to seal the win.
The Humboldt Cub crowd
The Cub faithful showed up and showed up big in this crazy cold weather game. It looked like there were more Cub fans than the home team fans. Everyone bundled up with layers of clothes and blankets. Like someone said on Facebook ” it looked like a tractor supply commercial with all the overalls and gloves on the fans”.
This was the loudest I have heard the Cub fans in about ten years. You better believe the players recognized that. They needed you guys and gals and you were there to show them support and cheer them on . There were plenty who chose to stay home and watch online. Believe me I thought about doing that as well but I just couldn’t get myself to miss a game like this one. I believe the crowd had something to do with why this team would just not give up in this game even when things weren’t going very well. Good job Cubs fans !
I made the two hour drive with seven teenage girls who wanted to watch their classmates fight for a sectional playoff victory. I wasn’t exactly thrilled to do this before hand. But on the drive home I tuned them out a bit while I was trying to thaw out and gain feeling in my toes again.
These girls along with everyone else who made the trip will never forget that night. This Cub team has been giving us and the rest of the Cub faithful great memories all season long. For the parents who’s kids are playing they have been giving them memories for quite some time. And it is not just the wins . It’s the fight these kids show night after night that should be what is really on our minds. I bet you when these young men grow up and are in the adult world they use what they have learned playing football in their lives. When they approach a problem later on or a difficult time these young men will be able to use the adversity they endured while on the football field to overcome anything. You can give credit to yourselves for allowing them to play the game of football and the great coaches Humboldt has who have shown them the right way to do things.
Who is next?
With an overtime upset victory by the Riley County Falcons over Silver Lake the Cubs will have to travel to Riley County Friday . The Falcons are 9-2 and have defeated each of the two teams that gave them their two losses. Silver Lake and Southeast of Saline won against Riley County earlier in the season . The Falcons have had to go through those teams in the playoffs to reach the Sub State round. They are a Mid East league team along with Silver Lake and Rossville. It is just under a three hour drive from Humboldt. It looks like we will have a little warmer weather this coming Friday so there really is no reason for you to stay home. Get to the game folks!
Photo credited to Aubrey Jones