In spite of trailing by 22 points in the final minutes of last Friday night’s game with Principia, the Van-Far/Community R-VI cooperative football program played hard through the final seconds before falling 40-18.
The Indians’ Brian Kurz recovered a fumble with 52.5 seconds left on Van-Far’s own 46-yard line. Van-Far took the ball to the five yard line in just five plays before time expired on the final drive of the game.
The Indians finished the game with 119 yards passing and 259 yards rushing for 378 total yards of offense to beat Principia’s 359 total yards.
“That was the best four quarter effort for digging in and fighting since I’ve been here,” said Van-Far head coach Blake Logan. “…We’re getting better but the score may not indicate that. I saw a lot of individual improvements tonight.”
Van-Far senior Ethan Gooch performed the rare double 100-yard game after reaching the century mark for both running and receiving yards. Gooch had 25 carries for 161 yards, one fumble, and one touchdown. He also had three catches for 103 yards and one touchdown.
In spite of losing 18 yards on a charged carry after a bad snap early in the game, Logan Boyd finished with 10 carries for 90 yards and one touchdown. He also caught one pass for 16 yards.
“Logan is extremely strong and has good speed to go along with that,” Logan said. “He runs the ball pretty hard; I’ve been teaching him to run behind his pads…He had a really solid game on offense for sure.”
Principia, who entered the game with an 0-2 record, scored on their opening drive after marching 60 yards on eight plays.
Van-Far’s first drive wasn’t as nearly successful. They lost 18 yards on their first play due to a bad snap and lost 13 yards five plays later when Gooch was sacked.
With three minutes left in the first quarter, Principia pinned Van-Far deep into their own territory after a 52-yard punt.
Starting a drive on their own 8-yard line, Van-Far went 80 yards and were about to score when Lucas Robinson’s pass was intercepted and returned 88 yards for a touchdown.
The Indians responded on the following drive as Gooch broke loose for a 65-yard touchdown run on his second carry of a two-play drive. Boyd’s two-point run was no good, keeping the score at 13-6.
Principia took a shot downfield midway through the second quarter and it paid off with a 53-yard passing play for at touchdown. Kurz blocked the kick to keep the score at 19-6.
The Panthers started their next drive inside Van-Far territory and received the help of a late hit on third down. Five plays later, Principia scored on a three yard touchdown run. A two-point conversion passing play pushed the score to 27-6 with 26.4 seconds left before halftime.
Principia had 153 total yards of offense in the first half and Van-Far had 141 yards.
The Panthers had the lone score of the third quarter after completing a 59-yard drive with a seven yard touchdown pass. An extra point moved the lead to 34-6.
With Gooch leaving the game late in the third with an injury, Boyd put the Indians on his back during a 95-yard scoring drive.
Boyd rushed for 101 yards on five carries as the Indians overcame one six yard loss. Boyd scored on a six yard touchdown run to close the gap to 34-12 early in the fourth quarter.
Gooch came back into the game and successfully recovered an onside kick on the following kickoff.
Unfortunately for the Indians, Van-Far went four-and-out. Principia responded with an 87-yard touchdown drive. Gooch blocked the kick to keep the score at 40-12.
Robinson recovered from his early interception midway through the fourth quarter when he connected with Gooch on a crossing route for a 73-yard touchdown play.
Robinson finished the game with 103 yards passing and one touchdown.
Van-Far is now 1-2 on the season and will host Wright City for its Homecoming game at 7 p.m. Friday, September 14. Wright City has been outscored 103-22 in its 0-3 start with losses to Montgomery County, Orchard Farm, and Trinity Catholic.
“I’m looking for them to be a tough team, to be more balanced than last year,” Logan said.