Game 1: BC football edges Junction City

Golden Eagles begin grueling schedule with thrilling win


BC edged Junction City in the season opener. Photo by Lilly Taylor and Zoe Winter.

Adrian Holguin, Sports Editor

Recap: BC football vs. Junction City

Off-season full of adversity: 

After going up against a large amount of adversity throughout the past year going all the way from mandatory lockdowns to the team being presented with an extremely grueling schedule Coach Trail has been able to rally his troops by leaning on a multitude of different leaders, as well as his seasoned and experienced assistant coaching staff head by the likes of Coach Nance and Coach Blanton. When discussing how his team has adjusted to the added adversity this season he pointed out the fact that the team as a whole has largely had to lean on senior leadership. He stated, “This senior class has made a lot of jumps in their leadership this year, largely because we needed their leadership, with everything like school getting shut down in the Spring last year. We had to rely on those guys’ leadership to keep the guys working through the shut-down, through all the stay-home orders and all that. We had to keep working through it.”

Game Recap:

It was fairly evident the game plan created by the Coach Trail, unsurprisingly, included getting the ball into Hunter Trails hands early and often. With him being the focal point of the vast majority of the team’s offensive possessions. 

The Golden Eagles struggled to get it going early with the team not being able to rush the ball into the end zone on four straight goalline tries during the teams first red zone opportunity. The defense was then able to hold the Junction City offense led by quarterback Andrew Khourey on the ensuing possession. But then on Bishop Carroll’s ensuing offensive possession, it looked like the Golden Eagles were going to be set up for their first score of the night off of a long catch and run by Noah Furgeson until he had the ball stripped out of his arms by the Junction City defense. This gave Junction City possession of the ball with a little under two minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Following this mishap, the Junction City offense began to seemingly make a significant change in the game plan from a pass heavy offense to a more of a mixed approach, going into their second offensive possession, that better suited the team’s starting fullback DJ Giddons. The high powered Junction City offense capped off a long drive with a 36 yard touchdown pass to Marcus Wilkey. But the Golden Eagles were then able to respond rather quickly with starting safety Cade Gatschet fighting through the line of blockers to block the ensuing field goal. The touchdown alone put the score at 6-0 in favor of Junction City at the end of the first quarter. 

Throughout the course of the second quarter, both the Golden Eagles and the Junction City Bluejays continued to find themselves in a game dominated by both teams defenses, but despite the two stout defenses on each opposing sideline, Junction City was able to muster another touchdown along with an ensuing successful two-point conversion. On the side of the Golden Eagles, Golden Eagle Quarterback, Aiden Niedens, rushed into the endzone for the teams first touchdown, making the score 14-7 going into half. 

It was in the third quarter where Hunter Trail began taking over for the Golden Eagles. This was especially evident with the multi-talented tailback getting three consecutive carries on the teams opening 3rd quarter drive which he then capped off with a rushing touchdown, tying the game up at 14 a piece in the middle of the third. But on the Junction City side of things, DJ Giddens finally began to break out some long runs, which then opened up their passing game in the process. But at the conclusion of  the long ensuing Junction City drive, the Golden Eagle defense was able to get them off the field on a forced fourth down incompletion deep in Golden Eagle territory to finish off the third quarter. 

The fourth quarter started off with a bang for the Golden Eagles with a rushing touchdown by junior running back Jayden Smith on the first play of the quarter putting the Golden Eagles up by a touchdown. The remainder of the fourth quarter saw the two teams continue to stay with each other blow for blow, with the Golden Eagles doing an exceptional job at running out the clock throughout the entirety of the quarter. Junction City would then respond with the Carroll drive by getting a quick touchdown of their own off the back of powerful Fullback DJ Giddens, they then were able to convert a successful two point conversion, putting the game at 22-21 in favor of Junction City with around nine minutes remaining in the Fourth. 

It was a recurring theme, with the Golden Eagle offense taking advantage of the gassed Junction City defense by continuously running the ball and keeping the opposing defense honest as the action packed fourth quarter continued. After a drive that took up nearly the entire quarter, Hunter Trail rushed into the endzone for his last touchdown of the day with precisely 1:30 left. But immediately following the touchdown, Cade Gatchet made what was possibly the game saving play to put an end to a 54 yard kick return with under a minute 20 left in the game by Junction City with a minute twenty left in the contest. It then seemed to be the end of the day for the Golden Eagles, as quarterback Andrew Khourey converts a 30 yard touchdown pass to Junction City receiver Marcello Bussey with 45 seconds left, this play put Junction City down by one point against Carroll after due blocked extra point by Gatschet from earlier on in the first half of the game. But instead of attempting another extra point and potentially sending the game into overtime, they make the inconceivable decision to go for two and try to win it right then and there. Then off of an exceptional jam at the line by senior cornerback Ryan Birch the second pass to Bussey failed to connect, thus giving the ball back to the Carroll offense with under 45 seconds left. The Golden Eagles were then able to kneel out the remainder of the clock, thus giving the game to Carroll 29-28 at the end of the night.

Adrian’s Post-game Thoughts:

It’s been four days since this game occurred and I am still in shock at the decision made to go for two with under a minute remaining, especially considering the fact that Junction City could have easily gone for the extra point at the end of and likely send the game into overtime. It was overall a very successful day for the Golden Eagles in that they were able to not only start their season 1-0 with a continuously difficult and competitive schedule that will continue throughout the remainder of the regular season. Despite the team starting off rather slow overall, I was rather surprised looking back at the fact that there was never a visible sense of panic on the Golden Eagle sideline with the considerable amounts of adversity presented to them throughout the first half. It will be extremely interesting to see how Coach Trail will go about preparing his team for a always great and competitive match-up against Kapaun Mount Carmel next Friday night at Bishop Carroll’s Memorial Family Stadium. 

Quotes of the Week:

Hunter Trail on what attributed to the teams slow start Friday night:

    “We came out with some nervous energy and that caused us to get stopped inside the 5 yard line a few times. We lost some focus as well and didn’t execute like we wanted to.”

Aiden Niedens on what the deciding factor was in the team coming out on top:

    “At half time our coaches told us we had to want it more than they did and we showed that in the second half.”

Hunter Trail on what was the biggest thing his team learned throughout the back and forth contest:

    “I think we can play against these tough teams on our schedule this year. Junction City is a really good team and we hung in there with them and won. We also learned that grit and our heart are going to be key factors for us this season.”