Young Gobles Tigers fall to Hartford

Gala Rock •
Gobles’ Caleb Brady hands the ball off to Hunter Underwood as the line holds off the Hartford defense during their season opener last week. A young Tiger squad lost to the Indians, 34-0.	Tigers Rock Photography/Gala Rock

   On a perfect night to kick off the 2018 high school football season, the Gobles Tigers traveled to Hartford for a non-conference matchup, and lost 34-0. Coming off a 1-9 record from last year, the Tigers are working with a low number of participants this season and will field only a varsity team, no junior varsity.  
   Starting his second year as Gobles’ head coach, Thad Schafer said,  “Our goals for this season are to build on last season and get better each game and each week. We will be very young this year but the players have worked very hard in the pre-season and have the right mindset to have a winning season this year. The younger players are being asked to step up and fill in due to the lower numbers.”
   Of Gobles’ 23 players on the team, only two are seniors - Kevin Chandler and Doug Blake. Coach Schafer is looking for big things to happen from his key players.   
   “Hunter Underwood and Caleb Brady will look to have breakout years on both sides of the ball. Dylan Schafer, Tanner Thorndyke, Kevin Chandler, Zach Hall and CJ Olsen will make up our offensive line and will look to win the battle up front each week. If we can control the front line on both sides of the ball that will be the key to our success this season,” he said.
   In the opening game, the Tigers found themselves down quickly when the Indians elected to receive the kick off and scored on the opening drive on a Moses Beraza nine-yard run. Quarterback Aaron Sinclair ran the extra point in to give Hartford the 8-0 lead. 
   Gobles struggled on offense, managing only seven first downs in the game. Hartford scored two more times and Gobles trailed 22-0 at half time. The Tigers moved the ball better in the second half, and seemed to gain some momentum. But the drive ended abruptly when the Tigers fumbled turning the ball over.
   “Definitely not the start we were looking for,” said Coach Schafer, “but we will learn from it and get better.
   “Hartford played a great game and kept our defense on the field a lot. We started five underclassmen on both sides of the ball and our youth showed in the first half,” Schafer noted. “But they grew up fast and played well in the second half. As a coach that’s what you want to see in your players - they never gave up and they played to the whistle.”
   The final stats tell the story of the game. The Tigers gained 128 total yards to Hartford’s 363.    
   For Gobles, Hunter Underwood ran hard from the backfield, collecting 60 yards on 12 carries. Caleb Brady led the defense with 23 tackles followed by Tanner Thorndyke with 16. Jayden Wyatt snagged an interception in the second half.


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