Goodling, Heimbaugh lead Newport past Line Mountain
Friday night’s Line Mountain-Newport game marked an important point in the season for both sides. Line Mountain entered the game looking to improve its position in a tight District IV playoff race while Newport continued its pursuit of a Tri-Valley League title and possibly an undefeated season, something the Perry County school hasn’t accomplished since the early 1950’s.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, it was Eli Goodling and Newport coming away with a 37-0 victory.
Goodling was a key contributor in the Buffaloes balanced offensive attack, amassing 186 rushing yards on the ground and another 95 receiving. Goodling reached the end zone four times on the night, three of which occurred in the second half to power Newport (8-0) to the win.
Although Newport did score on three of its four first half possessions, the Eagle defense was able to hold the Buffaloes mostly in check during the first half of play.
Newport settled for a 35 yard Justin Barlup field goal on its first possession and then followed with a two yard Eli Goodling run on its next drive to stretch the score to 10-0 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Newport drive, which started at mid field, was extended by a 20 yard run on a fake punt. Newport would convert multiple fourth downs on the night, all via the fake punt.
An 11 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Noah Heimbaugh to Drew Paden would send Newport to the locker room with a 17-0 lead.
Newport went on to score three unanswered touchdowns in the second half, including two by Eli Goodling in the fourth quarter, to finish off the shutout win.
Despite the Newport back’s late surge Line Mountain coach Brandon Carson praised the job his defense did bottling up Goodling during the first three quarters of the ball game.
“I think anybody has to game plan for him, we did a good job of getting to him and keeping him penned up,” said Carson. “A lot of his yards were on fake punts. He’s a tank, he runs hard. We did a really good job on him up until that point.”
Line Mountain (5-3), which managed only 144 yards of total offense, was once again led by senior quarterback Kenny Boyer. Boyer rushed for 99 yards and also adding 15 passing yards for the visitors. The Eagles quarterback surpassed 1,000 rushing yards on the season in the loss.
Boyer and the Eagles did have some scoring opportunities but were ultimately unable to make the most of them. Quite possibly the biggest was a nearly six minute drive to end the first half ending inside the Newport five yard line.
“I think that took a little bit of wind out of our sails. Obviously it hurts not to be able to cash in there. We were hoping to at least be able to try a field goal, but it just didn’t work out,” Carson said of the half ending drive. “I thought we matched their intensity for the most part. I’m proud of our kids, I love our kids and I think we’ll respond moving forward.”
Two Line Mountain turnovers also added to the Eagles offensive struggles.
For Buffaloes head coach Todd Rothermel and Newport the win represents another step taken toward playing for a district title.
Rothermel’s team rolled up 368 yards of total offense and accumulated 16 first downs on the day.
“The important thing for us this week is we’re still undefeated. There’s only been one team, one coach, and one staff that have ever gone undefeated here. It’s something that we’d really like to do,” said Rothermel.
Noah Heimbaugh also played a major role in the Newport win. The Buffaloes quarterback completed 17 of 25 passing attempts for 205 yards and a touchdown. Six different receivers caught a pass from Heimbaugh.
Looking ahead, Newport will face non-league opponent DuBois at home next Friday evening.
Line Mountain will host Juniata (6-2).
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