If one were to say that Goddard-Eisenhower has barely squeaked by the opposition in three wins this season, the statement would not be without merit.
Then the Tigers stunned crosstown rival Goddard with a pair of late touchdowns, which was ranked No. 3 in the Class 5A rankings before decimating the Bulldogs 48-0 in Week 2.
Yes, the Lions are now 2-2, but their other loss was to Class 4A No. 4-ranked Andover Central. Those Jaguars — they rolled to a 30-2 victory against Eisenhower in Week 2.
It’s been said before, but bears repeating: The Bulldogs face some of the toughest competition in the state year in and year out.
Ark City opened the season with a tough, two-point, last-minute loss to arch rival Winfield, and suffered a heartbreaking 6-0 setback to Wichita South in Week 3, following the loss to Goddard.
After holding the Titans to an early touchdown off a turnover before shutting them down the rest of the way, the defense came up huge again last week, throwing a scare into undefeated Maize South before the Mavericks pulled away in the second half for a 33-15 victory.
The Bulldogs simply don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves — they have another tough matchup with another hot, state-tested team.
The Tigers overcame a 20-7 fourth-quarter deficit in their rivalry game.
Eisenhower intercepted a pass that set up a touchdown pass by Collin Mackey with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Mackey then threw the game-winner inside one minute.
Mackey finished 14-of-30 passing for 160 yards. The Tigers were held to just 40 rushing yards, but the defense blocked a field goal, forced a fumble and had an interception to go with four sacks.
Jordan Vincent hauled in eight passes for 88 yards and a TD, accounting for half of the pass receptions.
The Bulldogs had success moving the football in the first half last week against Maize South, but the second half was a different story.
Quarterback Gabe Welch had a solid first half, 12-of-14 passing for 80 yards, and finished a respectable 21 of 30 for 123 yards, without an interception. But after gaining 77 yards on nine carries in the first half, tailback Braiden Mattocks was held to minus-4 yards in the second half.
Ark City was just 2 of 14 on third-down conversions in the game and lost two fumbles.
The Bulldogs are one of five winless teams in KSHSAA Class 4A West Regional standings, but have the best point differential at minus-34. Though it’s way too early to tell, there’s a chance Ark City’s Week 9 playoff game could be in Winfield. However, it also could be at Goddard or Andover Central — it’s still too early to tell.