NEWARK – Coach Bill Franks joked he does not remember the 2014 season.
A strong offensive game like the Green Wave had in Week 1 will cause anyone to have a short memory. The Green Wave’s 28 points against Portsmouth West would have been the second most scored in a game a season ago.
“It gives us a bunch of confidence for the rest of year,” said junior Tanner Lake, who is a backup quarterback but has been moved to receiver to get his athletic ability on the field.
“We know for sure we have what it takes to put a bunch of wins together.”
Kris Goodman connected with Lake three times down the field. With West keying on Wes Jurden, holding him to 40 yards on 13 carries, the Green Wave were able to attack the Senators along the edges.
“Wes is a huge threat, and if they are focusing a lot on him, it will open up a lot of opportunities for the receivers to make big plays,” Lake said.
Goodman added, “Our coaches definitely made some adjustments at halftime to try to things differently and keep improving.”
Goodman earned the starting job early in the 2014 season, and the passing game seemed to be nearing a rhythm. Goodman, however, injured his wrist in a Week 6 loss to Heath.
Now, it appears a full offseason of work has paid off.
Goodman completed 12 passes for 153 yards. He threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Cole Buchanan to open the scoring. He then had a 27-yard connection to Jud Lewis during a key third-quarter drive, which he capped with a 1-yard sneak.
“I think our offense is definitely in a good place. We got off to a good start for the first game,” Goodman said. “We connected on a few deep ones. We were trying to take advantage of certain weaknesses we saw in their defense.”
The defense did not pitch the shutout it did against West in the 2014 season opener, but it was awfully good particularly after the Senators’ starting quarterback left injured late in the first half.
An NC fumble set up West with a chance to tie the game trailing 14-6, but Lake intercepted a halfback pass on the next play.
It is a first win that could go a long way in helping the Green Wave return to the Division VI playoffs. Their next two games also could provide a big benefit down the road.
“I think it made everybody train harder throughout the winter, put in the extra work, run the extra mile,” Lewis said.
Aug. 28: Newark Catholic 28, Portsmouth West 12
Sept. 5: Nelsonville-York, 7 p.m.
Sept. 11: @Columbus Academy, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19: Licking Heights, 7 p.m.
Sept. 25: @Lakewood, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3: Heath, 7 p.m.
Oct. 8: @Johnstown, 7 p.m.
Oct. 16: @Utica, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24: Northridge, 8 p.m.
Oct. 31: Watkins Memorial, 7 p.m.