Patch sat down with Central's Head Coach Nick Goshe to preview this week's home game at Grayslake Central's William C. Eiserman Stadium, Friday, Sept. 3 at 7:15 p.m.
Patch:What can you expect in the game against Grant this week?
Against a team like Grant this week, the errors that we did make that didn’t cost us too much Week One are going to cost us Week Two against a team like Grant. They are very talented. They’re a very disciplined team like us. They have a lot of wrestlers like us and they are tough kids. That’s their M.O. (modus operandi) is that they will try to be tough on you. For us playing a team that is disciplined, tough and hard-nosed, we are going to have to dot our i’s and cross our t’s.
What is going to be the key offensively for your guys against Grant?
We can’t let their front four tee off on us. We can’t get into predictable situations with them. If we’re in negative waste downs, say 3rd and 15, that’s a tough down to do too much with. If we’re in those kinds of situations, then we’re in trouble because their front four is very good. That allows their front four to tee off on our front five and we don’t match up well in those situations. We need to be in 2nd and short, 2nd and three or 2nd and two, 2nd and one. We need to put ourselves in good situations early in the series. First down is real important and 2nd down is even more important. This game is going to be won on 1st and 2nd down for us.
Patch:Do you expect this to be a big ground battle?
We always want to run the ball. Joey (Valdivia) is very talented and we have to give him the ball. They have some good running backs too who just didn’t get it going Week 1.
Defensively, what do you have to do to stop Grant?
We have to match their physicality. I think our defense is looking forward to that challenge. This isn’t the same Grayslake as it has been for awhile. Our calling card for the last few years has been our defense. We are going to be tougher than you are. Our guys need to bring that attitude to Week 2. They need to play with a chip on their shoulder and earn some respect.
This is a big game for us in terms of earning some respect for our program. We feel like it’s there for us to do, but we have to accomplish a lot of things in the game to win the game and earn their respect. Defensively, the guys need to run and tackle like we ask them to do all the time. We have a lot of chippy kids. They don’t like the tough kids over there. A lot of our guys are wrestlers and they love to run and hit. They don’t mind mixing it up and they need to perform that way. Turnovers in a game are huge so we need to eliminate those.
This game is a litmus test for Central.
Coach Goshe:A good team like Grant will bury you if you fall apart and show weakness. It is definitely a litmus test, no doubt, we’re gonna know where we’re at after this game. When you go against these higher caliber teams like this, such as we did last year against Marian Central, if things go the wrong way these teams are talented enough that they will buckle you.
So how are you going to keep that from happening?
Coach Goshe:We’re gonna keep everything in front of us. You’re not going to see us give up big home runs very often because that’s just not our style of defense. We’re gonna be aggressive and tough up front, but we’re going to keep everything in front of us and make them pay every time that they do anything in front of us. We’re gonna come up and hit them. Eventually, we feel that they are going to cough up the ball or drop the ball because they’re thinking about the hits.
What can the fans expect this week before and after the game?
Coach Goshe:We will have our brand new media guides for sale and they look fantastic. They will be collector’s items for sure. Volunteer Coach General Chuck Whittington is going to be our honorary captain for the coin toss and all of our kids will be wearing helmet stickers with his unit’s insignia on them. He is being deployed to Afghanistan very shortly. After the game-ending handshake, the teams will go to their respective sidelines. Following a drum roll, a bugler from the school will play and a group of area vets will lower the flag and fold it in a ceremony to honor our troops. Following this, the school drumline will perform. We want to make this a great night of entertainment for the community and it should be a blast!
Recapping last week's win over Round Lake (47-6)
The offensive line looked really good against Round Lake. Nobody touched the quarterback, no sacks allowed, but how did you see their performance?
Coach Goshe:There were probably a lot more mistakes than what meets the eye up front. We tend to cover them up with a lot of skill players. There’s still a lot of work to do. We know that up front is where our season is going to hinge. We’ve got Charlie Risinger (LT), Steven Moioffer (LG), Thomas Halloran (C), Cameron Hosimer (RG) and Jake Paust (RT) with Jimmy Molitor at Tight End playing on either end depending on the formation we run.
Patch:Is Halloran a bit undersized for playing center?
Coach Goshe:Thomas is 160 lbs. and might be slightly undersized but he’s a wrestler so he understands leverage and he move well. He can play all of the line positions. He is technically our most sound lineman and he does a great job for us. He’s giving up some weight up front, but the D-Tackle for Grant is only 200 pounds. There are things that a technician like Thomas can do that will really frustrate a bigger opponent.
Who would you say is your most improved player on the line?
Coach Goshe:Steven Moioffer. He put in the time in the weight room during the off season. It’s his senior year and sometimes the light bulb goes on. It’s never been a question of ability for him; it’s been a question of whether or not he was willing to do the things that need to be done to be successful. You could see that in the spring of this year, he decided that he was going to have a great senior year and got after it in the weight room. That’s why he’s starting on both sides of the ball after not playing much last year.
Offensively, it appeared that you didn’t run the ball as effectively as you may have wanted to.
Coach Goshe:Round Lake took away our running game so we took to the air. We take what the defenses give us.
The screen passes worked really well against Round Lake.
Coach Goshe:Ray (Beckman) puts the ball in a good spot for our guys to make plays after the catch. That’s why he’s a very talented high school quarterback.
Patch:Vince Smith did nice job receiving.
Vince did a nice job as well. He’s always had nice hands, body control. He’s very talented young man. We have some skill guys that many teams don’t have. For us, it’s a matter of getting them the ball in a position to be the talented, skill guys that we are asking them to be. That means we have to do our job up front on the offensive line.