Atticus Goodson showed up for his postgame interviews wearing a pair of prized cowboy boots.
It was somewhat fitting, given that Independence had just given its Raleigh County rival Shady Spring the proverbial boot in a 50-17 victory Friday in Coal City.
But it was in his turf shoes that he did all the damage on a record-setting night when he ran for a career-best 317 yards and five touchdowns in the victory.
In his last two games against the Tigers, Goodson has 628 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. In his first game in 2019 he was held to a career-low 35 yards and no touchdowns.
“I’ve always had a thing with Shady,” Goodson said. “We really don’t like each other that much. I love the kids over there. But we know that when we’re playing, we are enemies, not friends. As soon as the game ends or something happens, I’m right there for them. But after being stopped for 35 yards it motivated me and I love playing against them.”
Now consider as good as that performance was, it was brother Cyrus who was drawing rave reviews. Perhaps they know what to expect from their star senior running back, he of the cowboy boots.
Cyrus took the lid off the Shady Spring defense early with an electrifying 52-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Logan Phalin and then just a couple minutes later had a 55-yard interception return to make the score 20-0 in the first quarter and the die was cast early.
Shady Spring coach Vince Culicerto pointed directly at the two touchdowns by junior Cyrus Goodson.
“We did the worst thing you can do (which) is give up a deep ball there at the beginning, a big play and then the pick-6 there was huge,” Culicerto said. “That got us behind the 8-ball. They threw us all over the field, that’s for sure. Hats off to them.”
The Brothers Goodson accounted for 427 yards of total offense and seven of the eight Independence touchdowns. Trey Bowers also caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Phalin.
“We like to start the game off with a firework or something like that,” Bower said. “I think it’s nice to score early on a long pass or a big play.”
“I just think coming into the game (Shady) was going to focus on the running back, the running game,” Cyrus Goodson said. I just don’t think anybody can keep up.”
“That was the goal, we wanted to get off to a fast start,” said Independence coach John H. Lilly, noting the team had been off since Aug. 27. “We knew Shady was a good team, we knew they could throw the ball well, they are very well coached. Coach Culicerto does a good job over there (and assistant coach) Phil (Culicerto) does a good job. We knew coming in we had to have an A-plus performance and I think (the two big plays) helped us do that.”
Cyrus' brother agreed.
“When you are stacking the box against us, we have three guys that you’re just not going to catch,” Atticus Goodson said. “I don’t care who you are, you’re not catching them. It opens things up for me.”
Things were open for Goodson most of the night. He scored the initial Independence touchdown on a 13-yard run and that’s when his bother went to work. Cyrus Goodson’s two scores made it 20-0 after one but Shady was resilient and Caleb Whitaker got the Tigers on the board with a 44-yard jaunt in which he spun out of a tackle at about the 27-yard line and made it to paydirt.
Atticus Goodson had two more touchdowns to make it 32-7 at the half.
He would bookend his fourth and fifth touchdowns (51- and 15-yard runs) around Bowers' touchdown.
It was what Lilly needed.
You don’t have to tell one of the members of Grogg’s Hogs (named for offensive line coach Kevin Grogg) how fun it was Friday night watching Goodson, who had 13 carries of 11 or more yards in the game and set a new personal high against their arch nemesis Shady Spring.
After all, they share in the net result.
“It feels great (blocking for Goodson),” lineman Brady Grimmett said. “I like driving people down the field. And he is always telling us good job and thanks for the blocking.”
“Everything I’ve done in my career could not be done without the linemen,” Goodson said. “I would have three rushing yards maybe in my entire career. They mean more to this team than they will ever know, and I appreciate everything they do for us.”
If you want to know what kind of night it was for Shady, consider they had a turnover end in a turnover.
After Tyler Mackey intercepted a Phalin pass seemingly stopping an Indy drive deep in Shady territory, he was hit by Cyrus Goodson from the side and fumbled it back when Judah Price fell on it.
"It seemed like anything we did it turned back around,” Culicerto said. “They got after us. They are better. There are years to come, and it comes back around. Our boys have the rest of the season to go and they fought. I saw a lot of fight.”
“We actually gained about 12 yards on that play” Phalin said, laughing,
Phalin finished the night completing 9 of 16 passes for 185 yards. Price had 50 yards rushing and 43 yards receiving for the Patriots and Bower had 28 receiving yards.
For Shady Spring, Cam Manns passed for 113 yards and rushed for a touchdown. Bryson Pinardo had 58 rush yards.
SS 0 7 3 7 — 17
I 20 12 12 6 — 50
I – Atticus Goodson 13 run (kick failed)
I – Cyrus Goodson 51 pass from Logan Phalin (A. Goodson run)
I – C. Goodson 55-yard interception return (pass failed)
SS – Caleb Whittaker 44 run (Will Harman kick)
I – A. Goodson 2 run (run fail)
I – A. Goodson 15 run (pass failed)
I – A Goodson 51 run (pass failed)
I – Trey Bowers 12 pass from Phalin (run failed)
SS – Will Harman 37 field goal
I – A. Goodson 15 run (run failed)
SS -Cam Manns 2 run (Harman kick)
RUSHING – SS: Tyler Mackey 1-(-4), Cameron Manns 5(-11)-1 TD, James Sellards 1-0, Caleb Whittaker 12-55, Bryson Pinardo 7-58 Indy: Atticus Goodson 25-317-5, Judah Price 6-50, Cyrus Goodson 1-8, Logan Phalin 2-6, Tyler Linkswiler 3-26, Bower 1-11,
PASSING – SS: Cam Manns 13-22-2-113-0, Indy: Logan Phalin 9-16-1-185-2, Trey Bower 0-1-0-0-0
RECEIVING – SS: Jacob Showalter 3-22. Tyler Mackey 1-15, James Sellards 1-2, Caleb Whittaker 3-9, Hayden Johnson 1-12, Gavin Davis 5-53. Indy – Cyrus Goodson 4-114, Bower 3-22, Judah Price 2-43.
TURNOVERS SS: Tyler Mackey (INT), Alex Redden (FR), Indy – Bower INT, C. Goodson INT, Phalin FR.