It took 10 weeks, but Huntingtown's Greg Goodwin is finally the MdHigh Player of the Week. In a season riddled with 200-yard performances, three-touchdown games and 80-yard runs, the 5-foot-9, 175-pound running back delivered a Mozart-esque encore last Friday night in a 47-24 win over Great Mills.
Just when fans thought he couldn't get any better, Goodwin set career highs in carries, yards and touchdowns. The workhorse carried the ball 43 times and thrashed the Great Mills defense for 373 yards and five touchdowns (he would have had a sixth, but a penalty negated the run). For good measure, he chipped in a pair of receptions for 20 yards.
"Really I was just trying to help win the game for my team," said Goodwin, whose team finished the regular season a perfect 10-0. "Great Mills did a great job of fighting back. They never really gave up. Coach [Jerry] Franks told us we had to keep battling and we couldn't let up."
Goodwin had two touchdown runs in the first half, the first from 1 yard out and the second from 13. But they were the only scores Huntingtown had in the first 24 minutes. Great Mills was still very much in the game down 14-6 at halftime.
"After halftime we came out fired up because we were kind of mad with how we played in the first half," Goodwin said. "We were flat. But in the second half we did much better."
Reinvigorated, Goodwin led Huntingtown on two straight scoring drives to start the third quarter. On the first possession, Goodwin capped the drive with a highlight-reel 16-yard touchdown run. He broke two tackles, spun past another man and then carried two defenders into the end zone.
"When I came off the field all my teammates were telling me how sick that run was," Goodwin said. "I felt it was a pretty hard run, too. I drank like a gallon of water afterwards."
Goodwin didn't have much time to rest. After a Great Mills three-and-out he was right back in the huddle. Huntingtown drove all the way to the Great Mills 7-yard line before Goodwin took an off-tackle handoff and rumbled into the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the game. That tied a career high set three weeks earlier against Patuxent.
"In games like this, where I get a lot of yards early, I usually get taken out by the fourth quarter if we're winning by a bunch," Goodwin said. "But Great Mills didn't give up. They scored another touchdown in the third quarter. We needed another big play."
Goodwin delivered one last time. Midway through the final frame, Goodwin burst through for his longest run of the day: 42 yards. But before he could score, a Great Mills defender caught him at the 3-yard line. One play later, however, a winded Goodwin plowed through the middle for his fifth and final touchdown.
"I broke that long run and I thought I was going to score," Goodwin said. "But they caught me. I was tired, man."
He had a right to be. Goodwin had already surpassed his previous career high of 38 carries. But even with the excess workload, Goodwin didn't want to come out.
"As the game goes on I get tired, but I also get into a groove," said Goodwin, who averaged 27 carries per game this season. "I get used to how defenses react to certain plays and the cuts I make. So I feel like I get even better."
Late in the fourth quarter, when the outcome was no longer in doubt, Goodwin finally took a seat after a 20-yard run. His backup, Conor O'Brien, came in and proceeded to score another touchdown, setting the final at 47-24.
"We wanted to go into the playoffs on a roll," Goodwin said. "So we didn't want to let up at all."
Goodwin won the player of the week, but he might be the player of the year. He rushed for over 100 yards in every game this season and over 200 on six separate occasions. Goodwin finished first in the state in rushing yards (2,053) and total touchdowns (29). He was one of only two players in Maryland to surpass the 2,000-yard plateau in the regular season (Gilman's Darius Jennings was the other).
Others receiving consideration:
Billy Cosh (QB) Arundel: 380 passing yards, six touchdowns
R.J. Harris (WR) Arundel: 12 catches, 144 yards, three touchdowns
Jeremy Musselman (QB) Walkersville: 337 passing yards
Zach Hawk (QB) Meade: 320 passing yards, three touchdowns passing, one rushing
Josh Bordner (QB) Century: 295 yards passing, four touchdowns passing, two rushing
Ricardo McLeod (RB) Wheaton: 309 yards, three touchdowns
Crusoe Gongbay (RB) Rockville: 293 yards, three touchdowns
Darius Jennings (QB) Gilman: 256 rushing yards, three touchdowns
Jed Yousefi (WR) Maryland Christian: five catches, 176 receiving yards, three touchdowns
Rahman Lee (RB) Forestville: 177 rushing yards, five touchdowns
Pat Steele (RB) Boys' Latin: 209 rushing yards, five touchdowns