From the "Ouachitonian": Gabe Goodman
October 17, 2022 - Addie Woods
It was the fourth quarter with 57 seconds left. The Henderson Reddies and the Tigers were tied at 28-28. The Ouachita fans were silent as Gabe Goodman, a junior finance major from Arkadelphia, Ark., prepared for a 53-yard field goal to win the game. The Henderson Reddies’ cheers shook Cliff Harris Stadium as he approached the football.
Goodman found himself in the same mindset as the Harding versus Ouachita game back in 2019 where he kicked a field goal to win the game, and Ouachita won the conference title. As every Tiger fan held their breath, Goodman kicked the field goal, and the Tigers won the battle 31-28.
In the seconds before the field goal was kicked, Goodman relied on his instincts and tried not to think too much about the actual kick. He spent the majority of the fourth quarter calculating how he knew the game would come down to a field goal.
“I knew I could make the field goal, but the pressure was on,” Goodman said. “I wanted to win the game for my family and friends and to give back to the campus that has given so much to me.”
As the 94th Battle of the Ravine unfolded, the Tigers and Reddies stayed close behind each other on the scoreboard.
“I was feeling pretty good that day,” Goodman said. “I had some issues pulling the ball right earlier on in the game, but once that final kick came around, I was feeling good about hitting a clean, straight ball. After the kick, I felt a sigh of relief and a lot of pressure fall off my shoulders just because of all the stress that was built up throughout that week.”
This year’s Battle of the Ravine stakes were high, as a win for Ouachita would guarantee Henderson would not win the conference championship. Henderson had been a dominant team this year, but each team played the best they could, and it all came down to who wanted it more.
Because Goodman grew up in Arkadelphia, he has attended Battle of the Ravine since he was a child. Goodman said kicking the game-winning field goal in the Battle of the Ravine is something he has dreamed about since he was a kid.
“I’ve grown up watching this game, and I’ve seen how much it means to so many people, so to be a part of it is just indescribable,” Goodman said. “It was an awesome feeling to be a part of something that is so special and important to this community.”
Photo by Abigail Blankenship
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