Van Not Taking Anything for Granted After Week 2’s Incredible Comeback
Van coach Jared Moffatt uses several different words to describe the players on his team: blue-collar, hard-working, resilient, persistent, competitive, tough, physical.
All are necessary to mounting a 27-point comeback, which is what the Vandals had to do last night against Princeton.
"You look up and everything that could go wrong has gone wrong," Moffatt said on Wednesday, five days after Van erased a 27-0 deficit to beat Princeton 48-34. "(The comeback) part was exciting, but being down 27 wasn't so much fun. But I'm proud of how our kids responded to the situation and adversity."
Moffatt said his team never panicked. The Vandals scored, got the ball back and scored again. When things started falling their way, that's when the team responded in a big way. Van scored on six consecutive scoring drives while the defense held Princeton to just seven points in the final three quarters.
When asked how he was able to get his team on the right track, Moffatt deflected.
"I would love to take the credit, but that's just the makeup of these kids. These kids in Van have always been blue-collar, hard-working, tough, physical kids who don't back down from competition or adversity," Moffatt said. "It's woven into the fabric of how these kids grew up here. It was who their brothers, dads and grandfathers were. It's great to coach kids like that."
And while being down 27 is a situation no player or coach wants to be in, but for a team that lost just twice in 2016 by a combined nine points, Friday was definitely a learning experience for his team, Moffatt said.
"You can't replace that experience and living through that in an actual game. To battle back and actually take the lead and win the game, that does give your kids a lot of confidence," Moffatt said. "If you find yourself in a similar situation later in the year the kids ought to be able to draw from that experience."
As usual, behind another big Van performance was quarterback Garrett Moseley. After what Moffatt described as an uncharacteristically "terrible first quarter," Moseley returned to his usual self. This week's ETSN.fm Offensive Player of the Week threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another 169 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
The senior has molded himself into one of the best leaders and competitors Moffatt has ever coached, he said.
"I've been around Garrett since he was a kid and I wouldn't bet against him, regardless of the situation. I think Garrett may want to win worse than I do," Moffatt said. "Our kids feed off him and his confidence. He played about as bad as he could for 14 minutes and most kids couldn't recover from that mentally, but he's got it."
At this point every coach will tell you his main goal for his team is to get better on a daily and weekly basis, and Moffatt isn't any different. The Vandals are young on defense this year, he said, and he's looking forward to seeing his team improve as the season progresses.
"Your team is different every year, and everybody's is. With us it's most prevalent on the defensive side of the ball," Moffatt said. "We start three seniors and two of those started last year. We start five sophomores on defense, which really is unbelievable at this level. I thought they did an unbelievable job from the second quarter on last week, and we just need to show improvement from that."