ELDRIDGE — When Teagan Goodney heard her name called to enter the game last Friday night at Clinton, she was stunned.
It was only the first quarter. It was only a 7-0 advantage for North Scott's football team.
“Honestly, I thought our coach was calling the wrong name,” Goodney said.
Goodney ran out onto the field, into the huddle and lined up in the backfield as North Scott had the ball near the Clinton goal line.
She was stopped for no gain on first down. Then on the ensuing play, quarterback Jake Matthaidess fumbled a high snap and kept it for the 1-yard touchdown.
But less than three minutes later, with the Lancers near the goal line again, Goodney was back into the game.
After two carries, one for a minus-2 yards, the 5-foot-5 senior went off the left side and dove in from 2 yards to become the first girl in program history to score a varsity touchdown.
“It was definitely one of the best feelings I’ve had all season and throughout my whole football career,” Goodney admitted.
North Scott coach Kevin Tippet said it was not scripted or planned.
Early in the season, Tippet told his running backs coach, Dale Tuftee, if a situation presented itself during the season where Goodney could get a touchdown, he’d like for it to happen.
“Teagan wouldn’t want us to go out of our way and make a big deal just for her,” Tippet said. “That’s what makes her special. She is all about the team.
“It was early in the game. I felt confident and she has good ball security. She has earned the right.”
Goodney was picked up by North Scott's linemen in the end zone. She received plenty of congratulatory pats on the head, hugs and high-fives from teammates and coaches after scoring in what became a 45-0 rout for the Class 3A fifth-ranked Lancers.
“Hopefully, it was a memory for her and our team,” Tippet said.
Football has been a fixture in Goodney’s life since third grade.
She participated in North Scott’s youth leagues, continued at the junior high level and has done it all four years of high school.
Her father was into track and field. Her mother played volleyball.
An avid Green Bay Packers fan, Goodney said she developed a passion for football watching it on television as a young kid.
“I’ve always had a love for the sport,” she said. “It has become my favorite sport to play and the one I care about the most.”
Goodney is a running back and outside linebacker. She encounters plenty of contact.
Tippet calls Goodney pound for pound one of the toughest players on North Scott's team. She goes through all of North Scott's offensive and defensive drills in practice. She runs scout-team tailback most weeks.
"Never whines, never complains," Tippet said. "She's taken some licks and she's dished some out.
"Toughness is something I don't question with that young lady."
Goodney also is a goalkeeper for North Scott's girls soccer team, a sport she didn't take up until high school.
There is contact there, too, running out of goal for a ball in the air and colliding with another player or two.
Those hits often come against someone of similar size and the same gender.
On the football field, she is facing bigger, stronger and faster athletes.
"You have to be pretty tough to take a hit and you have to be pretty tough to hit somebody," Goodney said. "That's probably the biggest challenge, just not being as strong as the guys."
Other than a sprained ankle her freshman year and a knee injury that limited her for about a week last season, Goodney hasn't had any serious setbacks.
"The first day we go full pads and a run a version of Oklahoma, she's carrying the football," Tippet said. "She'd be the first one to bark at me if I did something different.
"I see her as a running back, not a young lady playing running back."
Goodney carried the ball 12 times for 21 yards last season. She has eight rushes for 20 yards this year.
"I like that you get to run through people," she said. "When you can juke someone out or make them miss, it is a really good feeling."
Goodney is the first female to play varsity football at North Scott since Tippet has been the head coach.
In Tippet's first year with the program as an assistant coach in 1998, Nicki Power was a kicker for the Lancers.
Even though playing time has been minimal the past two seasons and she's the only female on the team, Goodney's passion has never wavered.
Tippet has seen that from the outset.
When North Scott scored the opening touchdown against Iowa City West in Week 1, Tippet said Goodney was ecstatic on the sideline.
"She was jumping up and down," Tippet said. "She's that way every week."
Teammates call her the team's biggest fan.
Combine that enthusiasm with her work ethic and toughness, Goodney has had no difficulty fitting in with the rest of the team.
Her parents have been completely supportive of her decision to play the sport. Like all his players, Tippet laid out program expectations for her from the start.
It didn't deter Goodney.
"I've had nights where I do think to myself, 'Why do I play? What made me make this decision?'" Goodney said. "I always come back, though, and say, 'You play because you love the sport and you have a passion for it.'
"I've never wanted to quit."
Goodney has her own dressing room on game nights. But once the Lancers are in uniform, she'll join them for the pregame talk.
"The mentality in that locker room is something I'm never going to experience again after football," she said. "It is this thought, 'We're going to do this tonight, we're going to have fun, we're going to hit people and be physical all night.' It is an awesome feeling.
"I couldn't ask for better teammates or coaches. They've been very accepting."
That's why Goodney has mixed emotions about Friday night.
It is Senior Night for the Lancers against Clear Creek Amana. It also means her football journey is winding down.
Goodney has not decided on what she'll do next fall. She said there is a possibility she could continue on with soccer.
Football, though, has provided her with a slew of memories. Among the biggest is running out of the tunnel on game nights at Lancer Stadium.
"It shows you can do whatever you want in life," Goodney said. "If you have a dream, you should go after that dream.
"This has been an awesome experience, one I'll never forget."