Goshen downs Zion Chapel late, claims final Region 3 playoff spotPublished 12:35am Saturday, October 27, 2012
By Clif Lusk
The only question on the field at the Eagles Nest Friday night was which team was going to flinch first in a 35-32 Goshen victory that clinched a playoff berth.
It was Zion Chapel. The Rebels flinched, and flinched at the wrong time in what may have been the most exciting Eagle win in recent history.
And it was about not making mistakes — Something the Eagles didn’t do often, and converting key first downs all night long. It was high school football at its finest.
“I’ll tell you something,” head coach Bart Snyder told his player in the post-game huddle, his voice breaking from emotion, “I’ve never been a part of something like this. For a group that people said would never go anywhere, you went there.”
“We had people bail on us, but you believed in us and believed in yourself. I asked and challenged you to expect to win. You believed in yourself and you won,” he said.
That ethic now pits the Eagles (4-5) against 10th-ranked Oakman (8-1) in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs. Goshen plays on the road in two weeks, after taking on McKenzie Thursday night at home.
The first flinch came after the Eagle senior kicker Stephen Macias went just left on a 53-yard field attempt, giving the Rebels possession on their own 20 yard-line about four minutes into the fourth quarter.
On second down, the Rebels fumbled the connection between quarterback Ethan Deal and running back Mickey Cox, with defensive lineman Austin Missildine giving the Eagles the ball on the Rebel 19.
Senior back Deangelo Orum, who led the Eagle offense with 31 carries for 185 yards and three touchdowns, took it from there on five plays – including one illegal procedure penalty to put the Eagles ahead 28-26.
The Rebels answered back, with senior LeMarcus Adair’s 75-yard kickoff return to the Eagle 23 yard-line. A Deal pass into the end zone with six-and-a-half left to play gave the Rebels a four-point edge.
Kendarious White covered a short kick at the Eagle 33, and senior Carlton Bean, who 19 carries for 87 yards and one touchdown, powered to a third-and-one on the Eagles’ 41 yard-line. Orum and Bean worked in tandem with Bean getting to the one-and-a-half mark on second-and-goal. Orum powered ahead to put the Eagles on top with 16.1 seconds left in regulation.
Zion Chapel fired up its passing offense on their own 32 yard-line, with Orum nearly intercepting a Deal pass to Andrew Logan.
On the third down, with just 6 seconds left to play, Terraino Griffin ended the speculation with sack.
The Eagles put 358 yards rushing in the books, and freshman quarterback Ramsey Rigby was 1 for 1 for 9 yards. He put two points on the board scrambling on a second-quarter conversion.
Griffin carried 4 times for 33 yards and Bean posted 54 total yards.
Defensively, sophomore Tyler Phillips led the team with 6 tackles, 6 assists and a deflected pass. Rashad Rodgers had 5 tackles, 3 assists and a deflected pass, and Bean had 5 tackles and 1 assist.
Zion Chapel had 32 carries for 203 yards rushing and Deal went 4-for-9 for 57 yards and one touchdown in the air.
“We started loosing people in July – 15 people aren’t here with this team because they left us or got injured. These guys stuck with us, got better in practice and now we’re four straight years going to the playoffs,” Snyder said. “They’ve done what a lot of people said they couldn’t do.”