Goshen kicks it off with Billingsley

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 1, 2000

Sports Editor

Goshen heads into Billingsley tonight for an opening season game with the Class 1A Bears. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Eagles’ assistant coach Chad Dube and head coach Joe Thornton took in the Bears’ jamboree last week in order to prepare for tonight’s game.

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"Their offense looked like they were running something similar to a Wing-T, but it was more of split-back formation with a double tight end," said Dube.

Dube said he was particularly impressed with the play of the Bears’ freshman quarterback Chris Brown.

"He’s a great athlete," said Dube, "but he doesn’t have a lot of size on him. If we can get our defense to put a couple of licks on him early maybe we can get him rattled."

Dube said Thornton was absent from Wednesday’s practice, but the second-year head coach had a good excuse. His wife, Karen, gave birth on Wednesday.

"It was tough running practice (on Wednesday)," said Dube. "But I feel like we had one of the best practices we’ve had this summer. Right now the players know what’s expected of them and they’re motivated enough to get the job done."

Dube said he, himself, even strapped on a set of pads for practice.

"Just for demonstration," he said, laughing, "not to go out there and hit someone or let them hit me."

As far as a starting quarterback, Dube said Thornton would name a starter late Thursday afternoon. Senior Michael Hatten and junior Averick Rogers have been competing for the spot during the summer.

"As to who’ll start the first offensive series on Friday, I don’t know," said Dube. "But I do know that both Averick and Michael will see action at quarterback during the game."

Earlier in the summer, Thornton said he would probably go to a four wide out set, but Dube feels the head coach has changed his mind somewhat.

"I think we’ll open the game with a base I-formation," he said. "Our offensive line has gotten better and better throughout the spring and summer. We’ve got Damoreo Green, who’s progressed well at tight end and we’ve also worked with Jamar Tucker at that position as well."

Tucker, a 6-foot-4, 205 pound wide receiver by trade, has emerged as a viable option at tight end.

"Jamar just gets out there and pancakes people," said Dube. "Having him out there definitely helps our running game. We’ve got Dee Brundidge and Clarence Bean at tailback and then Quez Burden, who’s just a great all-around athlete, at fullback. We wanted to do something in the summer which allowed us to utilize our good backfield."

But Tucker, along with Jonathan Folmar, Kendaris Pelton, William Sanders and Damien Pelton, make for a quality group of wide receivers.

"We’ve got some good receivers," said Dube. "Kendaris and Jamar are both excellent jumpers and have great hands."