GHS hopes to end 14-year drought against Luverne

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 8, 2000

Sports Editor

14 years is a long time to wait for anything.

Luverne comes to Goshen tonight and the Eagles – fresh off of a 54-0 blasting of Billingsley last week – hope to win a game they haven’t won since Ronald Reagan was in office as U.S. President.

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"It is something we’ve certainly addressed, " said Eagles’ head coach Joe Thornton, referring to the Eagles’ last victory over the Tigers in 1986. "We’ve talked about the rivalry and the kids are really excited to be playing Luverne. We’ve taken this week to focus on ourselves and what we need to do to get better as a football team."

The Eagles and the Tigers did not meet on the gridiron between 1989 and 1993. The rivalry resumed in 1994 with coach Tommy Wasden’s Goshen team falling to Luverne 21-7.

Since that game Luverne has had Goshen’s number, including last season’s 16-13 victory at Glenn Daniels’ Stadium. Coming into the game, Thornton’s team had a chance to wrap up the area title, but with the loss Calhoun was named area champion and the Tigers’ earned a spot in the playoffs courtesy their victory of Goshen.

Luverne fell to Highland Home last week 40-8, but Thornton said he expects this game to be a heated battle all the way.

"Luverne always plays us tougher then anybody," he said. "Coach (Butch) Norman will have them ready to play."

Thornton said he expects the Tigers to pass the ball much more this year then last. Luverne returns three-year starting quarterback Justin Moody.

"They probably will throw the ball 70 percent of the time," he said, "and offensively they’ve got some good running backs."

With Eagles junior running back Dee Brundidge rushing for over 200 yards last week against Billingsley, Thornton said he expects the Tigers to come in with the idea of shutting down the Goshen running game.

"They run a five-man front and their linebackers are real aggressive to the football," he said. "But I don’t think they’ll concentrate solely on our running game because we have excellent skill people at wide receiver."

Thornton said last Friday night’s contest against the Bears caught him by surprise as well. Especially Brundidge’s 208 yards on just five carries.

"You just don’t expect things like that," Thornton said. "But our offensive line came off the ball well and did a good job. They’ve grown up a lot in the past few months."

Thornton said he would start Michael Hatten at quarterback this week with backup Averick Rogers playing wide receiver and cornerback.

"We rotate them back and forth," Thornton said. "There’s different situations where we’ll have Averick in at quarterback and vice versa."