Straughn offense invades Eagles’ nest

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 12, 2000

Sports Writer

After surviving another serious scare against Georgiana Friday night, the sixth ranked Goshen Eagles must put on the heavy armor again preparing for another physical battle on Friday night when they host the Straughn Tigers in an important Class 2A Region 3 showdown. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Stadium in Goshen.

Coming into Friday night’s matchup, the Eagles (6-0 overall) and the Tigers (5-1) stand alone tied for first with identical 3-0 records in region play. Barring a major collapse, both teams should qualify for next month’s playoffs. The winner will have the inside track for the region title and home field advantage for the first two rounds of the postseason.

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The Eagles are coming off a hard fought 18-12 win over the Panthers (4-2, 3-2), while the Tigers coasted past Montgomery’s St. Jude High School 40-18.

Despite the unblemished record, the Eagles are not without their problems. The list of players banged up for Goshen resembles a M* A* S* H* unit as several people may not see action due to nagging injuries. Among the list of the walking wounded include fullback/middle linebacker Mitch Holland, who will not play against Straughn due to a concussion. Other players who may not know if they will see action until game time include offensive lineman Donnie Miniard (medial collateral ligament/questionable), tailback Demond Brundidge (injured ankle/questionable), Cedric Green (knee injury/probable) and fullback Quez Burden (ankle/questionable).

If Burden is unavailable, GHS head coach Joe Thornton will be forced to go with 150 pound eighth grader Tyrone Crawford at the fullback position.

Sophomore Clarence Bean will start if Brundidge continues to struggle. Thornton said Brundidge’s swelling was extremely high and that his status would not be determined until Friday.

As far as the Tigers from Andalusia are concerned, Thornton said they present many problems for the Eagles.

"Straughn will be the best team we’ve faced all season," Thornton said. "They scored 48 points against a great Washington County defense. They are well coached and their kids play hard every snap. They have a very smart quarterback. Straughn also has lots of speed on defense. They are very well disciplined and Coach (Trent) Taylor has done an outstanding job. Our young players will have to really step up for us."

The Tigers’ offense is keyed by tailback Derrick Florence, who picked up 290 yards and four touchdowns in a 50-48 loss to Washington County (5-1) on Sept. 15.

Following Friday night’s action, both teams will have two region games remaining.

The Tigers will host Barbour County (0-6, 0-3) next week before traveling to Luverne (Oct. 27) for a non region matchup.

Straughn concludes the regular season at arch rival Red Level (3-3, 1-2) in a game that could have huge region championship and playoff implications.

On the other hand, the Eagles will face road tests next week in Montgomery against St. Jude (1-5, 0-3) and Highland Home (4-2, 1-1)

Oct. 27 before ending the regular season at home against new 1A member Pleasant Home (1-5).

This is the first meeting between Goshen and Straughn since 1997 when the Eagles defeated the Tigers 34-12 on their way to a 9-2 season.