Eagles can clinch berth in playoffs with win tonight

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 19, 2001

Sports Writer

GOSHEN – St. Jude may be 2-5 on the season but Coach Joe Thornton and the Goshen Eagles are certainly not overlooking the Pirates.

"That’s been one of our main focal points this week," Thornton said. "We’re coming off of a big win and we’re in the position to be picked off if we’re not careful."

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Goshen defeated Straughn last Friday night 28-21 in a double-overtime thriller as the heavily favored Tigers were stunned by a scrappy Eagles squad. Straughn came into the game ranked No. 8 in the state in class 2A, but the Eagles weren’t intimidated and held on for the upset.

"A lot of people counted us out," Thornton said. "They didn’t give us a chance."

People are starting to take notice though as Goshen improved to 4-3 overall, but more importantly 3-1 in their region. The Eagles are looking to run the table with only three games remaining in the season, but right now all of the Goshen players’ eyes are on St. Jude.

St. Jude was involved in an offensive shootout with Barbour County in last week’s game and racked up 74 points against the Jaguars. Thornton said that St. Jude’s 2-5 record doesn’t indicate what type of team they are.

"They have a ton of athletes," he said. "They’re a lot better up front than they were last year."

The Pirates only two victories have come against Catholic of Montgomery 21-8, and against Barbour County.

One of the reasons that most people counted Goshen out early in the season was because the team is made up of only 24 players, but what they didn’t consider was the Eagles determination to win.

"We have 24 kids, no superstars, just a good group of kids," Thornton said. "I think that the main reason that we’re winning is because our players are very serious about what they do. We just keep getting better every week."

The Eagles are setting themselves up in an impressive manner as far as the playoffs are concerned. With a win over St. Jude this Friday night and a win against Highland Home, Goshen could end up as regional champs. They just need Red Level to fall to Straughn.

The Eagles will try to improve their record to 5-3 on the year and bury the Pirates in the basement of the class 2A region 3 standings this Friday night at 7:30 in Goshen.