Excel turns to ground game against Goshen in first round

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 8, 2001

Sports Editor

Goshen (7-3) will make its second straight Class 2A playoff appearance this Friday night at home against Excel (6-4).

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

"Excel has got a great tradition," said GHS head coach Joe Thornton. "They’ve been in the playoffs before so they know what it’s all about."

The Panthers will come into Goshen wanting to run the football and they’ll do it out of every offensive set imaginable. Wing-T one play, Power-I the next.

"They’ve got two big fullbacks that we have got to stop," said Thornton.

The Eagles’ speed should be an advantage on the corners, but Excel is basically and inside running team.

"This is definitely going to be challenge for us," said Thornton. "Usually you don’t ever see Excel get beat in the first round. This is the next step for our program, to play teams like this. They’ve got a good program and they’re used to winning."

While the game is at home, Thornton said he doesn’t believe playing in Goshen will lend his team any advantages.

"I really don’t know if you have a home field advantage in the playoffs," he said. "Excel’s going to bring a lot of people and they always do. In the playoffs everyone’s going to play hard, because it means a lot to everyone."

But Thornton knows his team won’t be intimidated.

"Our kids have been in big games and that’s the good thing about being here three years," he said. "They’re not going to get in a game and get "big-eyed." We’re going to come ready to play and be poised and confident. That just comes from being in the program for three years."