Eagles face stout Keith defense

Published 9:29 pm Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Goshen Eagles will take their first road test tonight as they travel to Keith High School to face the Bears. Both teams enter the game after region victories last week.

GHS head coach Joe Thornton said the Eagles want to stay perched at the top.

“This is our chance to stay atop the region,” Joe Thornton said.

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The Eagles (1-1, 1-0 AHSAA 2A Region 3) relied on a 275-yard performance from running back Marcus Jackson last week to defeat Zion Chapel. Jackson will have a tougher task this week in a Bears (2-0, 1-0 Region 2) defense that brought back nine starters from last year.

“I was real proud of Marcus Jackson last week,” Thornton said.

Thornton also praised the play of quarterback Jerome Lawrence. Lawrence, a freshman Eagle, came in and took over the offense when starter Tyrese Wingard left the game due to injury.

The quarterback status is still unclear for Friday night, but both could see action on the field.

Thornton talked about how the Keith defense is one of the more difficult units they will face this season.

“They have three really good linebackers,” Thornton said. “They’re big kids and they are very physical. They just have a ton of speed, and they are very disciplined.”

Thornton said his team will have to play tough in all areas tonight.

“Keyone Woods and our defensive line will have to have a big game,” Thornton said.

The Eagles are going to rely on solid play at every position, but Thornton believes the special teams can be a big part of a successful road trip.

“We need good field position from punts,” Thornton said. “Our special teams play has been good so far.”

The Eagles are one of four teams in the region that got a win last week, and a win tonight gives them a leg up early in the season.

“They returned a lot of guys this year,” Thornton said. “Anytime that happens you’re going to be good. Somebody is going to come out with a 2-0 region record after this game, and we hope it’s us.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Orrville.