Cross-county gridiron war

Published 10:39 pm Thursday, September 25, 2008

There will be a lot of purple on the field tonight when the Pike County Bulldogs welcome the cross-county rival Goshen Eagles to Bulldog Stadium.

PCHS head coach Brad Waggoner and GHS head coach Joe Thornton will square off for the third time. Waggoner has won the previous two meetings when he was the head coach of Luverne High School, but he said the Bulldogs will have to watch out for the Eagles athletes.

“They have several good skill players,” Waggoner said. “They have two talented running backs in Marcus Jackson and Jermaine Smith. They also have a very experienced quarterback in Tyreese Wingard. Austin Bennett is a really good tight end as well.”

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Waggoner said one similarity between the two teams is they are both young squads. The Bulldogs sport a junior tandem at quarterback and tailback and the Eagles’ two running backs are both sophomores.

Both teams are coming off a loss at home. The Bulldogs lost a stunner to Slocumb last week, 14-6. GHS did not have such a close game, losing 41-6 to Reeltown.

“Coming off a loss, it is very important that we take that next step in the process,” Waggoner said. “We have a season-long process and we need to get a win and move forward through the rest of the season. There will be bumps in the road, such as last week, but we have to keep moving forward.”

The Bulldogs have not hung their heads and Waggoner said he was proud of how the team has been practicing and hitting the weights this week in preparation for Goshen.

“I know our kids will bounce back this week,” Waggoner said. “We just need to come out of the gates and start fast because our problem in our two losses has been starting out slow. We must be hitting on all cylinders when the game begins.”

Thornton could not be reached for comment at press time.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. in Brundidge.