Tough break

Published 12:23 am Saturday, August 22, 2009


Ultimately, Slocomb’s shotgun max protect formation would give the Redtops enough momentum to come from behind in the third quarter to snatch a victory from the Goshen Eagles 15-14 in a pre-season start.

Their formation and two called-back touchdowns, that is.

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In a lot ways, the pre-season game – where the kicking game was not defended – was typical of many, both teams working out kinks in their game. Goshen’s looking a little off pace with its running game and almost non-existent passing game, and Slocomb with too many penalty yards to tally.

“We have just five returning players from last year,” said Bart Snyder, in his first appearance as Goshen head coach. “We’re a young team, but tonight gave us the opportunity to work on finding folks to step up and we found them.”

Two of those returning players were junior running back Marcus Jackson and sophomore back Reginald Foster. Both contributed their leadership and running talents, Snyder said.

Jackson managed only 62 yards rushing on 9 carries on the night. Jackson carried 10 times for 52 yards and one of two Eagle touchdowns. Junior quarterback Aaron Bryan, in his first start, posted 10 yards on 4 carries and threw one interception.

His was the first to put Goshen on the board, answering Slocomb’s touchdown with 3:55 remaining in the first quarter.

It looked certain just two minutes into the second quarter that Jackson would be in position to post the first Eagle points on third-and-goal but was held to a major fourth-down conversion. It was Bryan who sprinted around the end for the score. The point-after-touchdown gave the Eagles 7 points.

The Eagles defense held the Redtops on their next position, and after the undefended punt, gave the Eagles possession near their own 35-yard line. With just under four minutes in the half, Foster made a 70-yard carry to score, but a blocking-in-the-back penalty erased the score. Two plays later, Jackson sprinted to the Slocomb 11-yard line to set up Foster touchdown with just 42 seconds left in the half.

Slocomb’s final possession of the half would put 3 points on the board with no time remaining.

The Eagles stormed out ready to play in the second half and didn’t take long to wake up the Redtops defense. On its second play, Jackson busted a 60-yard run for the end zone, only to be called back for holding.

That effectively ended the Eagles’ scoring for the night. Slocomb’s Scottie Burdeshaw gave the Redtops their go-ahead score with less than a minute left in the third quarter.

A fourth-quarter touchdown was called back for holding, and Eagle defensive back Brandon Alford broke up a Slocomb pass in the end zone to end Slocomb’s scoring threats.

“What we saw tonight were things we can correct,” Snyder said. “We can fix them and we can go on to be successful this year. We have a good football team and there’s no reason these kids should be down for the game they played tonight.”

One of the Eagles’ strengths has been in its special teams performance. Key mistakes by Slocomb, including the end-of-half field goal snap that sailed past the place kicker, could have been pivotal game turners for the Eagles, but since there was no defense on kicks the plays couldn’t have been made.

“This team finished second in Class 3A last year, and is a strong team,” Synder told his players in the post-game huddle. “This is a good team. Hold your head high and use this to make yourself better.”

The Eagles face Abbeville next Friday night in their regular season opener on the road.