Eagles hope to claw Bulldogs

Published 8:55 pm Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Goshen Eagles and Pike County Bulldogs will square off in a battle of cross-county rivals Friday night in Goshen.

The Bulldogs will be the second straight unbeaten team that Goshen has had to play, something Goshen coach Bart Snyder said his team hopes to be prepared for after a 34-0 loss to Reeltown last week.

“We’re still learning how to prepare,” Snyder said. “We played two very good teams to start the region play in Zion Chapel and Keith and we were up to the challenge of trying to win two tough games in a row. But, I felt like mentally, we weren’t up to the challenge of getting ready for a third straight tough opponent. But, I think last week taught us a lot, and we’ll be better prepared this week.”

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The process of preparing for Pike County will definitely be a challenge for Goshen, as they must prepare for the Bulldogs’ hybrid wing-T offense.

“That offense is always very tough to defend,” Snyder said. On defense, you just have to be disciplined. You have certain keys that you have to focus on and just make sure you are covering your responsibility.”

Pike County is led offensively by its three-headed attack of running backs Chris Griffin and Marquavous Knox, and quarterback Josh Parker.

“Knox and Griffin both run the ball extremely hard, and Parker is dangerous at quarterback,” Snyder said.

While the backfield may be the part of the PCHS offense that has gotten the majority of the attention, Snyder said he has been most impressed by the Bulldog line.

“Their offensive line has really impressed me on film,” Snyder said. “They get on their blocks and they stay on their blocks until the whistle blows. That’s just one of the things that we’re trying to get our kids to do the same way.”

Goshen will also have the difficult task of trying to score points against a Pike County defense that is only allowing roughly eight points per game. The Bulldogs have allowed 33 points in four games, with 18 of those points coming in the season opener against 5A Carroll.

“They’re very disciplined defensively,” Snyder said. “They are also very aggressive, in that they fly to the football. You can really tell they’ve been coached well.”

Even though PCHS undoubtedly provides a stout challenge for the Eagles, Snyder said the team’s mentality has improved heading into this week’s game, something that may be a direct result of last week’s loss to Reeltown.

“The mentality has definitely improved this week in practice compared to last week,” Snyder said. “We’re a very young football team, and we had to a lot of growing to do last week.”

Part of Goshen’s renewed focus could be attributed to the fact that the game against PCHS is a rivalry game. Snyder said a win Friday would be huge for his team.

“This is big because we’re cross-county rivals,” Snyder said. “The kids see each other, and I’m sure they’ve already started talking to one another. But, we’re playing a team that is undefeated and has a lot of tradition, so obviously, it would be a real big win.”