Flying to redemption
This past Friday night did not end the way the Goshen Eagles had planned.
In a game that could very well have determined the winner of the 2A Region 2, the Eagles fell short on the road at No. 2 Elba, 21-19.
While both Goshen running backs, Reginald Foster and Marcus Jackson, had fairly successful nights against the Tiger defense, combing for 218 rushing yards and three touchdowns, it was another statistic that stood out more.
The Eagles committed nine penalties for 110 yards, six of which were personal fouls that helped Elba move down the field.
“Elba is a very good ball team,” head coach Bart Snyder said Tuesday afternoon. “We had several opportunities that had we been able to capitalize on may have led to a different outcome.
“Of course the guys were a little down, we prepared for Elba the entire week. But now we have to let that game go and focus on Red Level,” he said.
Now, the Eagles will prepare for another Tiger team, as it will play host to Red Level Friday night.
The Tigers enter the matchup with the same record as Goshen, at 1-1.
Last week, Red Level got that first victory against New Brockton, winning 20-10 at home.
In that game, the Tigers rushed for 128 yards, with a big portion of those yards coming from the legs of junior Raheem Bullock, who ran for 112 yards and a score off of 17 carries.
Defensively, Red Level’s Kevin James and Cornelieus Calloway combined for 12 tackles.
In the first week, Red Level lost to Brantley, 38-6.
This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the 2005 season.
In that game, the only Eagle points scored were off of a safety, as the Tigers pounced Goshen, 47-2.
The season before that had a similar result, as again, Red Level was too much for Goshen, winning 35-6.
“They got a good football team,” Snyder said about Red Level.
“They are huge up front and have some good athletes that can do a lot of good things.
“We are going to see them in the spread, so we are going to have to be ready for that,” he added.
While the Eagles will be preparing for this game the same as they would against any other team, Snyder said he hopes the Elba defeat is one that provides a little more motivation.
“I hope we will take out some frustration (from the Elba game) out on Red Level,” the coach said. “Hopefully, our kids will be fired up by.
“We showed a lot of heart (against Elba), and we fought till the end. I think those are two things from that game that we will be able to build off of,” Snyder said.
Besides responding to the loss, the matchup with Red Level is also a region game, and with one loss already in that category, a win on Friday is a must, according to the coach.
“Our main objective for this season was to win the region championship,” Snyder said. “And we have fallen behind.
“This game is very important for us. If we want to achieve (winning the region), we are going to have to win out the rest of the way – something that I think we can do.
“But it all starts with Red Level on Friday,” he added.
The Eagles and the Tigers will kickoff at 6 p.m, on Friday.