Eagles look to halt unbeaten PCHS

Published 10:02 pm Thursday, September 23, 2010

Goshen High School's Marcus Jackson (5) carries the ball during a game earlier this season. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

There are some games that are just important.

While the upcoming matchup between Pike County and Goshen will have no effect on either’s chance at postseason dreams, like any in-county rivalry game, a lot is at stake.

The Eagles will enter the rejuvenated rivalry riding a two-game winning streak, thanks to back-to-back wins over Red Level and New Brockton.

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Last week, GHS ran to victory behind the legs of junior running back Reginald Foster, who rushed for 273 yards and four touchdowns.

Now, Foster and his teammates focus on the next task at hand – stopping a perfect Bulldog squad.

In doing so, the team has taken the same approach it has for every other game this season, one game at a time.

“We are treating this as another game on the schedule,” Eagles’ head coach Bart Snyder said. “But that still doesn’t take away from the importance of the game.”

And because the upcoming game is important, the coach said he has seen a very determined team on the field this week in practice.

“Our guys have been very focused,” Snyder said.

“They understand that they need to take it one game at a time – and this Pike County week.

“We are looking forward to playing football against our rival,” he added.

PCHS enters the game riding a four-game winning streak, and is coming off arguably its biggest victory of the season, a 45-30 victory on the road over Abbeville.

A big part of the Bulldog offense has come thanks to dual-threat quarterback, senior Jerrelle Bailey.

Against the Yellow Jackets, Bailey rushed for 158 yards and four touchdowns and threw for another 158 yards, adding two more scores.

This was not the first time Bailey put up video game-like statistics, as the week before he ran for 259 yards and three touchdowns while throwing another 162 yards and a touchdown.

“(Bailey) has done a really great job for PCHS,” Snyder said.

“He has done a lot of really amazing stuff this season along with a lot of the other players on offensive. It’s going to be our job to stop them.”

While the Bulldogs have their offensive attack, the Eagles been able to do a lot things with the ball as well, with Foster and fellow running back Marcus Jackson.

And even though PCHS’s defense has been successful in stopping the running attack, Snyder said his team is ready for the challenge.

“Our offensive live has done a great job this season giving our guys time to make plays,” he said. “And I think the same will hold true Friday night.

“Pike County has a very big and tough defense and it’s going to be a challenge for us to move the ball, but that is a challenge our guys looking forward to,” Snyder added.

This will be the third time in three seasons that the two Pike County team have met on the gridiron, and with the recent series locked up at a win a piece, the Eagles will be looking to take on another challenge – winning on the road.

Last season, it was the Bulldogs who came to Goshen and played spoiler, thanks to a 36-14 victory.

Now, GHS is looking to do the same.

“Last year’s loss was the last loss we had in the regular season,” Snyder said. “That game really helped us find our identity the rest of the way out.

“Hopefully, we will be able to find our identity earlier on in Friday’s game. A lot of our kids know a lot of their kids, so that adds to this game a lot.

“If we can play our game, we are going to be able to do some good things,” the coach added.