Goshen keeps playoff hopes alive with victory over Highland Home

Published 12:41 am Saturday, October 20, 2012

By Clif Lusk

It didn’t take Goshen long to ground the Flying Squadron in their own hanger at Highland Home.

In fact, it only took the Eagles about three minutes to put 7 points on the board in their 30-15 road win that puts them just one game away from the state 2A playoffs.

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“We survived a game that was very physical against a tough football team,” said head coach Bart Snyder. “We’re going to have to cut out our mistakes to make a (playoff) run.”

Those weren’t very many, however. The game was more about what the Eagles did right – and how they handled the mistakes they did make.

“The biggest key to our win tonight was that when we made a mistake our guys didn’t quit – they never gave up and we kept playing,” he said.

Sophomore Terraino Griffin found the end zone on a 45-yard run on a monumental second-effort carry in the Eagles’ first possession of the game. He got the nod on three carries in the game, but it was senior Deangelo Orum leading the way with 11 carries for 117 of the Eagles 291 total rushing yards.

And a touchdown. And an interception.

That interception on the Highland Home 44, early in the fourth quarter, halted a Squadron drive from their own 18 yard-line. The Eagles capitalized with Orum punching the goal line on a 9-yard carry, after bringing Goshen from scrimmage on two carries.

It was the second key pickoff of a John Dunn pass by the Eagles. With just under four minutes to play in the third quarter and the Squadron threatening with three straight first down conversions and a pass into the end zone busted up Eagle defenders, junior Lane Ellisor picked a pass intended for Tay Fuller. A Highland Home personal foul – accounting for 15 of the Squadron’s 100 yards in penalties – gave Goshen possession on their own 47 yard-line. That drive eventually stalled but led to the setup for Orum’s interception.

“Lane Ellisor’s interception was a key to the game, a big play he made coming off the bench and doing a good job. He stays focused,” Snyder said. “It gave us momentum.”

Highland Home had a tough time with personal fouls, and five turnovers. Another problem was making the errors at the wrong time.

Just before the half, Stephen Macias, who had a point after blocked early in the second quarter, missed a field goal attempt wide right from 33 yards. A roughing the kicker penalty gave the Eagles 10 yards and a re-kick. Macias nailed a 23-yard field goal and the Eagles hit the locker rooms with a 16-7 lead at the half.

For an instant, the second half seemed as though the Squadron might mount a comeback but the defense quickly ended that speculation when Rashad Rodgers scooped up a fumble and scampered into the Squadron territory on the 49. Yet another Highland Home penalty moved the Eagles to the 44 yard-line, and an encroachment call on a fourth-and-three gave the Eagles a critical first down. The drive ended with an 11-yard scamper by Rashad Rodgers for a touchdown.

Rodgers led the defense with 7 tackles, a fumble recover and a fourth-quarter sack. Sophomore Tyler Phillips was close on his heels with 6 tackles and 4 assists, and senior Carlton Bean rolled the Squadron four times and had 2 passes batted down.

On offense, freshman quarterback Ramsey Rigby when 1 for 3 for 24 yards with 1 interception.

The Eagles face the Zion Chapel Rebels in the Eagles Nest next week and must win to secure a playoff berth

“It’s a huge game next week. We’re going to work hard and be successful in our workouts, and end our season the way our seniors deserve,” Snyder said. “We have to get past Zion Chapel first, but we’re playing hard and getting better.”