Thursday night lights

Published 10:31 pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Anthony Rodgers takes the handoff from Deangelo Orum under the watchful eye of head coach Bart Snyder. (Photo/Ryan McCollough)

Anthony Rodgers takes the handoff from Deangelo Orum under the watchful eye of head coach Bart Snyder. (Photo/Ryan McCollough)

Playoff-bound Goshen Eagles travel to 1A powerhouse McKenize

The Goshen Eagles were able to walk off the field with their head held high last Friday night.

The team accomplished their pre-season goal of making the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs by knocking off Zion Chapel 41-0. The 2013 season marks the sixth season in a row the Eagles have advanced to the playoffs.

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But before the Eagles can get in full post-season mode, they must officially close out the regular season. Awaiting Goshen on Thursday is 1A power McKenzie.

McKenzie is a big, physical football team that Goshen head coach Bart Snyder feels will be a very good challenge for his team during the final week of the regular season.

“McKenzie has done an outstanding job this season,” Snyder said. “They have lost only one ball game this season, and that was to a very, very good Brantley team on the road. Their first-string running back is a very elusive runner. Combine him with both of their very skilled running backs and they have a really good offense.”

McKenzie is 8-1 on the season, and has rolled through many of its opponents. The Tigers and Eagles share one common opponent this season, the Highland Home Flying Squadron.

McKenzie beat Highland Home 16-14 in week one, while Goshen came up short against the Squadron, 28-25 in week seven.

The Tigers are highly ranked in Class 1A, and Snyder feels the Eagles will get a similar look in the first week of the playoffs against 2A powerhouse Sweetwater.

“We have been working all year to get ourselves physically ready to play in the playoffs,” Snyder said. “We will play one of the best in 1A this week, and will see one of the best in 2A next week. Sweetwater won in 1A and now they are doing it in 2A. We will get a good dose of what to expect against McKenzie.”

Goshen sits 4-5 overall, and is in search of another win to get its record back to even par before the playoffs begin.

Snyder said his team possess talent good enough to make a run, and feels the overall record doesn’t reflect the level of play his team has shown this season.

“We gave a few away this season, and could honestly be 7-2 right now,” Snyder said. “But we made some mistakes, and have to fight from the No. 4-seed. A win for us this week, and to get back to .500, would be big for our momentum going in to a tough game next week. They are all big, but this game is big for a variety of reasons.”

Goshen and McKenzie have met nine times previous, with the Eagles holding a 6-3 series lead.

The Eagles have won four-of-the-last-five game, including a 56-21 rout last season.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Williams-Vickery Field in McKenzie.