Defense key in Goshen victory

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, September 16, 2014

For the second week in a row, defense proved key as the Goshen Eagles edged region rival New Brockton 17-14 on Friday.

“They’re a young team, but they have played three and half unbelievable ballgames when you consider we got eighth- and ninth-graders playing out there against 10th and 11th graders,” head coach Bart Snyder said. “I’m just so proud of them.”

Goshen, now 2-1 on the season and 2-0 in the region, battled the elements and the challenges of malfunctioning game clock on Friday.

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“We went up 7-0 in the second quarter, and kept it that way until the half,” Snyder said. “Then they scored, and it was 8-7 at the half.”

New Brockton stretched their lead in the third quarter, 14-7.

“Then, we got a safety on a bad snap at the end zone with about three minutes to go,” Snyder said. “That made it 14-9. Then they had to kick off to us, and we drove down and scored.”

A second two-point conversation put the Eagles up 17-14.

And at one point, Snyder said he thought the Eagles would stretch their lead even further. “Jalen Psalmonds had an interception that he ran back for a touchdown that would’ve put us out of reach,” Snyder said. “But it was called back on a holding penalty.”

That’s when Goshen tried to run the clock out, “but we fumbled the ball and they got it back,” Snyder said.

New Brockton made a last-ditch drive down the field, and the Goshen defense held strong, preventing a score. “Then we had a clock we couldn’t watch, and we had to manage that,” Snyder said. “Our guys showed a lot of class and character.”

Snyder said he was proud of the Eagles for remaining composed in the face of challenges and for playing well throughout the offense and defense.

“Kendrez White through two interceptions, but he had some good passes and he scored our go-ahead touchdown on a 12-yard run,” Snyder said. “Terraninno Griffin scored our first touch.”

On special teams, kicker Daniel Macias “had a punt late in the ballgame that pinned them at their 1 yard line and set up the safety,” Snyder said. “Everybody played well across the board.”

The Eagles had 115 rushing yards and 56 passing total for a total of 171 yards. Leading the team with rushing yards was White, with five rushes for 39 yards. He was 3 of 8 for 56 yards.

On defense, Tyler Phillips had 11 tackles, five assists and one fumble recovery. Shelby Styron had 11 tackles, one assist, one sack and one pass deflection for the Eagles. Psalmonds had five tackles, five assists and two interceptions.

“We’re 2-0 in the region and we have a big came next week with Calhoun,” Snyder said. “They’re very athletic.”

Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Eagle Stadium in Goshen.