Ground game helps Goshen edge Central (w/Photos)

Published 11:28 pm Friday, October 10, 2014

Goshen running back Terrainno Griffin (22) runs the ball. (Messenger Photo/ Chip Dillard)

Goshen running back Terrainno Griffin (22) runs the ball. (Messenger Photo/ Chip Dillard)

By Devin Smith

GOSHEN – The Eagles’ homecoming victory didn’t come how head coach Bart Snyder planned, but it’s hard to be to upset over a victory, he said.

“Well we’re excited about getting a win, but it wasn’t exactly in the way that we think we should’ve gotten it,” Snyder said. “We’re a much better ball team than that by all means. It’s difficult when you’re playing that many young guys out there and having to deal with some injuries that we have to overcome.”

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The Eagles, 5-2, defeated Central-Hayneville 21-14 on Friday.

The energy of the crowd wasn’t enough to energize the Eagles in the early going, and a drive-killing fumble late in the first quarter helped to dig Goshen into a 6-0 hole on a 41-yard pass from the Lions.

However, deficit was what Goshen needed to get on track, and on their next defensive outing Terrainno Griffin intercepted a pass for the Eagles that started to build momentum for the Eagles.

Kendrez White would score on that same drive from just a yard out to give Goshen its first lead of the game at 7-6 in the second quarter. Zack Alford gave the Eagles another score in the second quarter from within the 5-yard line to give his team a 14-6 lead over the Lions.

Central-Hayneville tried to tie the game up before the half, and had several chances within Goshen’s red zone, but a key goal line stand drained the remainder of the clock to keep the eight-point advantage.

“That was a great goal line stand going into half time that ended up saving the ball game for us,” Snyder said. “They were on the inch line and never got in, which was great to see from the defense there.”

The Eagles’ momentum continued to sustain itself through half time, and the Eagles were able to use a big kick return to their advantage on the way to another score on the ground courtesy of Qua Simmons to take a commanding 21-6 lead.

The ground game continued to be the Eagles strong suit, but Snyder said it wasn’t the plan going in to the game.

“When you’re struggling passing the football, you are going to have to run it effectively,” Snyder said.

“That makes it even harder on the backs to get yards and on the line to hold their blocks when they can bring everybody. We have to start completing some passes and working harder at getting open on routes in order for us to be a complete football team.”

It was after the third score that Central-Hayneville started making a push toward a comeback, and the Lions defense was the catalyst with a 42-yard pick-six on White to end Goshen’s three-touchdown streak on the Lions.

“That was tough,” Snyder said. “I think it was the fourth turnover we had in the game, and three of them were when we were going in to score.”

“We can’t throw the football into a situation like that, when you do then that is what’s going to happen. It wasn’t a good play, and we made it a worse play by making the throw that we did.”

The Lions had one final chance to tie the game with a hail Mary, but it fell to short enough to let Goshen Escape with a victory that will put them in the playoffs.

“It means a lot to our guys, that was one of the goals we wanted to achieve,” Snyder said.

“But just getting to the playoffs is not all we want to do. We want to host the playoffs. Hopefully, a win next week will lead us to possibly having that.”

Goshen travels to Highland Home next week.