Mistakes prove costly for Goshen

Published 12:15 am Saturday, October 18, 2014

HIGHLAND HOME – For the Goshen Eagles, Friday night’s game at Highland Home was marred by missed opportunities and costly mistakes.

From missed extra points, ill-timed penalties and a no-call on a Highland Home muffed punt, not much went in favor of Goshen as they fell to upset-minded Highland Home 29-19.

“We kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” Goshen head coach Bart Snyder said. “Every time we would make a play, we did something just to shoot ourselves in the foot. We can’t have those costly things when we are driving the football.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Early on, Goshen’s (5-3, 4-2 Region 3) offense was in sync. On the game’s opening possession, the Eagles orchestrated an impressive 13-play, 65 yard scoring drive that ended with quarterback Kendrez White scoring from three-yards out on a quarterback keeper. The drive took nearly eight minutes off the clock and included a fourth down conversion from the Highland Home 28 yard line to keep the drive alive.

The Eagles took the lead in the game and looked like they would be able to run their offense without much resistance.

But Goshen’s lead was short lived. After the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, Highland Home (4-4, 4-2 Region 3) took over with good field position from their own 38 yard line. It only took the Flying Squadron two minutes to put points on the board, as the offense drove down the field with big, gashing runs, setting up an Andrew Roper one-yard TD run.

After a Goshen three-and-out early in the second quarter, Highland Home kept momentum going in the running game when Darryl Matthews took a handoff and broke through two Goshen defenders for a 26-yard TD run, putting the Flying Squadron up 14-7.

But Goshen still had some magic left from their first drive of the game.

After a big Tyler Phillips kick return put the Eagles at the Highland Home 49 yard line, running back Terrianno Griffin scored on a 32-yard TD run late in the second quarter. But the extra point was wide right and the Eagles were still down, 14-13.

“Those first two series, we just didn’t execute like we were capable of doing,” Snyder said.

“We were in the ball game. We should have been there. You can’t make mistakes. You can’t help good teams out.”

Perhaps Goshen’s most pivotal mistake in the game came late in the fourth quarter. Down 14-13 and driving, the Eagles found themselves in Highland Home territory. On third-and-inches, the Eagles strayed from their usual power-running philosophy and called a deep pass play that fell incomplete. The Eagles were then stuffed on a fourth down run play, handing possession back over the Flying Squadron.

That was the closest Goshen would come to taking the lead in the second half.

The Goshen defense was able to keep the tricky Highland Home offense at bay through much of the second and third quarters, but finally broke midway through the third quarter, surrendering a four-yard touchdown run by Roper and a costly two-point conversion that put the Flying Squadron up by two possessions.

“That is just that type of offense, that Wing-T offense that goes in different directions,” Snyder said. “Our defense usually doesn’t give up scores like that and we needed to make some adjustments.”

With two minutes left in the game, Goshen running back Elijah Smith scored on a 33-yard run, but another opportunity eluded the Eagles when the extra point missed wide left, keeping the Highland Home lead to three.

And after a failed Goshen onside kick, Flying Squadron quarterback Trayvyon Fuller clinched the game and dashed the hopes of a Goshen comeback with a one-yard touchdown run.

Highland Home racked up 284 yards rushing on Goshen.

Eagle running back Terrianno Griffin finished the night with 124 yards rushing and a TD.

The Eagles will host Zion Chapel next week.