Goshen ends season with stiff test

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2014

By Sean Holohan

GOSHEN — Heading into the 2014 football season, the Goshen Eagles found themselves undersized, inexperienced and undermanned.

Having lost what head coach Bart Snyder estimated to be about 18-20 players for various reasons before the season, the Eagles weren’t really sure what to expect this season.

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“We had a lot of inexperience,” Snyder said. “How were we going to get those guys ready to play? We knew that we were young from the numbers of people that we lost last year and before the season.”

Now, on the heels of their season finale against Brantley Friday night, the Eagles find themselves sitting at 6-3 with a home playoff spot wrapped up before the season’s end.

Snyder attributes the team’s unexpected success to the young players on his team stepping up and filling the voids the seniors left last season.

“We went to work and those young guys went to work extremely hard, doing what they had to do,” Snyder said. “We got better and better as the season goes and that is what you expect from some young guys is for them to go to work.”

With their post-season fate already decided, Goshen will go into Friday’s game against renewed rival Brantley with the same mindset they’ve had all season.

Snyder said the Eagles expect to build the momentum they need going into the playoffs in two weeks.

“We just want to make sure that we continue to play Goshen football,” Snyder said. “A team the caliber of Brantley is very challenging and that’s what we want going into the playoffs.”

Brantley (9-0, 6-0), has been scorching scoreboards all season. The Bulldogs’ offense is averaging 45 points a game and defeated Pleasant Home 62-14 last week.

But Snyder believes Brantley is more than just an offensive juggernaut. The Bulldogs are a complete team on both sides of the football, he said. And they present a dangerous matchup to Goshen in their final regular season game.

“They score a lot of points and they keep people from scoring,” Snyder said. “They are a very well balanced ball team. Everything they throw out there is sound as it gets.”

The challenge of stopping the high-powered Brantley offense is not one Snyder and the Eagles are taking lightly.

If anything, Friday’s game will be a perfect opportunity to see what kind of a team they had become from a roster with so many question marks.

“The 9-0 record, the state championships they’ve (Brantley) won, that is something we are trying to develop out here. Now, we have made the playoffs six or seven straight years, so we are excited about that.”