Goshen bested by Brantley

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 1, 2014

By Sean Holohan

Going into their final game of the regular season, Goshen head coach Bart Snyder knew how important it was to build momentum on the heels of their first-round playoff game Nov. 7.

And pitted against undefeated 1A rival Brantley Friday night, the Eagles had a perfect opportunity to hand the Bulldogs their first loss of the season and head into the post season with confidence.

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But in a game marred by turnovers, big plays and sudden downpours, the momentum went Brantley’s way, as the Bulldogs defeated Goshen 34-0.

“Real good ball team we played tonight, that’s all I can say,” Snyder said.

The Goshen defense stoned the Brantley running game all night, holding the Bulldogs to -5 yards on the ground in the first half and 45 yards in the game.

But it was the passing game that killed the Eagles, leading to big plays and, ultimately, touchdowns.

Bulldog sophomore quarterback Jacob Free was 11-of-14 passing in the game for 204 yards and two TDs.

Brantley excelled in all facets of the game Friday night.

Late in the second quarter, Brantley linebacker Malik Stough blasted through the Goshen offensive line, blocked a Daniel Macias punt and then scooped it up and scored, putting the Bulldogs up 13-0 just before halftime.

And after adding a late 30-yard field goal with seconds to go before the half, Brantley entered the locker room with a 16-0 lead over Goshen.

The second half kickoff was preceded by a sudden downpour that emptied the stands and lasted throughout much of the third quarter.

With the turf and football soaked, Goshen fumbled the ball three times in the third quarter, turning one of those over to Brantley.

The Brantley defense was equally dominant against the Goshen offense, allowing the Eagles just 66 yards of total offense.

Goshen senior running back Terrianno Griffin managed just six yards rushing on 11 carries and junior quarterback Kendrez White gained just 19 yards on the ground and 45 yards through the air.

Brantley scored 18 points in the second half to ice the game.

“Our guys played their hearts out in the first half,” Snyder said. “We had to make some changes after half, but I’ll tell you we have a young group of guys who played a very good team in Brantley ball team to 16-0 going into halftime. They’re (Brantley) good. We can’t take anything away from that.”

The Eagles finished the regular season with a 6-4 overall record and a 5-2 record in Region 3 — good for second place in the region. And despite the sour ending to their regular season, Goshen can still look forward to hosting a first round playoff game next Friday against Geneva County.

Snyder said he has liked what he’s seen from his senior class this year and hopes they will carry the team far into the post season.

“We’ve just got to work better to beat a team like that (Brantley), but I think we’ve got it,” Snyder said. “These seniors have sowed the way to get there. We are 6-4 on the year. Nobody thought we’d be that.”

Goshen is looking forward to rebounding at home next week, Snyder said, and the team knows the atmosphere at Eagle Stadium will be a perfect start to the Eagles’ post season.

“The cheerleaders and band and the fans for what they have done, the support they have given us is a great thing,” Snyder said. “We’ll keep building and get ready for Geneva County next week. We’ll be here and we invite people to come see us.”