Alford leads Eagles to win over Zion Chapel

Published 11:21 pm Friday, October 23, 2015


Photo/Nicole Stewart
The Goshen Eagles ran to a 48-3 win over region foe Zion Chapel on Friday.

By Michael Shipma

A dominant run game helped the Goshen Eagles pick up its a straight win Friday as they cruised to a 48-3 road victory over Zion Chapel.

Sophomore running back Zach Alford was the difference-maker in the game for the Eagles (4-5, 4-4 2A Region 3) against the conference foe, as he and the Goshen running game were too much for the Rebels (2-7, 2-6 2A Region 3) to handle.

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“Establishing the run game was what we wanted to do tonight,” said Goshen head coach Bart Snyder. “Our kids have been through a lot this week, and they did an outstanding job of playing for each other.”

Zion Chapel showed promise on the first defensive outing, recovering a fumble on the Eagles’ opening drive. The early momentum was short lived, however, as the home team was forced into a three-and-out and was unable to capitalize on the turnover. The Rebels had an equal amount of trouble moving the ball on the remainder of their drives.

On the ensuing Goshen drive, sophomore quarterback Brock Snyder led the offense down the field, as the visitors capped off a 79-yard drive with a 14 yard TD run from sophomore running back Damion Passmore to go up 7-0. The rest of the Eagles’ offensive possessions had similar success.

Alford picked up his first score of the evening when he found a gaping hole over the left side and raced 92 yards for the score. Alford finished off a brilliant performance for Goshen with nearly 300 yards rushing and four touchdowns.

“Zach is a great young man,” Snyder said after the game. “The most important thing about him is that he’s humble. He doesn’t care about stats, he cares about the team.”

As Goshen’s offense found its rhythm in the first half, its defense was able to find equal success in stopping Zion Chapel’s run scheme. The Rebels’ offense kept the ball on the ground for the vast majority of the game, but were unable to get much going against the Eagles’ stout defensive front.

Alford tacked on another pair of rushing touchdowns before halftime, including a 63-yarder in the closing minutes of the second quarter. Zion Chapel was simply unable to find any answer for Alford and the Goshen backfield throughout the game, as the visitors took a 26-0 lead going into halftime.

The contest became increasingly one-sided as play continued into the second half, with Alford and sophomore running back DaQuan Foster each scoring rushing touchdowns in the third quarter, including a 48-yarder from Alford on the Eagles’ first play from scrimmage following halftime.

“They really beat us up front all night,” said Zion Chapel head coach Bradley Bowers.

“We’re a run heavy team and to be able to do that you have to control the line of scrimmage. Goshen did a good job of that tonight.”

The home team finally caught a break in the closing minutes of the third, as the Rebels were able to recover a Goshen fumble deep in Eagle territory. The Rebels were unable to move the ball on the ensuing drive, but sophomore kicker Dawson Hamlin was able to get his team on the board with a 45-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the third to end the Eagles’ chances for three straight shutouts.

Foster rounded out the game’s scoring with yet another long touchdown run, breaking free for an 85-yard score late in the fourth quarter.

Goshen returns to action next week to play its final regular season game on the road against Brantley High School, while Zion Chapel stays at home next week against Ariton High School. Both kickoffs are scheduled for 7 p.m.