Eagles head to Ariton

Published 3:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Goshen Eagles will open up their regular season Friday night against a familiar foe in Ariton.

The Eagles teamed up with Elba a week ago to take on both Wicksburg and G.W. Long in the Southeast Showdown. This week, the game counts and the Eagles are ready to go.

“It’s a live, full game,” said Eagles head coach Bart Snyder. “We still have a lot of work to do, but yes we are ready. We are ready to hit on someone other than ourselves for a full game to measure where we are.”

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Goshen and Elba won the Showdown last Friday night and in the win, Snyder saw a lot of positives.

“Offensively, we thought we looked pretty good,” Snyder said. “We threw the ball and ran the ball well. We made some good blocks on the offensive line. We were really pleased to see that, especially against the teams we were playing.”

The Eagles stuck to the basics on the defensive side of the ball.

“Defensively, we were pretty vanilla but there are things we have to do to get better. You win championships with defense and that is what we have to be our best at.”

The Eagles enter this week’s game without playing a full football game, splitting time with Elba last Friday night.

“That does seem to give those schools that played an advantage,” Snyder said. “There could be some injuries that they have due to the fact that they have played. Technically, we played a whole game if you look at it. We may not have been on offense the full time, but we were on defense and we tried to get them on with one as we did the other to get them to where they are supposed to be.”

This week the Eagles play an Ariton team with one official game under their belt. They defeated McKenzie 42-6 to kick off the season a week ago.

“It’s going to be a huge obstacle,” Snyder said. “We watched the film on them and he has them extremely fundamentally sound. They are athletic and they didn’t make any mistakes. They made McKenzie make mistakes and do things they didn’t want to do.”

The Eagles rely heavily on the run and they hope to set the tone early with Zack Alford, Cory Peterson and others.

“We thought we did OK Friday night,” Snyder said. “We feel like we have a good group to scrimmage against.”

The Eagles may have a weapon on special teams in the form of Dawson Hamlin. The kicker who kicked for Zion Chapel is a prized recruit heading into this season.

“We feel like if we get across the 40, have a chance to get some points,” Snyder said.

Kickoff between the Eagles and Purple Cats is scheduled for 7 p.m.

“They are ready,” Snyder said. “The campus is ready and the community is definitely ready. We just have to get ourselves mentally ready to roll, and I think they are there.”