Eagles soar over Ariton for first win of the season

Published 12:03 am Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Goshen Eagles defeated Ariton on the road in convincing fashion, defeating the Purple Cats 28-10. But the final score wasn’t indicative of how close the game truly was.

Both offenses started out slow in the first quarter. Goshen started with a quick three-and-out. Ariton rattled off a big 21-yard run on their first possession, but lost all 21 on a sack and two penalties in the following plays and finished the drive with 0 net yards. Goshen went backwards on the next drive and went into negative offensive yardage.

With 3:55 left in the first quarter, Ariton got the ball back and took control of the game for the next ten minutes, methodically marching down the field on a string of quarterback keepers.

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The Purple Cats drove 65 yards on 17 plays all the way to the end zone. All but four of those plays were designed quarterback runs.

Goshen had two chances to stop the drive, holding Ariton on a fourth and four with a sack, but also holding a receiver, giving Ariton the automatic first down. Ariton converted on fourth down again on the next set of downs and punched it into the end zone with a five-yard pass.

Goshen responded quickly, finally getting a first down to start their next possession. A 30-yard pass from quarterback Brock Snyder to running back Zack Alford really opened up the drive. Snyder made a big fourth-down conversion of his own on a 15-yard scramble. Snyder then connected with Alford again, this time on a shuffle pass. Alford looked to be taken down, but broke a few tackles and slipped through the defense for a 15-yard touchdown to bring the score to 7-6.

Goshen forced a quick three-and-out on Ariton’s next possession, but muffed the punt and put the ball back in Ariton’s hands with 2:30 left in the half.

When Ariton failed to convert on third down, head coach Bart Snyder made an unconventional timeout call with only 37 seconds left. Ariton chose to punt and Goshen had the ball on their own 5-yard line. A defensive penalty brought the ball to the Eagles 30.

Brock Snyder then threw a 30-yard bomb to Alford, but it was incomplete. A flag was thrown but then picked up. Bart Snyder furiously yelled at the ref, arguing that Ariton’s defensive back had committed pass interference and the flag should stand.

Instead, the referee penalized Goshen 15 yards for the tongue-lashing.

The coach’s passion seemed to ignite the eagles though, as all-purpose player Damian Passmore broke off a 25-yard run with 12 seconds remaining. With 2.3 seconds left, Brock Snyder hit tight end Iyan Hinkle in stride and he carved through the defense for a 60-yard score to end the half with the Eagles up 14-7.

“That’s what you practice for ,” Coach Snyder said of his aggressive strategy. “It only takes 10 seconds to run down the field.”

Snyder said the referees called a great game; he just wanted to motivate his players on the sideline. “My goal is for them to be great.”

The second half was all Goshen–Caleb Dawson picked off Ariton in their first possession and the offense took advantage of a short field for the score on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Alford.

Ariton never got much more going during the night, although they did get a field goal to bring their score to 10.

Defensive back Corey Peterson clinched the game for the Eagles in the final quarter, returning an interception 54 yards to the house for Goshen’s final score.

Coach Snyder said he’s proud of his team for fighting through adversity.

“That’s what we needed to see,” he said. “We still have a long way to go though.”

Goshen will travel to face Calhoun next Friday at 7 p.m.