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Eagles ready for Elba

The Goshen Eagles hope to keep pace in the Class 2A Region 3 standings this Friday night by picking up their first ever win over the Elba Tigers.

The Eagles (3-0, 2-0) knocked off rival Luverne last week 27-13 and with Elba looming on the schedule, Goshen has hit the practice field ready to turn the page.

“One great thing about our guys is they make it through the weekend with the win and they come back here focused on the task at hand,” said head coach Bart Snyder.

The Eagles have put last week’s exciting win behind them and shifting their focus to this week’s game.

“Honestly I haven’t heard any talk about last week,” Snyder said. “That is something we have challenged them with over the last several years; being able to separate one from the other. You enjoy the weekend and they come back in here and it’s been 100 percent about Elba.

The Tigers have earned the Eagles’ focus over the years. The Eagles have never beaten the Tigers during their seven meetings. Last year, the Eagles fell to the Tigers 30-9.

“It’s a big ball game,” Snyder said. “We have never beaten Elba. It gives us a chance at having an even better season than what we set our goals for.”

Snyder all season has stated the importance of focusing on the task at hand and worrying about this season and its games. He says the fact that Goshen has never beaten Elba doesn’t isn’t on his players’ minds.

“That’s in the past,” Snyder said. “We don’t worry about that. There is nothing we can do about it. We learn from it and move forward. This is the important game.”

Despite the lopsided loss a year ago to the Tigers, Snyder believes his team had an opportunity to win last years’ game. This year, with a more experienced roster, the Eagles are confident in their chances of pulling out a win.

“We felt like we have had a good enough team for years,” Snyder said. “The expectation level that they (Elba) bring is when they walk on the field, they expect to win. That is a culture that you develop and they developed that many years ago. We want to develop that in Goshen and we feel like we are getting closer to doing that.”

This year’s Elba squad comes into Friday night’s game with a 2-1 record with their lone loss coming to the hands of Pike County in week one. Since then, they have defeated New Brockton and Samson.

The Tigers have put points on the board so far this season. In the first three weeks they have averaged 28 points per game.

“We feel like they are going to come out like any other good team and try to establish the run,” Snyder said. “When needing to throw they will do that. Coach (Ed) Rigby and his staff get things set up.”

The Patriots will have to remained focus and disciplined against a team that features many formations on offense.

“They give you multiple formations,” Snyder said. “You have to be ready for what they are going to run.”

Kickoff between the Tigers and the Eagles is set for 7 p.m.