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Eagles travel to take on the Rebels

The Goshen Eagles and Zion Chapel Rebels open up region play this evening at Greene Memorial Stadium in Jack.

The Rebels (1-0) and Eagles (0-1) each come into the game with one game under their belt. Both teams hope to kick off region play with a win.

It’s been a week full of rain throughout the Pike and Coffee County area and both teams have had to find ways to get meaningful practice time.

“All we can do is practice swimming or arena football,” said Goshen head coach Bart Snyder. “It’s been wet, really wet out here every day this week. We have been very limited in what we can do because of the rain.”

The Eagles opened up their season a week ago with a 29-6 loss to Ariton. The Eagles, in a driving rain storm for much of the first half, turned the ball over three times. Those turnovers led to short fields for Ariton and 15 points.

“The whole first half we played on one end of the field,” Snyder said. “They were by far the better team. We just have work to do.”

The Rebels are coming off their first opening day win since 2010 after beating Red Level last week 40-33.

“From the jamboree game to week one, I felt like we changed some things that we needed to change to be successful,” said head coach Randy Bryant. “I feel like our team didn’t quit. There were several points in that game that our team could have folded up, but they didn’t. We were glad to see them fight through adversity.”

Rebel quarterback Aaron Senn led the offense by throwing and running for two touchdowns in last week’s win.

Since taking over last season, the Rebels have changed from run-oriented offense to more of a spread look and coach Snyder is impressed with what he has seen from Bryant and the Rebels.

“Coach Bryant has a good Zion Chapel ball team,” Snyder said. “They got their win the other night against Red Level and that’s a confidence-builder for them. They are going to spread it out against Red Level. They were successful throwing the ball and they can run. The players work really hard. The way they played against Red Level was amazing to watch.”

The Eagles have had the Rebels’ number over the last few seasons. The Eagles have won the last six meetings against the Rebels, including a 55-0 victory last year.

“Goshen is always very athletic,” Bryant said. “Coach Snyder does a great job over there. We expect them to come over here ready to go, especially after losing to Ariton last week. We expect them to bring their A game.”

The Rebels started their season with a win for just the 17th time in school history. The Rebels are looking to go 2-0 for just the eighth time in school history.

“I think it would be huge to beat Goshen,” Bryant said. “Like I said to the players, ‘every year you have a fresh sheet of paper. You determine what goes on that paper.’ It will be another chance to write history. We are trying to make history every week.”

The Eagles hope to avoid going 0-2 to start the year for the first time since 2015.

“We have to win this ballgame,” Snyder said. “You want to open up region play with a win and that’s what we have to do. We can’t afford to not have a win.”