Goshen competes in Elba Spring Jamboree

Published 10:59 am Friday, May 19, 2023

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The Goshen Eagles closed out spring football practices competing in a three-way Spring Jamboree alongside the Elba Tigers and Carroll Eagles on Thursday in Elba.

The format of the spring game saw Goshen and Elba play in one half of football followed by Goshen and Carroll facing off. Elba and Carroll then closed out the jamboree with a half of football against one another.

Against Elba, Goshen held a 14-12 lead when a turnover turned the tide to help lift the 1A Tigers to an 18-14 win over Goshen. The Goshen defense started out the first quarter by forcing an Elba three-and-out but the Eagle offense also suffered their own three-and-out. Elba’s superstar running back Alvin Henderson then went to work. The 5-star rated college recruit bulled his way through the Goshen defense for a 65-yard touchdown run that put Elba on top 6-0 after a failed PAT.

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Goshen responded right back, however, when incoming junior running back Szemerick Andrews weaved his way through the Tiger defense for a 62-yard touchdown. The PAT gave Goshen its first lead of the game, 7-6. The two sides then traded punts before Elba quarterback Brayden Johnson heaved a 33-yard touchdown pass. Another failed PAT set Elba’s lead at 12-7.

Elba’s Alvin Henderson (2) went over 200 yards rushing against Goshen. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

Goshen began to march down the field as a downpour began at Miller Memorial Stadium in the second quarter. Goshen quarterback Jayden McNabb capped off a 12-yard scoring drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. The PAT gave Goshen a 14-12 lead.

After Elba drove into Goshen territory, a snap over the head of Henderson doomed the Tiger drive and the Eagles forced a turnover on downs with less than four minutes remaining. Unfortunately, the Eagles turned the ball right back over to Elba on a fumble and Henderson exploded for an 82-yard run down to the Elba 1-yard line. After a Tiger penalty, Johnson cashed in a 6-yard touchdown run to put the Tigers up 18-14. Elba attempted a two-point try but failed to convert.

The Eagles managed to march into Elba territory again but time expired and the Tigers held on for the win over Goshen. Andrews led the Goshen offense with 116 yards and a touchdown on six carries, while McNabb completed 3-of-11 pass attempts for 51 yards and rushed for 15 yards and a touchdown on five carries. Jamauri McClure rushed for 27 yards on seven carries and caught two passes for 39 yards. On defense, Andrews had four tackles. Henderson led Elba with an eye-popping 202 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

After a 15-minute break, Goshen faced off with Class 5A’s Carroll Eagles from Ozark. With the weather beginning to finally cooperate, the Eagles turned the ball over with a fumble on the opening drive. Carroll made Goshen pay as quarterback Keyshawn Cole heaved a 40-yard touchdown pass to Peyton Plott on Carroll’s first offensive play. The PAT was no good but Carroll still led 6-0.

Goshen went three-and-out on offense and Carroll drove deep into Goshen territory again. The Goshen defense stiffened, however, and Landon Chandler sacked Cole on a third-and-seven to force a punt. After another Goshen punt, the ball slipped out of Cole’s hand and Chandler dove on the ball in Carroll territory.

Goshen linebacker Landon Chandler (10) recorded two sacks and a fumble recovery against Carroll in the spring game. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

The Caroll defense stood tall and forced a turnover on downs at the Carroll 35, however. Goshen forced a turnover-on-downs of its own in Carroll territory on the next drive when Chandler and Cody Kilpatrick converged for a sack on fourth down. Goshen drove into the Carroll red-zone but a fumble snuffed out yet another scoring opportunity. Still, despite the miscues, Goshen trailed just 6-0, but that would soon change.

Carroll extended its lead to 13-0 when Plott caught a short pass from Cole and raced 71 yards inside the Goshen 5-yard line. Lakeith Person then scored on a three-yard run and the PAT gave Carroll the 13-0 lead.

Goshen drove into Carroll territory again but again turned the ball over on downs. Caroll extended the lead to 19-0 on a 4-yard touchdown run and failed PAT. Goshen turned the ball over on another fumble on the next drive but the Goshen defense made a big play when Tyler McLendon intercepted a pass and returned it 36 yards into Carroll territory.

KJ Bristow capped off the best Goshen drive of the half with a 9-yard touchdown run to cut the lead 19-7. The junior varsity and backups played for the rest of the game for both sides. After a Carroll turnover, Goshen scored on a touchdown pass to cut Carroll’s lead to 19-14. Carroll then turned the ball over again with less than a minute remaining. The Eagles’ last-minute attempt to take the lead came up short, however, and Carroll held on for the win.

Andrews rushed for 34 yards on four carries for Goshen against Carroll, while McNabb completed 5-of-9 passes for 43 yards. McLendon caught three passes for 42 yards and earned an interception on defense. Bristow caught three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown. He also scored a rushing touchdown. Chandler earned four tackles, two tackles-for-loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery on defense.

Elba defeated Carroll in the final half of football by a score of 20-14. Elba finished the jamboree 2-0, while Carroll went 1-1 and Goshen was 0-2.