Goshen secures return to playoffs

Published 8:40 am Monday, October 23, 2023

On Friday night, the Goshen Eagles (7-2, 4-2) secured their return to the playoffs with a dominating 61-14 win over the Lanett Panthers (3-6, 2-4) in a Class 2A, Region 3 game.

Goshen made the playoffs for 12 consecutive years between 2008 and 2019 but has missed the playoffs for the past three years, including a 1-18 combined record in 2020 and 2021. The playoff drought is now over, however.

The Eagles piled up a season-high 585 yards of offense against Lanett, with all 585 yards coming on the ground. The Goshen defense, meanwhile, held Lanett to 187 total yards and forced two turnovers.

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Goshen wasted no time jumping out to a lead against Lanett, scoring 21 points in the first quarter. Jamauri McClure scored on runs of one and three yards in the first quarter and Tyler McLendon scored on an 11-yard run.

Lanett finally got on the scoreboard with a 14-yard run in the second quarter to cut the lead to 21-7 but Goshen scored three more touchdowns in the second period to take a 42-7 lead into halftime. Szemerick Andrews scored on a 76-yard run and a 50-yard run, while McLendon scored on a 27-yard run.

In the third quarter, McLendon added a 44-yard touchdown run and JT Terry scored on a 26-yard run to open the fourth quarter to give the Eagles a 54-7 lead. Lanett scored on an 11-yard run to cut the lead to 54-14 but Terry added a 30-yard touchdown run to make the final score 61-14.

Jayden McNabb led the Goshen offense with 158 yards on 10 carries, while Andrews reeled off 149 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries. McLendon also rushed for a career-high 123 yards and three touchdowns on just six carries. Terry tallied 96 yards and two touchdowns on six carries and McClure rushed for 54 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.

Landon Chandler led the Goshen defense with 21 tackles and two tackles-for-loss, while Andrews earned eight tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a sack. Jacoby Brunson earned nine tackles, one tackle-for-loss, one sack and a forced fumble, while KJ Bristow earned an interception.

The Eagles will enter the playoffs as a No. 3 seed and will play Region 2’s runner-up in the first round on Nov. 10. This Friday, Oct. 27, Goshen wraps up the regular season at home for Senior Night against Horseshoe Bend in another region game.