Goshen opens regional schedule against Highland Home
Posted at 10:40 a.m. on Wednesday, August 31, 2022
The Goshen Eagles (2-0) will look to remain undefeated this week as Class 2A, Region 2 play begins on the road against Highland Home Flying Squadron (2-0) this Friday.
Goshen is coming off dominant wins over Daleville and Zion Chapel to start the season, while Highland Home choked Providence Christian in the first week before narrowly beating Ariton 34-33 last week.
“We started slow and slow (last week) but I told our kids it was going to happen because we didn’t have a very good week of training last week,” the coach said. of Goshen, Don Moore. “Zion Chapel is much better than before and Coach (Cody) Keene is doing a really good job there. I knew they would come after us and it took us a while to settle in and start playing.
Highland Home, the No. 2 ranked team in Class 2A this week, beat No. 4 Ariton last week with a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. Highland Home has one of the most talented teams in the region with two Power-5 college prospects, including Florida State’s Keldric Faulk, who plays defensive end and wide receiver for Highland Home.
“They have athletes running all over there,” Moore said of Highland Home. “Their quarterback is good, the Fulk brothers are good, KD (Shepherd) is good. You have a lot of very good players.
“They are also very experienced players and they are well trained. They don’t do anything really flashy, but it’s hard to stop what they’re doing. They do a good job in the running game, do a good job in the passing game and the defense goes after them and they are very, very physical.
On the other hand, Goshen also has one of the most talented backfields in the region. In two games so far, Jamari McClure has 259 yards and five touchdowns on 24 carries, as well as 206 kickoff and kickoff return yards. McClure had 200 yards and four touchdowns on just 12 carries last week against Zion Chapel. Szemerick Andrews also had 213 yards and two touchdowns on just 19 carries. In total, Andrews and McClure rushed for 472 yards and seven touchdowns in two games, while averaging 11 yards per carry.
While the Eagles haven’t had to throw the ball much this season, senior quarterback Peyton Stamey has made sure his opportunities count. He attempted just nine passes in two games, but completed five of those attempts for 112 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Tyler McLendon has been his favorite target, catching four passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns so far.
Region 2 is one of the toughest regions in Class 2A, making every game crucial for the Eagles and Goshen and Highland Home have traditionally been tied with an all-time 29-29 record against each others. In recent years, however, Highland Home has had the upper hand. The Flying Squadron has won the last two clashes between the schools and four of the last five. The two teams haven’t met since 2019, however, when even the seniors on those teams were just ninth-graders.
Moore said practices this week have been better for the Eagles and his squad will have their hands full this Friday.
“I want to see us compete and match their physique,” he said. “That’s the most important thing for us, to compete for four quarters and match their physicality up front.”
Goshen has Reeltown and LaFayette in consecutive weeks after the game against Highland Home. The Eagles and Flying Squadron will kick off at 7 p.m. from Clay Stadium in Highland Home on September 2.