MINFORD - Minford coach Mark Price admits he doesn't like shootouts.
After Saturday, he may make an exception. Tied with Piketon 5-5 after the second overtime, the Falcons and the Redstreaks' sectional semifinal was decided in a shootout. Price breathed a little easier afterward, as Minford outscored Piketon 4-2 on penalty kicks to win the match and move onto the sectional championship.
“I have gone through these before when I coached up north,” said Price. “In overtime, I felt confident that we were going to score. We pounded it at the goal, but we just couldn't put it in.”
The Falcons started the scoring early on Saturday, with Evan Price scoring just 31 seconds into the game. Keenan Havens would add a score at 14:04 to put the team up 2-0, but the Redstreaks' Mark Walters added two goals over the next three minutes to even the score. Trent Phillips and Evan Price would add a goal apiece in the final minutes to put Minford up 4-2 at the half.
Piketon would answer in the second half, with Walters leading the charge. The senior scored all three goals in the half, giving him five for the game, and the Falcons would add a goal from Justin Vetter, putting the game into overtime.
“We knew that they would come back,” said Evan Price. “They are a good team, and they were not going to keep their heads down. We knew that we had to keep the pressure up.”
After both teams kept the ball away from the goal in the first overtime, Minford would get plenty of chances to score in the second OT, but could not convert. There was plenty of physical play as well, with both squads battling for possession.
“It was pretty rough,” said the Falcons' Keenan Havens. “It was tiring and rough being tied throughout the game. We would score and then they would score. I am glad it came out in our favor.”
In the shootout, Minford found the net on its first four kickers - Alex Treadway, Nate Roland, Havens and Phillips. Piketon would just miss extending the match, sending the Falcons to a sectional final matchup with Zane Trace.
For freshman keeper Duncan Jordan, there were some nerves, but that eventually turned to exhilaration - thanks both to the win and the impromptu cold shower he took after the game.
“I didn't expect the shower,” he said. “I think that we will have confidence going into the Zane Trace game, and hopefully, it works out.”
The win improves Minford's record to 7-9-1 on the season. The team will travel to Zane Trace on Wednesday, with the game starting at 6 p.m.
JOSH HICKLE can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 241.
Piketon 2 3 0 0 - 5
Minford 4 1 0 0 - 5
Minford wins 4-2 in shootout.
First Half - 1, Minford, Price (Stephens), 39:29; 2, Minford, Havens (Robinson), 14:04; 3, Piketon, Walters (una.), 13:54; 4, Piketon, Walters (una.), 11:48; 5, Minford, Phillips (Warren), 3:53; 6, Minford, Price (una.), 0:13.
Second Half - 1, Piketon, Walters (Porter), 35:25; 2, Piketon, Walters (direct kick), 26:30; 3, Minford, Vetter (Price), 24:19; 4, Piketon, Walters (corner kick), 15:32.
Records - Minford 7-9-1, Piketon 4-12-1.