An early onslaught by the JL Mann Patriots led to a 6-2 win over the Nation Ford Falcons knocking them out of the 5A boys’ state soccer playoffs in the second round.
Nation Ford battle back in the second half of its game against JL Mann, but couldn’t overcome the first half the Patriots had. Playing in an off and on rain storm, neither team had a good grasp of its footing and struggled to play in the conditions.
“The wet grass created problems for both teams,” said Falcons’ head coach Jon Jarrett.
The Patriots struck first, scoring about 18 and-a-half minutes into the game to go up 1-0. They would continue their dominant performance, scoring four minutes later on a penalty kick from a handball call by the referee.
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After some jockeying back and forth between the two teams, JL Mann added its third goal of the first half on a breakaway to go up 3-0 before the break. The second half showed the resolve of the Falcons as they played better defense and held the Patriots scoreless in the first nearly 19 minutes.
“In the second half our guys elevated their intensity,” Jarrett said. “I am proud of them. They gave 100 percent.”
Nation Ford was able to get on the board in the second half, but had to use the power to rocket the ball in from down field as they were left out in the cold in trying to penetrate the Patriots defense.
The Falcons’ Blake Baker scored Nation Ford’s second goal of the game with about 14 minutes left to play.
JL Mann seemed to have an answer for everything Nation Ford threw at it. After Nation Ford scored in the second half to get on the board for the first time off a free kick from Brad Young, the Falcons’ defense allowed their fourth goal of the game less than a minute after Young’s goal to put Nation Ford back down into a deficit by three.
The Falcons struggled to capitalize on several corner kicks in the early going, which had they been able to convert, would have aided them in keeping pace with the Patriots. Nation Ford also struggled in penetrating deep into the JL Mann box.
Both Young and Baker scored for Nation Ford as they led the way with their senior leadership for the Falcons.
Nation Ford ends the season with a 10-7-1 record.
JL Mann 6, Nation Ford 2
Nation Ford 0;2;-;2
JL Mann 3;3;-;6
JLM – Drake Byrd, 18:35
JLM – Byrd, 22:18
JLM – Frankie Villanueva, 32:06
NF – Brad Young, 58:05
JLM – Quinn McNeill, 58:45
JLM – Marco Torres, 63:33
NF – Blake Baker, 66:01
JLM – Miles Phiffer, 79:55
Nation Ford 10-7-1.
Mac Banks:firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM