Friday, March 20, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> JHS boys win two in league

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville boys’ soccer team improved to 3-0 with a pair of 5A-Central victories this week. The Red Devils cruised past J.A. Fair 7-2 on Tuesday, then continued great defensive play by beating the upstart Beebe Badgers 2-0 Thursday at Bro Erwin Stadium.

Thursday’s game was supposed to be at Jacksonville’s Jan Crow Stadium, but field conditions weren’t conducive, so the game was moved to Beebe’s artificial turf.

Jacksonville lost two players to red cards in the second half, but managed to not only hold on to the lead, but score a goal with just nine players with two minutes remaining.

“We were able to pull it out,” said Jacksonville coach Adam Thrash. “We played the last eight minutes with nine players against their 11, and I have no idea why they were red-carded, but we were able to get another goal and get the win.”

Cortez Jordan scored first to give the Red Devils a 1-0 lead going into halftime at Beebe. Anthony Anderson then got a red card with20 minutes remaining in the game, putting Jacksonville a man down. With eight minutes remaining, Ben Foshee was red-carded as well.

“The only explanation I got was that he made too aggressive of a play on the ball,” Thrash said. “And I had never heard of that before in my life.”

With two minutes remaining in the game and despite being so shorthanded, the Red Devils made a nice team play for the final goal.

Jacob Alcorn passed to R.J. Moore as Gerald Walton moved into position for the shot. Moore then delivered a perfect pass to Walton who scored to set the final margin.

“Those were two key passes to set up that final goal,” Thrash said. “Brady Delp, John Hermann and Jeremy Wilson were key to getting that win as well. They all played really well.”

Jordan and Walton each scored three goals in the win over the War Eagles. The Red Devils opened the season with 2-1 win over Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter last week. They’ll be off until March 31 when they’ll play playoff mainstay Sylvan Hills, likely without Foshee and Anderson.

“I’d like to appeal (the red cards and subsequent one-game suspensions) because if it’s on film I’d win it,” Thrash said. “But we weren’t filming it and I don’t know if anyone else was. If not, we’ll put two more in and go play Sylvan Hills. It’ll be tough because they’ve got a good program. But we’re 3-0 and we’re excited about that.”