Murfreesboro, TN – The Raptors gutted out a 2-1 victory (PK’s) today against Kingsport’s Dobyns Bennett High School to earn another Semi-Final birth and rematch with Houston, who won their quarter-final 4-0. This game had everything. It went as far as it could go. 80 minutes of regulation, 20 minutes of overtime, 10 minutes of sudden death/golden goal, 5 pks for Ravenwood, and 4 pk attempts for Dobyns Bennett. At $10 per ticket, maybe the Raptor players felt like they wanted to give the fans their monies worth? Starters for today’s state quarter-final match included Jack Hyatt, Baker Lockhart, Pedro Cobo, Dylan Thomas, Spencer Layland, Jesse Boone, TJ Munzel, Blake Sams, Chris Barker, Jake Hill, and Grayson Hetherington. Although several of Ravenwood’s players were less than 100% fit for the game, Ravenwood came out in control of the first half. Lockhart and Thomas kept the back middle in control and steered away most all of Dobyn’s Bennett’s advances. But, in the 12th minute, Jack Hyatt would be called on to make the first save of the game. Just a minute later, Jake Hill would get a chance followed by a fantastic chance created by Grayson Hetherington. A huge save by the DB goalie kept the game scoreless. He would be called on several times to make sure Ravenwood would not get on the scoreboard. Then, in the 29th minute, a Hill free kick came to Jesse Boone who just missed a goal. The half would end scoreless. 8 minutes into the second half, Hill would beat his defender in the box and get pulled down earning a Penalty Kick, which he took, and scored giving Ravenwood the 1-0 lead. In this game, Blake Sams clearly stepped up and, along with several other very gutty performances, almost willed his team to win. He, at times, dominated the middle of the field and either dispossessed many a DB player or cut through the defense at will. When not doing that, he was tracking back and forth making sure the middle of the field belonged to the Raptors. In the 49th minute, there was a big Ravenwood clear by Lockhart that sent Hetherington on a run that almost gave Ravenwood a larger lead. Coming into today’s game, Dobyn’s Bennett had a 21-1-1 record. They clearly were not ready to go home and, in the 75th minute, would convert a free kick to tie the score at 1 and eventually send the game into overtime. In addition those mentioned above, Dalton Bickel, Joe Roebuck, and Rolando Barker would add valuable minutes to this team effort. But…the best was yet to come. League rules state there are 2 mandatory 10 minute overtime periods followed by 2 five minute sudden death or golden goal periods. If no goals are scored, PK’s are used to decide who wins. The only real chance for Ravenwood came 5 minutes into overtime when Pedro Cobo sent a ball that found Baker Lockhart’s head and was eventually saved by the DB Goalie. Dobyn’s Bennett’s best chance came with about a minute left in sudden death when a shot from a Dobyn’s Bennett striker was headed to the corner of the goal until Hyatt made a game saving play and possibly the biggest save of the season. He needed every inch of his body to come up with the save and send the game into PK’s. Here’s how it went in PK’s:
- R – Pedro Cobo: GOAL!!!
- DB: goal.
- R – Blake Sams: GOAL!!!
- DB – NO GOAL!!!!!! Diving save made by Hyatt’s feet.
- R – TJ Munzel: GOAL!!!
- DB: goal.
- R – Jake Hill: GOAL!!!
- DB: goal.
- R – Dalton Bickel: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We win 5-3 in Pk’s
Like last year, it’s getting harder to pick the best games but this one was clearly one of the best. Last year, the Raptors had 2 games go into PK’s. This was their first game that went into PK’s and they took advantage of their opportunity. They also get another chance at Houston in the Semi’s tomorrow night. The game starts at 6:30pm. GOOOOO RAPTORS!!!!