CORSICANA - Intense until the very end would best describe the Class 5A, Region II Area round soccer matchup between Mansfield-Lake Ridge and the Jacksonville Indians, on Thursday night at Corsicana's Tiger Stadium.
The midfield and back lines were tested throughout the first half and a 1-0, Eagles lead at halftime, before the Jacksonville Indians rallied for two second half goals to force the usual two 10-minute overtimes.
The last play of the opening extra stanza resulted in the second Tribe on-goal penalty kick of the game to take a 3-2 win over the Lake Ridge.
The first half was a preview to a very physical game throughout as Eagle, Brandon Cerda scored a goal for the Eagles at the 18:00 mark of the half, for the 1-0 halftime lead. A shifty play on the Cerda penalty kick set up the opening goal for the Eagles.
Jacksonville (17-7-3), got great back line play of Orlando Rico, Cesar Guerrero, and Rueben Lara, making several key steals on Lake Ridge runs, to allow the offense to catch up in the second half, and the offense to regroup.
"I told the guys at the half that we just needed to settle down and play our game like we have tried all season," said Jacksonville head coach, Rudy Jaramillo, after the win. "All season we have settled the ball, and kept the ball close to the ground, and focused more on creating space to work with."
The Tribe came out and made a run immediately to the Lake Ridge goal, missing one of five Indians shots-on-goal in the second half. The Eagles bounced right back on break away goal from Jared Stubblefield, with 1:28 off the clock, for a 2-0 advantage.
The Indians pressure on offense finally paid off with an aggressive run on their first goal.
Jacksonville got a break when the Eagle goalie went outside the 18-foot box and tackled John Perez, resulting in a on-goal, penalty boot for a 2-1, Lake Ridge lead at the 12:45-mark.
Perez did the scoring honors but had to make it twice after not awaiting the referee's direction by whistle on his first make in the low, left corner of the net. The second shot counted as Perez rattled the top left corner for the equalizer.
Just 6:10 later the Indians took the lead as Allan Lopez took a feed from Alex Sandoval out top on the right wing. Lopez settled the ball and a one-step blast found the top of the Eagle goal, and a 2-2, tie.
A few minutes later the Indians tied the game on a thunderous 35-yard crank from Allan Lopez on the right wing, off a Alex Sandoval one-touch pass for the 2-2, tie at regulation.
The first of two, ten-minute overtimes ended with the eventual game-winner for the Tribe, scoring with no time on the clock. The Eagle sweeper took out Perez for another on-goal, penalty kick, and Perez again took the honors for the win with the on-goal, PK.
The Indians defense stepped up again in the final overtime to survive two Eagle shots on-goal, saved by Tribe goalie, Jorge Arredondo.
Jacksonville will now move on to battle Hallsville on Tuesday night at Trinity Mother Francis Rose Stadium. The start time of the match is to be announced.
Hallsville bombed Adamson, 5-1, in its Area match that took place Thursday in Lindale.
NOTE: A skirmish broke out on the pitch with 10 seconds remaining in the second overtime of Friday's match between Jacksonville and Mansfield Lake Ridge, with both benches emptying. It was unclear as of press time whether any disciplinary actions would be administered to any of the Jacksonville players.