It usually takes a goal to get the Boyd-Buchanan boys' soccer team fired up. A goal by the other team, that is.
Thursday was no different.
After allowing an early score by Arts & Sciences, the Buccaneers were able to tie the District 5-A/AA match before halftime. They then added a Jeremy Borders goal with about 10 minutes remaining to defeat the Patriots 2-1.
The win gave the Bucs an early leg up in the district standings, where they are 2-0, while the Patriots fell to 3-1 in their first season in the new classification. Yet it was the hosts who were more ready at the beginning, gaining a quick advantage on Martin Patton's goal.
The Bucs (4-3 overall) got even when Justus McMillan flipped a John Beasley throw-in to an on-running David Ingram, who fired a shot past CSAS's Addison Coleman.
"I think the goal wakes them up quick," Boyd-Buchanan co-head coach Jason Owens said. "This year we've played some very good soccer, but we get down 1-0 and the shock goes away."
Boyd-Buchanan started creating some opportunities in the second half by moving Ryan Watkins up to the forward position, and he was the player who slotted the ball perfectly to Borders on the left side for the go-ahead goal. Co-coach Dustin Walker said he and Owens have been experimenting with some formations and personnel with those formations in the early part of the season.
"What we did in the second half created some opportunities," Walker said. "We're trying to get in a groove a bit; the guys are playing hard. They're getting unlucky, but we can't continue to put ourselves in that situation, because eventually that luck will run out.
"Tonight was fun, though. Our guys need to get put in situations where we're having to climb back."
Coleman finished with six saves for the Patriots (4-4), including ranging far to his right to stop a Zach Jenkins shot moments before Borders' goal. CSAS coach David Poss had two players out with injury Thursday.
"I think tonight was the best game we've played this year," Poss said. "I told them that Boyd-Buchanan was the more technically sound team, but we pressed them the entire game. I said at halftime that we needed to play hard for 40 more minutes, and the guys really did step up.
"I can't wait to play them again."
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.