The Signal Mountain boys' soccer team did a lot of running and screaming Thursday night.
The Eagles' kicking — and a well-placed header — made it possible.
Signal Mountain, which fed off senior forward George Coogan's late heroics to beat District 5-A rival Arts & Sciences on penalty kicks, celebrated the highlight plays and its victory wildly in front of a fully charged home crowd.
Coogan leaped to send a header over the CSAS keeper in the 80th minute of the match, with his second goal of the game making it 2-2. A spot-on corner kick from Cadyn Huddleston set up Coogan's tying goal, and after ending regulation tied, the match when to a penalty-kick shootout that the Eagles won 4-2.
"There's a lot of animosity, you could say, between these two teams," said Coogan, who made the first penalty kick for Signal Mountain in the shootout. "Last year we beat them in the district and region title games, 1-0, and they beat us in the regular season. Tonight came down to whoever had the clutch factor in their DNA."
The Patriots sailed their first penalty kick over the net and were denied on their fourth attempt by a diving block from sophomore keeper Joseph Galea. He also made a pivotal save in the 73rd minute, stopping a dangerous connection from Cole Avery to James Badger by charging and sliding in the top left portion of the box.
"It's a great feeling to save a PK, but it's even better to see all our hard work pay off," Galea said. "This summer George and I would practice 10 penalty kicks every day after practice, and I had a confidence. We had a great crowd tonight, and to help close this game was a remarkable feeling."
Huddleston, Keeling Kennedy and Tristan Satelmann also converted penalty kicks for Signal Mountain (6-3, 3-0).
"We fell behind twice tonight and kept pushing," Signal Mountain coach Richard Northcutt said. "Between rivalry, crowd and wanting to win this game really bad, our guys were as energetic as they have been all season. The band played in the corner of the field. Them mixed with our student section and fans made for a memorable night."
CSAS (7-2-1, 2-1) took a 1-0 lead on Cole Avery's line-drive shot and went up 2-1 on strong finishing run by Avery Hardekopf.
"This was a win we won't forget and hope to build off," said Coogan, who helped the Eagles finish second at state last season. "We have had our eyes on winning state this year. If we don't, it's a letdown. If we all play our roles like we did tonight, we can do it."