Confident young Tigers play well before falling to district rival Page
Marshall County came into Thursday's game against District powerhouse Page winless in the 2016 season, but with renewed confidence after Tuesdays tie with Spring Hill, a game where a late mistake gave the Raiders an opportunity to score for the late tie.
The Tigers (0-6-1) gave the visiting Patriots (5-4-2) all it could handle by taking the early lead 20 minutes into the contest before a late flurry of goals by Page resulted in a 5-1 loss in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate.
"Overall, probably the best game our varsity squad has ever played against Page since I've been here coaching," MCHS coach Mark Redferrin said. "We made a couple mistakes in the second half and great teams punish you when you make mistakes."
The Tigers got superb play on the offensive end from freshman Erick Granados, Marvin Jaimes and Deon Ford, who kept the Patriot defense on its toes for the entire game despite the late four goal lead.
"I've always dreamed of playing on the varsity team ever since I was in elementary school," Granados stated. "I've looked up to players like Marvin when I was younger and I've just wanted to play varsity ever since then."
"We got down tonight really because of our own mistakes out there," Granados added. "Like on the free kick towards the end, on the wall, I feel like I tilted my head over too far and the ball went in between mine and the guy next to mines head, which was our fault. So it's just mistakes like that that cost us goals."
The Tigers scored the first goal on the night when Deon Ford kicked a left footed goal off a Maurizio Munoz pass to put Marshall County on top for the majority of the opening half.
"Coach always tells me that center mid is an important role, it's the engine to the game" Ford said. "For me to see the ball, run, and at least make an effort to get that ball, it encouraged me because Page is a top team. When the ball was up in the air, even though I'm not left footed, coach always tells me----use your left, use your left---- I hit it with my left foot and the ball went in."
The Patriots added two late goals in the first half and with 30:21 remaining in the second half, Page scored once more to extend the lead to 3-1.
Andres Jaimes tallied five saves for the Tigers in relief of regular goalie Camron Middaugh, but the junior goalie could not stop the second half Patriot onslaught as Page added goals at 24:42 and 20:00 to run away with the 5-1 edge.
"I'm never happy about losing, but I'm very happy about our performance tonight," Redferrin said. "Page is a powerhouse team, they've been district champs year after year, so for us to be ahead for as long as we were and even though the score doesn't look like it, we played a really good game tonight."
"We had four starters not with us tonight due to injury and illness, so we've got a lot of young guys in there," Redferrin continued. "A lot of inexperienced guys, freshman, getting their first playing time against arguably the best team in our district and for us to compete the way we did, I'm super proud of our team."
The Tigers took the confidence from the Page game and gave arguably its best performance of the season against district leader and undefeated Fairview (7-0-3) just two days later to prove that though its record might not show improvement the coaches and fans watching the game can see it.
Marshall County lost 2-1 to the Yellow Jackets at Lewisburg.