Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

October 23, 2013

BOYS SOCCER: Fast-striking Boyd moves past Rowan

Ray Schaefer
For The Independent

FLEMINGSBURG — Ten seconds.

That's how long it took Boyd County to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead against Rowan County, which eventually became a 3-1 win in Tuesday's boys 16th Region semifinals at Fleming County High School.

Which means, Thursday's regional championship match will be a reprise of last week's 63rd District final: Ashland and the Lions at 7 p.m.

Ashland overwhelmed Boyd County, 4-1, Sept. 10 in Cannonsburg, and the Lions squeaked past the Tomcats, 1-0, in the district title game Oct. 16 at Russell. Last night, it took Boyd County senior Jonah Black just a couple minutes to opine about Thursday.

“It'll be a battle for the ages right there,” Black said.

For the second straight night, Black and junior Jordan Smith saved Boyd County (9-7-2) — Smith scored three goals Monday against Fleming County, and Smith scored once with two assists. Last night, Smith scored twice and Black added one.

Black's Tuesday goal split two Vikings and beat goalkeeper Alex Mays with 32:04 left in the second half. With 31:54 remaining, after Mays dived and mishandled Smith's shot from about 20 yards out, Smith chipped the ball over him and tapped in the rebound.

“I just wanted to be precautious and just tap it in, it was an open goal,” Smith said.

Smith tallied his second goal a little more than seven minutes later. “We just gave up three quick goals; I don't know how else to explain it,” Rowan County coach Max Hammond III said.

After the match, Lions coach William Ferguson wasn't sure if he had just seen something psychic.

“Just the way that they play off each other and the way they read each other, it's just become second nature to them,” Ferguson said. “It's almost like at times they get telepathic. It's pretty cool.”

Black said Smith makes plays to go with his speed, but he wasn't sure about the telepathy.

“Telepathic?” Black said. “We do work together pretty well.”

Rowan County (10-9-3) sophomore Allan Mays opened the scoring in the 30th minute when he sent Justin Graham's pass past Boyd County keeper Wyatt Lewis. Even though the Lions outshot the Vikings, 11-9, after 40 minutes, Ferguson wasn't happy.

“First half was a bit shoddy on our part,” Ferguson said. “We came up a little bit flat … We knew in the first half (if) we kept putting pressure on them, it would work out for us.”

The way Ferguson sees it, it's worth the 115.72-mile round trip on Interstate 64 and Ky. 32 to watch the Lions and Tomcats.

“Both sides are going to play their hearts out,” he said. “Both of us are going to want the trophy with the gold on it.”

And Smith? “We beat them before, so we should be able to beat them again,” he said.