By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The 30-foot blast off the foot of Brighton sophomore Austin Chapman at the 5-minute and 50-second mark of the second half Friday night sparked a storm of goals.
In the final six minutes of the Brighton Cardinal/Munford Cougars soccer contest four goals were scored with Cougar James Dillon’s shot being the difference maker in Munford’s 4-3 win over Tipton and District 13-3A rival Brighton.
The first 74 minutes of the game was dominated by physical play, red and yellow cards and Munford controlling the ball with an 11-man to 10-man advantage.
“They play a lot more physical than us,” Munford Head Coack Kyle Selby said. “We did possess the ball. We play the game to pass and possess. Our goal is to possess the ball 70 percent of the game. I don’t think we quite reached that goal tonight.”
One Munford possession led to a Brighton red card in the first 10 minutes. Cugar Zack Kurtzman had a breakway setting up a one on one with the Cardinal goalie. But a slide tackle from behind from a Brighotn defender drew a red card.
The Cougars had the advantage and took a 1-0 lead early when Kurtzman scored a goal assisted from Jaylen Hill.
Brighton tied the game at 1-1 at the 26 minute mark. The Cougars would end the first half ahead 2-1 when Munford midfielder Cedrick Williams called for the ball on a throw-in.
Williams fired a shot toward goal and after an initial save from Elex Starnes. But on the rebound Tucker Thompson was able to cash in the goal.
The Munford 2-1 lead lasted from the final 5 minutes and 36 seconds of the first half until Chapman’s goal. With four defenders surrounding him, Chapman was about to get off an attempt outside the goalie box to make the tally 2-2.
Just over two minutes later the Cougars regained the lead when Hill was able to connect on a penalty kick.
But the Munford 3-2 lead didn’t last long with the Cardinals tying the game at 3-3 with a shot made in a crowd near Cougar goalie Erik Furseth.
With less than 2 minutes remaining in the game it appeared overtime was coming. But Dillon was able to end the game in regulation with a goal.
“Brighton plays with a lot of heart,” Selby said. “We knew we had to have this game if we wanted to host a district tournament game and reach our goal of winning a district champion.
“We had to approach it like it was just another game,” he concluded. “It was a district game we needed to win. Our goal as coaches is to get our guys to play the game like it is supposed to be played and with class. The record doesn’t really matter as long as we teach them the game, they get better and we still have a long way to go.”