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Cougars get a lesson in playing full 80 minutes

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Soccer Connor Nicks on ball Soccer Seth Callahan headerThe Munford Cougars stepped onto the field Friday night ready to keep the positive momentum going from Wednesday night’s rival win over the Brighton Cardinals.
Welcoming another Tipton County foe to the Munford Soccer Field in the Covington Chargers, Head Coach Dylan Burnett’s Cougars were off to a good start controlling the tempo in the early moments.
After Danny Roach curved a 25-yard shot into the net to giving Munford a 1-0 lead, it appeared the Cougars were heading toward another rivalry win.
But the Chargers bolted ahead with three goals near the end of the first half to seize control leading to a 4-2 victory.
“Our boys are getting better at possessing the ball,” Burnett noted. “We were able to control. We just didn’t put away our chances. We had some chances early, didn’t take advantage of it. Covington, give them credit. They have some athletes. No. 7, the boy is quick and he can finish.”
The Covington standout had two goals in the first half to give the Chargers the lead after Roach’s goal. The Cougars were ahead 1-0 with 8 minutes and 20 seconds remaining in the first half after Roach placed the ball down just outside the goalie box for a penalty kick into the net.
Slightly more than 2 minutes later the Chargers had a breakaway leading to a goal to tie the game. A couple of minutes later Covington took the advantage for good with another breakaway leading to a point.
Covington’s third goal made the score 3-1 at the 2:35 mark of the first half. The Chargers added another goal 15 minutes into the second half to lead 4-1.
“It shouldn’t take the last 10 minutes to wake up,” Burnett said. “It shouldn’t take four goals to wake up. They fought until the end. But it was a good bit of that game where it was just like Covington knocked the breath out of them there for a while. They kind of fell flat.”
The final 16 minutes of the game belong to Munford with Caleb Brown scoring a goal to make the score 4-2. Although the Cougars regained control of the tempo and neutralized the Covington athletes, the decision went to the Chargers.
“Yeah, we dug ourselves a pretty deep hole,” Burnett said. “But it’s not like they’re that much better than us. They just put away their chances and we didn’t. They need to understand that and learn to continue to fight. And it’s something we’ll work on.”
Burnett said the roller coaster week gave him and Assistant Coach Louie Hale many teaching points for his young squad.
“We also played Harding Academy Monday,” he recalled. “A quality team we drew 1-1 with them before playing Brighton. We went 1-1-1 this week. Highs, lows and in betweens, we’ve seen it all this week. A lot of learning has happened this week. And there’s a lot more to come.
“With tonight, we’re going to learn not to give up,” Burnett concluded. “Understand that even though you dig yourself a hole, you had the players and talent to come back. We out possessed Covington. But mano, mano they just beat us.”

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