Hosting the 11th District boys soccer tournament at Cougar Field, Grayson County got off to a slow start against Butler County, but came on late to take an 8-0 win and put them into Wednesday’s final.
Seniors Presley Cilyok and Jordan Bounds both had a pair of goals, and senior Damon Jones scored and had four assists in the shutout win.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 12-5-1 on the season and will face Meade County (10-4-5) on Wednesday at Cougar Field for the 11th District Championship. The Green Wave handed the Cougars a pair of defeats during the season, 5-0 in the season opener at home, and 5-1 in September in Brandenburg.
Coming into the District Tournament, Butler County was winless (0-11) and had scored only two goals all year, but they proved a difficult nut to crack for the Cougars at the start of the game.
Playing with five defenders back at all times, the Bears were able to frustrate the Cougars for the first 24 minutes of the game. Though they controled the ball in the Bears’ end of the field for most of the time, and had a couple of close opportunities, the Cougars just could not get the ball into the net in the early going.
But in the 25th nminute of play, the Cougars finally clicked when Jones took a ball deep into the right corner and crossed a ball into the middle for Cilyok, who powered it home from about 10 yards out to make it 1-0.
With the pressure to score relaxed a bit, the Cougars seemed to take off. In the 34th minute, Jones put a ball through the middle to senior Michael Thomas, who rifled a powerful shot past Butler County goalie Danny Keown to make it 2-0.
Three minutes later Jones took a through ball from Bounds and put the ball into the net to make it 3-0.
Cilyok scored with less than two minutes left in the first half to make it 4-0. He took a pass from Jones on the right side and shot the ball from a terrifically difficult angle and somehow got the ball into the net anyway.
Bounds got in on the scoring glut just two minutes into the second half. Controlling a pass from Jones to the left of the Bears’ net, Bounds lofted the ball over Keown, who had come out trying to break up the play, and the ball settled into the net to make it 5-0.
Bounds scored again in the 58th minute off a Cougar corner kick. Trey Sanders took the kick, and instead of sending a long ball in toward the Bear goal, went quickly to Bounds, who was all alone on the left side about 25 yards out. Bounds didn’t hesitate, but sent the ball sizzling past Keown to make it 6-0.
With the big lead, head coach Josh Baldwin began subbing for his starters. With just under two minutes remaining to be played, one of those subs got on the scoreboard. Putting pressure on the Bear goal, Thomas put a beautiful pass onto the foot of sophomore Jonathan Reynolds, who booted it home to make it 6-0.
But the Cougars weren’t quite done yet. Applying heavy pressure on the opposing goal with under a minute to play, a Bear defender in the penalty area reached out with his hand and slapped down a Cougar pass. A blatant foul like that could have drawn a red card for the defender, but with less than a minute left, no card was issued. However, the Cougars were awarded a penalty kick.
Baldwin had senior Isacc Clemons take the penalty kick, and he put it into the right side of the net to give the Cougars an 8-0 victory.
Wednesday’s final against Meade is set to begin at 6 p.m.