Welcome to CADDO MAGNET High School Men's Soccer: Older News: Magnet Edges Byrd in a Thriller

Wednesday, January 24
Magnet Edges Byrd in a Thriller
Magnet loaned Byrd a share of the district lead in the second minute and then gave them the whole enchilada in the 16th before settling down and taking it all back. By giving Byrd the early two-goal lead the Mustangs were technically in second place by goal differential if the game had ended with that score … but it didn’t. In the most dramatic of many comebacks this season, the state’s #6 Mustangs virtually assured themselves the outright district title. With three games left to play the Mustangs need only one win to officially wrap up the title. That could come as early as this Thursday in a game against Southwood.   

After a couple of weather postponements, this was a game that both schools had been eagerly awaiting. Caddo Magnet started early with a tailgate party in the Indy Stadium parking lot before the game. With Head Chef Joe Goodwin flipping burgers, Special Events Coordinator Tree Snow doing what she does (everything), the CMHS Danceline conducting a pep rally, and a host of ‘volunteers’ tying everything together the Mustangs fans were whipped into game mode for the 6 PM kickoff.

Byrd’s Yellow Jackets surprised the Mustangs in the second minute of the match with a long kick into the box that short-hopped Magnet keeper Chris Hilario and was quickly pushed into the net. Play was back and forth at a rapid clip for the next fifteen minutes with Byrd looking like the more comfortable team. Having just finished a Texas tournament on artificial turf, Byrd looked much more at home on the fast stuff. In the sixteenth minute Byrd was awarded an INDIRECT kick after a call against Magnet. Rather than sending the ball to another player the shooter sent the ball directly into the net. Instead of giving Magnet possession on the error the official gave Byrd credit for the goal. Shocked co-captain defender Micah Goodwin voiced his objection to the official and was shown a red card. With Magnet down two goals and now playing the remainder of the game a man down the stage was set for a most unlikely comeback. For the next fifteen minutes Byrd continued to hold the edge in possession as Magnet struggled to find itself. In the 32nd minute a shot was sent into the Byrd keeper, and as he made the catch his elbow struck midfielder Jimmy Cowles and sent him to the turf. A penalty kick was awarded and then converted by Zach Kelly. At that point the Mustangs began to settle down and get into a passing rhythm. The first half came to a close with Byrd clinging to the one-goal lead.

The second half saw a subtle shift of control to the Mustangs. With their passing game now clicking, more opportunities were arising and Byrd was getting fewer chances against Magnet’s three-man defense. Neither side was able to find the net until the 64th minute when Magnet's Eric Johnson slammed one in from 12 yards in front of the goal. His shot was set up by a nice pass from Zach Kelly who had worked his way deep into the left side of the box. The remainder of regulation became more physical with Magnet maintaining the possession edge. There were chances for both sides with Magnet clanging one off the post and Byrd’s dangerous Jose Riveria driving to within 15 yards of the goal in the last minute before being stripped from behind by Spencer Inman. This game was headed for overtime.

The first 10-minute overtime started similarly to the game’s beginning, with the Mustangs appearing tentative and the Yellow Jackets swarming. Byrd banged one off the crossbar in the 4th minute, but after that the two sides settled into a stalemate with both sides creating opportunities but neither able to finish. The second overtime period saw the Mustangs stretch out the possession advantage and create more shots but still unable to grab the lead. So after regulation and two 10-minute overtimes the game went to penalty kicks. Byrd’s Brian Penner made his pk and Magnet’s Eric Johnson matched. Jeff Penner’s shot was stopped by Magnet’s Hilario, and Zach Kelly made his to put Magnet up one. Byrd’s Riveria made his and Ethan Colbert bounced one off the crossbar to bring it back to even. Byrd’s Daniel Poole converted his pk and Steven Bush matched it. Hilario made his second stop to put Magnet up one, so when Nick Flowers converted his the comeback was complete. Final Score 2-2 (4-3pks).

Caddo Magnet showed a tremendous amount of heart tonight after finding itself two goals behind. When they went a man down early in the game Coach Radi Baltov opted to leave his midfielders and forwards at full strength and put his faith in a three-man defense of Colbert, Inman, and Luke Snow. They came through with 85 minutes of shutout defense after the red card against arguably the city’s most dangerous offensive line-up. The win gives Caddo Magnet its 19th overall and preserves its perfect district record of nine wins and no losses. The Times published this account.