For the second year in a row, the Jackson boys soccer team defeated Seckman to win the Class 4 District 1 Championship and advance to the state playoffs.
The Indians did so in different fashion from 2016 where they won 4-1 as they trailed the Jaguars 3-1 after the first half this time around.
Jackson’s lone goal in the first was scored off a throw-in by senior forward Justice Crosnoe, who got the ball to junior midfielder Caleb Dameron for the easy score.
Seckman scored in the first six minutes as senior forward Alec Buol beat an outside defender and launched his shot over senior goalkeeper Carter Gentry for the first goal.
The Indians answered 11 minutes later with Dameron’s goal, but the Jaguars regained the lead from a corner kick by senior midfielder Cody Eakins, which sailed past everyone and right into the net in the 22nd minute.
Seckman took its 3-1 lead in the 29th minute following an aggressive shot by senior forward Ryan Berhost, which deflected off the top crossbar and bounced into the goal.
This forced head coach Zack Walton to make a change at goalie due to the final two “suspect goals” that he said could’ve been saved as he put in freshman Luke Mirly to replace Gentry.
“We just didn’t come out and play with a lot of intensity right off the bat,” Walton said. “That wasn’t what our game plan was. Our plan was to come out and put a lot of pressure on them, and we just kind of sat back.”
Coach Walton even told his team they did not play well in the first half as he thought they could’ve scored at least two or three more goals in the span.
Walton and the rest of the coaching staff encouraged his team to not give up, continue to play with intensity and to put pressure on Seckman to make the team panic.
Mirly and Jackson did not allow a single goal in the final 40 minutes of the game, and they were able to make it a one-goal game in the 62nd minute.
This was once again off a throw-in by Crosnoe to Dameron for the goal, but the Indians did not tie the game until the 78th minute.
Jackson had several scoring opportunities in the final half, but senior midfielder Desmond Morris’ head shots were off the mark on three attempts.
It was the same story for the Indians third goal of the game to tie it at 3-all as Crosnoe found Dameron in the box for a third time with 1:43 left in the game.
Overtime was not on Jackson’s mind as the team knew it had plenty of time left to score, and that is just what the Indians did with only 30.8 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Indians have relied on all-state shortstop Crosnoe’s throws for much of the past two seasons, and that is just what sent them to the state playoffs.
It was not Dameron who Crosnoe was able to get the ball to in the final seconds but Morris, who was able to connect with the ball for a header to give his team the lead.
“[This win] means everything,” Crosnoe said. “Coming from 30 seconds where this could be our last game to coming back and winning it is too unbelievable for me to put into words.”
Jackson will now host District 2 Champions Christian Brothers College, which is coming off a 1-0 penalty kick win over De Smet.