It only took two minutes for Northwest Whitfield High School’s boys soccer team to deliver a blow to rival Southeast Whitfield.
Three minutes later, the Bruins did it again.
Northwest scored both its goals in the opening five minutes of Friday night’s Sub-region 7B-4A game at Raider Stadium, and the Bruins held on for a 2-0 win that has heavy implications on the league standings and dampened senior night for their rivals.
In the second minute, Northwest (9-1, 4-0) had a throw-in deep in Southeast (4-2, 2-2) territory and Damian Lara’s header got by goalkeeper Abel Mendiola. In the fifth minute, Christian Perez’s free kick was blocked by a diving Mendiola, but the line judge held up his flag to rule the entire ball crossed the goal line. The ball was cleared to the other side of the field before the center referee noticed the call and awarded Northwest a goal.
“I saw him hold the flag up,” Perez said. “I was trying to get his attention to let him know something was called. ... I really thought it was in to begin with, and fortunately it was that way.”
For the game’s final 15 minutes, Northwest had one less player due to Cielo Nunez receiving a two-yellow red card. Aside from a Southeast shot that hit the crossbar in the 75th minute, the Bruins and goalkeeper Miguel Deanda thwarted all of the Raiders’ opportunities.
“You do become, ‘This is more of survival,’” Northwest coach Ryan Scoggins said. “Let’s just hold this down. Put the shields up, duck your head and hold on.”
Northwest stays tied with Dalton for first place in the sub-region — the two sides play Thursday in Tunnel Hill — while Southeast’s best possible finish is third place in the sub-region. The top four finishers in each sub-region make next month’s Region 7-4A tournament.
“They were on our territory and just stuck it to us,” said Raiders coach Kevin Kettenring, whose team is ranked eighth in eurosport-scoreboard.com’s Class 4A poll. “It was embarrassing.”
Northwest outshot the Raiders 14-13, with Mendiola making six saves and Deanda recording four.
• Northwest girls 2, Southeast 1: The Lady Bruins (6-1, 3-1) scored twice in the first half and held on after the Lady Raiders (4-4, 2-2) cut the lead in half.
Juliana Gomez scored in the first 10 minutes, and Ashlee Huyhn scored in the 38th minute off a cross from Paige Smith.
“I am proud of us for sticking with it,” Northwest coach Anna Stutts said.
In the 60th minute, Northwest goalkeeper Deysi Garcia misplayed a long shot and Alejandra Lerma scored on the rebound. Garcia was filling in for starting goalie Gracie Holmes, who was out temporarily after being hit in the jaw in the first half. In the 66th minute, Lerma’s shot went off Holmes’ hands, hit the crossbar and bounced back down onto the line before being cleared.
“It went right at the goalpost and right on the line,” Southeast coach Amanda Ramfjord said. “We had our opportunities.”
Northwest outshot Southeast 14-9. Holmes made four saves while Lady Raiders goalie Maria Canales made six.
• Dalton boys 8, Ooltewah (Tenn.) 0: Ramiro Huitanda’s four-goal performance highlighted a dominant effort for the Catamounts (11-0), who outshot their visitors 27-3.
Eder Mora finished the night with three assists for Dalton, the top-ranked team in Class 4A, while Alan Pantaleon scored twice, Ryan Czyz had a goal and two assists, Jose Gardea scored and set up and another goal and Daniel Palacios added an assist. Raymundo Bahena and Chris Monroig were in goal for the shutout. Monroig had one save.
“We were able to have possession and moved the ball around well,” Dalton coach Matt Cheaves said. “We scored very early in the game and that just kind of set the tone.”
• North Murray boys 2, Ringgold 0: The Mountaineers (7-1) controlled possession to remain undefeated seven matches into their Region 5-3A schedule.
Antonio Maldonado set up Jacob Dotson for the game’s first score less than 10 minutes into the match, while Freddie Urbina helped Ismael Cruz find the net less than eight minutes into the second half. Manuel Gonzalez made two saves in goal to earn the shutout and give the Mount-aineers — who took 14 shots — a sweep of the season series with the Tigers, whom they beat by the same score last month in Ringgold.
“We dominated possession and controlled the ball and our defense played good,” North Murray coach Matt Chambers said. “We had a couple of shots we should have finished, but overall we did good. Something we needed to work on from last year was keeping possession and we definitely did that today.”
• Ringgold girls 1, North Murray 0: The Lady Mountain-eers fell to 0-7 overall and in Region 5-3A play with the home loss, but North Murray coach Justin Frazier was encouraged by the effort for his young team.
“We opened up with Ringgold in game one this season and lost to them 7-0, so this is a great benchmark for our progress,” he said, noting that while defensive improvement has been solid the offense must also get better. “... I’m pleased with the way the girls played.”
• Dalton JV boys 6, Ooltewah 0: Justin Macias led the way with a hat trick for the Cats (4-1), while Hernan Saldana, Christian Saldana, Francisco Rodriguez each had one goal. Francisco Hernandez and Isai Hernandez each had two assists, while Samuel Fraire and Leuri Fraire shared the shutout in goal and Dalton outshot its visitors 22-1.
• Dalton 15, Southeast 11: Grant Sane homered for the second night in a row as the host Cats (4-6, 3-0 Sub-region 7B-4A) beat the Raiders for the third time this week.
Jake Roberts picked up the win on the mound and added a solo homer for Dalton — Sane’s was a two-run shot — while Caleb Hill was 3-for-5 with two RBIs, Charlie Martin was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Brandon Dale was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Tyler Britton had a sac fly.
Roberts worked three innings in relief, allowing four runs (none earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out three. Blake Evans recorded two outs to seal the win as Dalton overcame five errors in the game and a 10-3 deficit at one point.
“I liked the fight they had tonight,” Cats coach Shane Ramsey said. “We pieced it together, and the kids who came in and pitched did well. I’m extremely proud of Jake Roberts and Blake Evans. We’re starting to expect to win. We talk about it all the time, but we’re starting to expect to win.”
Southeast led 10-3 after picking up six runs in the fourth, which included a grand slam by Blake Foster, but Dalton responded with seven runs in the bottom half of the inning. The Cats took the lead with a two-run fifth and never trailed again, following up a 10-0 win against Southeast on Tuesday and a 20-2 victory on Thursday.
Foster finished 2-for-4 with five RBIs for the Raiders (3-8, 0-3), while Colter Faith was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Abram Stanley was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Jose Vargas added two hits and two RBIs, Cody Manly had two hits and drove in a run, Austin Pratt and Pedro Vargas each had a hit and an RBI and Devin Gentry went 2-for-3.
• Northwest 3, Ridgeland 0: Solid pitching and small ball helped the Bruins (8-3, 3-0 Sub-region 7B-4A) beat the Panthers for the third time this week.
Andy Whisenant earned the win in Tunnel Hill, allowing two hits and four walks while striking out eight in 5 2/3 innings. Seth Pierce — who pitched during Northwest’s 12-0 win at home on Tuesday — handled the final 1 1/3 innings, striking out one as he earned the save.
In the second inning, Pierce walked, stole second, moved to third on a balk and scored on Wade Terrell’s single. Wade then stole second and came home on a double by Kyle Brock. In the fifth, Brandon Smith singled, went to third on Brady Middleton’s single, then scored on Diego Peralta’s sac fly.
Northwest also beat Ridgeland 7-2 Thursday in Rossville.
“Pitching has definitely carried us,” Northwest coach Todd Middleton said. “The guy they threw today pitched the best of the three starters they threw at us. He didn’t walk as many, so we had to manufacture some runs.”
A.J. Orozco also had a double for the Bruins, who finished with six hits.
“We’ve had a lot of people contributing,” coach Middleton said. “We’ve got hits all up and down the lineup, people with RBIs all up and down the lineup.”
• North Murray 5, Ringgold 1: Cole Vaughn went 4-for-4, while Jared Goswick picked up a complete-game win and contributed an RBI double as the Mountaineers (4-7, 1-1 Region 5-3A) earned the road victory.
Boosted by solid support at the plate — North Murray scored one run in the first, fourth and seventh innings, plus two in the sixth — Goswick allowed four hits, walked three and struck out six. Ringgold picked up an unearned run in the sixth.
“He’s had a little longevity and gone deep into some ballgames for us and given us the opportunity to win this season,” North Murray coach Steve Granger said. “You know you’re going to get some innings out of him.”
Jared Campbell went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI to help North Murray top the Tigers.
“Hopefully this is a momentum shift for us and we can build upon it and good things will come,” Granger said.
• Cartersville 9, Coahulla Creek 0: Two Purple Hurricanes pitchers combined for a no-hitter against the host Colts, who fell to 3-8 overall and 0-2 in Region 5-3A.
Braiden Jacobs started for Coahulla Creek, allowing six runs (four earned) on 12 hits while striking out two and walking none in five innings. Tucker Sheram pitched the final two innings, allowing one earned run on four hits and a walk.
Cartersville scored two runs in the first, one in the third and three in both the fourth and sixth.
• Northwest JV 5 Ridgeland 5: In a late result from Thursday in Rossville, Logan Hilton had a strong outing in relief — he struck out 12 and walked two in 4 2/3 innings on the mound — as the Bruins and Panthers finished tied.
Northwest’s Walker Maret went 2-for-3, Caleb Shiflett added a two-run single and Ty Pendley had a double.
Track and field
• Southeast’s girls were third and the boys took fourth in the 11-team Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe Invitational. North Murray’s boys finished fifth behind three first-place individual performances.
The Lady Raiders had 74.5 points to finish behind Tennessee’s Signal Mountain (102) and the host Lady Warriors (77), while the Raiders (65.5) trailed Tennessee’s Ooltewah (103) and Hixson (92), as well as the host Warriors (72).
The Lady Raiders’ Wendy Perez won the discus with a throw of 94 feet and she also ran a leg for the victorious 4x100-meter relay team. Britany Painter, Isabel Salinas and Kayleen Mullins also ran on that team, which finished in 4 minutes, 46 seconds. Salinas took second in the 800 (2:37) and third in the 1,600 (5:54).
The Raiders’ Jayro Perez won the discus (129-0), while teammate Cody Ensley was third in the event with a throw of 109. For North Murray, Isaac Pacheco won both the 800 (2:08) and 1,600 (4:45) to earn co-outstanding athlete honors at the meet, while Brady Swilling won the high jump (6-0) and Jacob Mays was third in shot put (41-0).