CLINTON –East Bladen brought its “A” game to Clinton on Monday and, after a knotted regulation and scoreless overtimes, used a sudden-death shootout to knock off the state’s No. 1 Class 2-A team, 4-3.
The Four County Conference win over the Dark Horses improved the Eagles to 13-5-1 overall and 9-5 in the conference. Clinton fell to 18-2-1 and 12-1.
The Dark Horses took a 1-0 lead about 10 minutes into the first half, but East Bladen battled back for a goal late in the half when Brooks McGill corralled a loose ball and ripped a shot at the net — only to see it knocked away. But Greyson Heustess raced to the ball and blasted a shot to the back of the net for a 1-1 tie that held up until halftime.
The match stayed knotted until halfway through the second half, when Grey Cabellero rocketed a shot that careened off a Clinton player’s head and the goalie — finding its way into the net for a 2-1 Eagles lead.
The Dark Horses answered with less than 2 minutes left in regulation on a shot from near midfield that was blocked by East Bladen netminder Spencer Scott, but the rebound was picked up by a Clinton player and knocked home for a goal.
After two scoreless overtimes, the two teams went to penalty kicks.
Cebellero gave the Eagles a 1-0 edge, but Clinton answered on its first kick. East Bladen came back with a goal from Jake Evans, but the Dark Horses booted in two goals to take a 3-2 edge.
Caleb Hatchell scored the tying penalty kick moments later and, after a Clinton miss, the two teams went to a sudden-death shootout.
Cabellero took the first kick and scored — then Scott came up big with a block of Clinton’s kick to give east Bladen the win.