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Hamilton County's Jesus Castro battles a Lafayette player for possession.

MAYO — A game that looked like Hamilton County would win, and then Lafayette would win, ended in a 5-5 district tie last week.

But the outcome, either way it might have gone, won’t have an impact on the regular season district title.

The teams tied 0-0 earlier in the season, and that’s the game HCHS coach Horacio Perez said would matter in district standings.

“This was just a friendly, the second game doesn’t count; though this game could be used in rankings and standings,” Perez said. “The district tournament is a different story, but right now we finished the season first. We’ll line up as the first seed, and Lafayette will finish second if they beat St. Francis, who would be third.

“Wins and goal differential versus other teams in the district puts Hamilton in first,” Lopez added, noting that if St. Francis beats Lafayette the Wolves would finish second. St. Francis plays the Hornets in Mayo on Jan. 23.

Lafayette went up 5-2 on five straight goals before the Trojans came back on two Omar Lopez goals and Jeremiah Gibson got loose and scored to tie the game with eight minutes left.

Perez said Gibson has 10 goals for the season.

“Gibson is a promising player, has lots of potential,” he said.

The Trojans had better control of the ball in the first half, and scored the first goal in the second minute of the game.

“Overall, we got some control back in the second, and tied it. But I don’t want any more comebacks,” Perez said, though admitting the second half might have been tougher for the Hornets. “Yes, they were up 5-2.”

LHS coach Pedro Resendiz said: “We had too much confidence being up by three goals, and should have been more aggressive. We lost position with the ball, and we let the Trojans do better with the ball with good passes. And we made two or three mistakes; the goalie made a mistake, but we’ll work on it. The only way we’re going to fix that is in practice.”

Hamilton’s Omar Lopez scored first when he separated himself from a defender and knocked it in the corner of the net.

Next Lopez got past two defenders and made an inside pass but the Hornet goalie was there. Then Miguel Thomas got two close kicks that missed, one being knocked out with one hand by the goalie.

Hamilton went up 2-0 when Julio Celiz got a good bounce, which went over the goalie’s head, on a free kick from about midfield with about 23 minutes until half.

The five-goal scoring streak started for the Hornets with fewer than 15 minutes left in the half when Quentin Sutley got a beautiful assist from the left side of the field to make it 2-1.

Sutley scored again with seven minutes until half with a nice touch kick that looped over the goalie’s head to tie the game.

Omar Carreon scored the next three goals for the Hornets, the first on a header over the goalie’s head, the next one on a penalty kick, and the last goal on another header to make it 5-2 Hornets.

In between the Hornets’ three goals, Lopez, who scored three goals, had a penalty kick from close in for the Trojans, but missed.

“I’m use to making those,” Lopez said. “But the field wasn’t flat but kinda bumpy. So when I went to kick, I slipped and kicked too hard.”

Lopez got the fourth Trojan goal when Gibson’s corner kick was tipped up by the goalie but bounced off the bar on top of the net and right to Lopez, who headed it in.

“I was fortunate, it hit the post and came to me,” he said.

One of Carreon’s goals came on a corner kick.

“We try to practice that kind of stuff like corner kicks and free kicks, and Omar made three goals,” Resendiz said. “He’s one of our better players and he’s just a 10th grader. But we’re working and practicing with those kind of situations.”

Although both teams scored a lot, Resendiz said that you have to take into account how all the defenders played, that the whole team is responsible and that there were, “mistakes everywhere.”

Carreon said he was positioned in the back of the pack that was in front of the goal area, which is where the kick went, and he put the header in.

Perez said Lopez, a junior, and is the team’s leading scorer, is going to develop into a better player.

“You can tell he’s humble and credits his team but when he has a chance he takes it and I’ve been encouraging him to do more. He should take a little more initiative because he can do it.”

Perez switched goalies, inserting David Alvarez with 22 minutes left in the game, who he said helped save the game.

“Both goalies had an off night. David Alvarez came in, and he played tremendous,” he said. “It was his night to come out and help the team, and I’ve told him some time it’s five minutes, sometimes it’s 20, and tonight it was 20 minutes.”

Jeff Shourds is a sports writer for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press.

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