By Mark Jurgena
Jimmy Crowder’s free kick off the foot of a Moline defender got past keeper Aiden Hancock with 2:52 to play and gave Collinsville the title of their own Class 3A sectional.
The October 29th win advanced them to the Bloomington Super-Sectional where they were to meet Lockport on Tuesday evening. The result was unavailable at press time.
Crowder’s opportunity came courtesy of a 1-2 game by Trey Peterson and Jaylen Wade that forced the Moline defender into a foul trying to mark Peterson.
Crowder then took the 25-yard free kick from the right sideline. He bent a beautiful ball toward the net where Moline was unable to handle it.
“Trey’s just dangerous at forward,” said coach Rob Lugge. “It’s fortunate for us that the kid fouled Trey. Jimmy hit a good ball and I think the weather helped out a lot. The kid who reached for it slipped a little bit and it went in; it bounced over the goalie’s head. It was huge for us.”
That dramatic game-winning situation had been set up about 20 minutes earlier by a goal from Moline’s Saiheed Jai.
Jai made the already tense match an absolute barnburner at the 25:10 mark when he made a run down the left side and got the ball past CHS goalie Jackson Parrill to knot the score 1-1 with just over 25 minutes to play.
That goal was the first the Kahoks had given up in their postseason run.
“It was a nice goal,” said Lugge. “That #10, he took it down the sideline. Aiden Hensler did exactly what we asked him to do. He kept the kid wide, he stayed in front…but the ball popped up, he hit a side volley and he got it back bar. We did almost everything we could do correct there, he just got a goal. That’s soccer.”
While it may be soccer, it also caused many of the purple and white faithful a great deal of anxiety.
However, Lugge was impressed with the response by his team in the face of this adversity.
“I think once they got that goal…no one freaked out, especially considering how young we are,” he said. “They maintained their composure, they stayed with the plan, moved the ball and forced them to come and get us.”
It was that composure that led to Crowder’s late free kick.
In the opening half, CHS had gone ahead on a 1-2 touch that put Wade in a position to score the opening goal.
Wade’s goal was a thing of beauty as Adam Reiniger played the ball from the midfield ahead to Wade down the left side. He had to beat the Moline defender to the ball and navigate the keeper. Then, with the outside of his right foot, he deftly placed the ball over the head of the prone goalie and into the net from about 15 yards out to give CHS a 1-0 lead just over 13 minutes into the match.
“It was a great through ball,” said Lugge. “Jaylen is so dangerous. He’s a pretty talented kid.”
Wade’s 11th goal was the first goal the Maroons had allowed in four postseason games.
The victory was the 17th in a row for Collinsville. Their last loss came on September 11th when they fell 1-0 to St. Louis (CBC).
The Kahoks entered the Super at 21-3-2 for the season. Moline finished 18-4-2.
Collinsville 2 O’Fallon 0
CHS got an early goal from Peterson and a late goal from Crowder on October 26th to beat the Panthers for the third time this season and advance to the sectional championship.
“I’m very proud of the boys tonight,” said Lugge after the game. “We didn’t have our best tonight, but we were able to pull out a victory against a hard working, well coached team.”
Peterson scored a goal just past the four minute mark of the opening period off an excellent ball from the midfield by Reiniger to give CHS that early lead.
“The goal was huge,” said Lugge. “To be able to score early on a team that has a ton of energy and is coming in ready to beat you any way they can. While I hoped we would take that momentum and continue to attack, we couldn’t really find that momentum tonight. We struggled to connect passes, but we defended really well. Our offensive game was off, but our defense was rock solid tonight.”
For their part, the Panthers subbed five, six, even seven players at a time every five minutes or so throughout the game in an attempt to wear down the Kahoks.
“They have a lot of kids who are fast, physical and they just run right at you and they put you under a ton of pressure,” said Lugge. “It worked out for them for the most part, they definitely took us out of our game. We struggled with just connecting passes. Luckily we had the one goal lead at that point.”
That one goal lead expanded to two late in the game courtesy of another 1-2 game by the Kahoks and a successful penalty shot from Crowder.
Reiniger got the ball to Wade who headed it back to Reiniger for a possible attack. However Reiniger got blasted by a Panther defender in the goal box and CHS received a penalty kick.
“Our two forwards being able to connect like that has been huge for us,” said Lugge. “They’re both so dangerous that teams struggle containing them. Adam just got absolutely destroyed in the box. Jimmy stepped up and hit a wonderful PK.”
Crowder was given the nod to take the kick for obvious reasons.
“We hit PK’s quite often,” he said. “Our two most consistent are Adam and Jimmy. Since Adam was picking himself up off the ground…it went to Jimmy.”
Jackson Parrill was in goal and recorded this third straight postseason shutout.
-Collinsville’s Super-Sectional opponent, Lockport, beat Romeoville 5-2 in the Orland Park (Sandburg) Sectional championship. The Porters were 18-1-1 prior to the Super. Their tie was a 0-0 draw with Palos Hills (Stagg) on October 13th, and they lost 3-2 to New Lenox (Lincoln-Way Central) on September 23rd.
-According to Max Preps, the Porters were ranked 97th nationally, and #14 in the state while Collinsville was listed at #153 in the nation and 24th in Illinois.
-The Class 3A state tournament is tomorrow and Saturday at Hoffman Estates High School.