By Anthony Jones, Sportswriter
All signs pointed towards a tight sectional final as Civic Memorial hosted Triad on Oct. 28.
The Eagles, in the midst of their best season ever, entered with a 24-4 record and had not lost a game by more than one score this season. Civic Memorial even had home field advantage.
But Triad delivered what may have been their best performance of the season to win 4-0.
Their first score developed off a Gibson Hunt corner kick just nine minutes into the action. This long ball bounced out of the box before it eventually found the boot of Jake Stewart, who converted.
Stewart added another score to his name, this one just 10 minutes later.
“We haven’t really been playing to the best of our ability so far this season, so we’re picking up at the right time. But we haven’t even peaked, so that just shows what we can do,” Stewart, who finished with his second two score game in a row, said following the win.
The Knights continued to draw blood throughout the first half, with their next tally coming from Wyatt Suter off a TJ Suter assist. This score pushed Triad ahead 3-0 with 14 minutes left in the half.
The final score of the contest came from Hunt, who cut off an Eagle pass and blasted a shot from near the 16 yard line. Hunt’s score came with just 4 minutes remaining in the half and delivered the final score of 4-0.
“As a program you want to peak at this time of the year and we picked tonight and the other night. The boys just had some fire in their belly and they wanted to play,” Coach Jim Jackson spoke of his team’s stellar wins over Civic Memorial and Waterloo over last week.
As impressive as Triad’s four goals were, the shutout against a high powered Eagle offense was just as impressive. Their offense was highlighted by Bryce Davis, who entered with 61 goals in the midst of the eighth most prolific season in state history.
Junior defender Brendan Smith had the tall task of guarding Davis for the full 80 minutes.
“He’s a really good player. He’s really talented, incredibly fast and skillful so the matchup is pretty difficult. You’ve got to keep him in your sights and not let him get a step on you or else he’s going to have a shot,” Smith said of matching up with the All-State forward.
This was the third time Smith had kept Davis scoreless this season and his formula has been fairly simple, “I just stayed with my plan which was just keeping him within an arm’s reach and not letting him get around.”
With their win, Triad advances to the IHSA Super-Sectional on Nov. 1. Hosted by Rochester, the Knights will face off against the Chatham Glenwood Titans.
Coach Jackson said of their upcoming battle for a trip to the state finals, “We played there a couple weeks ago. You’ve got to go up there and you’ve got to play.”
Earlier in the week, the Knights defeated Waterloo to reach the Sectional title match.
Jake Stewart had a career day to lead Triad to a 4-1 decision over Waterloo.
The senior captain recorded his first stat 28 minutes into the action, when he launched a throw in that fellow captain TJ Suter headed into the net for a 1-0 advantage.