Penalty kick dooms ’Cats against Raiders
BELLEFONTE – Heading into Thursday night’s District 6 Class AA boys playoff game, Huntingdon coach Phil Hawkins knew exactly what his Bearcats were heading into.
“Bellefonte is a solid strong team,” he said. “We beat them 1-0 last week and I think that gave them a little extra motivation. We both came in and played hard. It was two teams ready to play.”
The opening round matchup between the two did not disappoint, as the Bearcats dominated play, but came up short on the scoreboard, 1-0, thanks to a penalty-kick goal by Bellefonte’s Grant Stone.
“We lost 1-0 on a penalty kick to them last week,” Bellefonte coach Scott Martz said. “This is the most dangerous five-win team around. We knew what they were going to bring. Huntingdon came our hard tonight and played a great game.”
Bellefonte’s goal came off a penalty as a throw in by Bellefonte’s Andrew Stover found the hand of a Bearcat play in the goalie box. Stone put the ball in the bottom left quarter of the net.
Huntingdon’s offensive attack, led by Matt Wilson was relentless from the opening whistle.
The senior forward found himself in space, deep in Bellefonte territory more often than not through the course of the game.
“He is a quality player,” Hawkins said. “His first five steps are faster than anyone else on the field. Once he hits that first step, he is gone. You saw it tonight. He was beating everyone. He is a tough kid.”
Wilson flashed his playmaking abilities early in the game, as a flicked a left-footed shot on the goal, only to be deflected by a diving Feldman. Wilson and teammate Devon Green spearheaded the offense for the Bearcats, but to no avail. The junior keeper for Bellefonte wrangled in nine saves.
Huntingdon’s keeper, Kody Heaton, played a solid game in his own net, stonewalling the Bellefonte attack for eight saves. The only ball that made it past the sophomore was the deciding penalty kick from Stone.
For Huntingdon, the season ended in an all too familiar way.
For the sixth time this season, the Bearcats lost by one goal.
“We had a great group of seniors,” Hawkins said. “This team has faced a ton of adversity. They are fighters. We had our struggles and came out all the better for it. We had a great group of seniors and I extremely proud of them.”
SCORE BY HALVES
Huntingdon0 0 – 0
Bellefonte0 1 – 1
Second Half: B- Stone (penalty kick) 26:14.
Record: Huntingdon (5-11-1)