Jene-Aluja scores two goals as Bedford advances

DuBOIS – Not even a power outage could slow down Bedford’s Sebastien Jene-Aluja in the Bisons’ PIAA Class AA boys soccer subregional match at DuBois Area High School on Thursday.

Jene-Aluja scored both of Bedford’s goals in a 2-0 win over the Owls, sending it to the first round of the PIAA playoffs against the WPIAL runner-up and past Bradford for the second-straight season.

The two teams generated very little in the way of scoring chances in the first 20 minutes, but that changed in a hurry.

Lalo Munoz had a golden opportunity at the 20:00 mark that was stopped by Bradford keeper Cody Hennard. That just proved to be a foreshadowing of things to come, though.

Ten minutes later, with 9:48 remaining in the half, Jean-Aluja got a crease near the top of the box and ripped the ball past Hennard for a 1-0 lead.

“Some of it may have been the [artificial] turf,” Bedford coach Jeff Thomas said. “We don’t get on turf a lot and it usually takes us some time to adjust to the speed of the ball.”

Adjust the Bisons did, and they were able to build on their 1-0 in the second half.

Jean-Aluja got to a spot much similar on the field to his first goal and once again found the back of the net 12:45 into the half.

Bradford generated perhaps its best chance of the game just 6 minutes later, as Cody Bly rifled a shot from well outside the box that deflected off keeper Brady Thomas. Thomas was able to gather himself, however, and get to the ball just before Bradford’s leading scorer, Ben Jordan, could.

“We didn’t generate a lot of scoring chances tonight,” Bradford coach Wes Lohrman said.

Less than 2 minutes later, with the ball in play, the lights went out.

Pitch blackness engulfed DuBois High for about 10 minutes, but it didn’t seem to bother Bedford.

“I can’t imagine if that would have happened during a scoring chance,” Thomas said.

Bradford got a pair of shots off in the final 20 minutes, but nothing resembling a good chance, as Thomas finished the game with four saves.

The Bisons now await the loser of South Fayette and West Allegheny, who play Saturday for the WPIAL crown.