MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

April 28, 2012

FGHS boys goes lights-out on Cushing

— FORT GIBSON – The power was all on the home side.

It was evidenced by the 28-3 edge in shots on goal and the power that never lit up the east side stadium lights at Leo Donahue Tiger Field on Friday night.

End result: Fort Gibson 6, Cushing 0 in a Class 4A boys soccer play-in round match.

Austin Ford drilled home the first goal five minutes into the contest from just in front of the penalty box, then assisted Kash Turner with a throw-in from the side at about the same spot on the field. Turner’s header made it 2-0 with 17:54 in the first half.

Johan Chavez  juked a couple of defenders while slipping through coverage and scored from about 25 yards out with 5:02 left in the first half, then Zach Cobler took over from there, scoring all three second-half goals, two off assists from Colby Woodruff and the last from Ford on a penalty kick.

“The first half, I didn’t feel like my touch was good,” Cobler said. “Colby set me up with two and Austin set me up with a pretty header but it kind of hurt when he hit me there.”

The fun – and pain – on the other end of the pitch all made for a boring night for Tigers goalie Daniel Mielnik, who didn’t see a shot on goal until the 20:32 mark of the second half and finished the night with one save. The best scoring opportunity for Cushing (6-8) came when Kevin McBrayer set up for a free kick from about 25 yards out off right wing  following a penalty against Fort Gibson with 3:55 to play, but his kick sailed over the goal.

“We worked on moving the ball down a lot, holding possession and not letting them get to our defense as much,” Ford said.

Tigers coach Todd Friend, in his first season at his alma mater after a stint at Muskogee, knew this one was easier than they’ll get as the postseason moves on. The Tigers, 10-1 and ranked No. 1 in the Okrankings.com 4A coaches poll, move on to play at unranked Verdigris (8-3), the District 4A-8 champion, on Tuesday.

“I really stressed keeping our head on right and they don’t all come easy but we did take care of what we needed to take care of,” he said. “Seeing these guys early kind of took care of that.”

Fort Gibson beat Cushing 3-0 in a pre-season scrimmage. Friend doesn’t have that kind of knowledge of his next opponent.

“The only thing I know about them is they won their district,” he said. “Playing them there will be a challenge.”

Chavez left the game shortly after his goal after he took an elbow to the head from a Cushing defender. He was taken from the field with a cut above the eye that according to a Tiger staffer would require stitches.

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