By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer
FORT GIBSON – The outlaw Jesse James was done in by Robert Ford. On Tuesday at Leo Donahue Tiger Stadium, the Westville boys soccer team had its chances eliminated by Levi and Austin Ford as the Tigers defeated the Yellowjackets 10-0.
The Ford brothers figured in on seven of the Tigers’ 10 goals as Fort Gibson, No. 2 in the Okrankings.com Class 4A poll, improved to 5-2 on the season and evened its District 4A-6 record at 1-1.
“When we got it going, we were able to put it in the back of the net,” said Fort Gibson coach Todd Friend. “We’ve had issues this year in scoring and we were finally able to open it up.”
Austin, the older of the two brothers, got the ball rolling at the 13:56 mark when he sent in a pass from the right side of the penalty box which Zach Cobler corralled and blasted past Westville goalkeeper Herschel Gifford, putting the Tigers up 1-0.
Westville (0-4, 0-3 4A-6) had an excellent opportunity to tie the score at 34:58 when John Pruitt broke in all alone on Fort Gibson goalie Daniel Mielnik. The junior was up to the task, stuffing Pruitt’s attempt, one of only two shots he faced the entire match, and that seemed to spark the Tigers.
Three minutes after Mielnik’s save, Johan Chavez put the Tigers up 2-0 on a blast into the lower right-hand corner of the net. Less than a minute later, Austin connected on a penalty kick to give Fort Gibson a 3-0 lead, and the rout was on.
“Once you get past their defense, the first thing on your mind is going one-on-one with the goalie,” Levi said. “We we’re finally able to finish on those attempts.”
Thirty-nine seconds later, Levi got is show going with the first of his four consecutive goals when he sped upfield and chipped in a shot from the top of the box to put the Tigers up 4-0 at halftime.
When the teams came out from intermission, Levi wasted little time in scoring goal No. 2 when he grabbed hold of a rebound from a Cobler shot and blasted an attempt past Gifford just 1:31 into the second stanza. His hat trick was completed in the 46th minute with an assist from Austin to make the score 6-0, and he added his fourth goal of the night came 1:12 later when he found a wide-open net and sent a shot past Gifford, chasing him from the match.
“We talked last week after our loss to Miami and worked a lot of things out,” Austin said. “Me and my brother up top helped out a lot because we have that natural chemistry.”
Austin, who finished with two goals and two assists, would close out the Ford brothers’ night with a goal in the 53rd minute while Chavez headed in a shot at the 62:28 mark while Cobler ended the match because of the mercy rule in the 64th minute.
“It feels amazing to get our first district win,” Austin said. “The win lets us know we’re still in the race and we’re gonna be in it for the long run.”
FGHS 2, Westville 0
The Lady Tigers decided at the outset that they would apply pressure from the opening whistle to the final horn and that’s what they did in their win over the Lady Yellowjackets.
Lillian Bear connected on the first goal of the evening for Fort Gibson at the 7:40 mark after the 4A No. 3 Lady Tigers (5-1, 2-0 4A-6) had taken shots at Westville (3-5, 1-2 4A-6) goalkeeper Ashley Smith.
”We did a great job of possessing the ball in the middle,” said Fort Gibson coach Jaime Snyder. “We also had some amazing crosses that we didn’t finish on or we could have had more goals.”
The Lady Tigers’ second goal of the match came in the 14th minute from Gabby Escamillia on a shot from the right side of the penalty box. The Fort Gibson defense allowed the Lady Yellowjackets to get off only two shots at goalkeeper Kyndra Johnson, which she captured safely.
“Overall, it was a great game both offensively and defensively,” Snyder said. “We had practiced on sending in balls from deep and not just the middle. Lillian’s goal was from pretty deep.”