The McClain Tigers hosted their first Frontier Athletic Conference game of the season and came out on top over Jackson, 2-1 at McClain Field.

After suffering a tough loss to Alexander just two days before, the Tigers were able to pull together to play their best game of the season, according to head coach Nick McNeal.

“This was the best game I have ever seen them play. Although Jackson is far away in distance, the kids see them as a rival,” McNeal said. “For the past few years, the graduating classes of 2021 from both schools have been starting for the teams.

“The past three games, Jackson had come out on top by one goal, so we knew we could compete, and our team wanted to be the team on top this time.”

In the first half, the Tigers came out strong from the beginning, keeping the ball on Jackson’s defensive end, and according to Coach McNeal the passing and communication was a lot better than what it has been in the past.

The first goal came off of a throw into the box from Braeden Bergstrom as Bryson Badgley was able to battle for the goal.

Jackson struck back soon after when they were given a PK. Keeper Noah Reeves was able to get his hands on the ball, but it slipped under him into the goal.

The battle continued after this, and the Tigers and Ironmen went back and forth. The Tigers had a few opportunities on goal but were unable to finish in the first. Jackson was given another PK later in the first half, but this time Reeves made the stop against Jackson's Collin Ghearing.

In the second half, the Tigers were able to create a lot of opportunities for goals, but once again struggled to capitalize on the opportunities.

The opportunity the Tigers did capitalize on came from a pass from Bergstrom to Luke Sanchez, as he was able to take a crowded shot at goal and put the ball in the net.

The last 20 minutes were very physical for both teams, but the Tigers were able to hold strong for the win.

“Coming into the game, we knew what to expect from Jackson. They are always a solid team, and this year they were returning the FACs 2019 player of the year Collin Ghearing,” McNeal said. “The kids knew to keep an eye on him, and one of our captains Richie Lester said he'd have him.

“Richie playing as one of our defensive mids worked out well for staying close to Ghearing throughout the game, and Richie did a great job of shutting him down. When we only allow a player like Ghearing to have a few shots on goal, and two of them were PKs, I know the team did their job on the defensive end.”

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GIRLS SOCCER: Jackson 9, McClain 2

The McClain Lady Tigers lost their FAC match on Thursday, Sept. 3 by a 9-2 score.

For McClain, Kerigan Pollard and Abby Mustard each scored a goal, while Payton Pryor had an assist.