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Hillsboro hangs on to notch boys soccer win over rival McClain

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article
Hillsboro's Tate Davis is shown vs. McClain's Bryce Graham, Tuesday at MHS. (HCP Photos/Jim Jones)
Jim Jones, The Highland County Press

It was a game of two halves Tuesday night on the McClain athletic field, where the first half saw the Hillsboro Indians take a 2-0 advantage into the break after Ryan Howland and Judah Brandyberry scored goals.

But after Brandyberry scored his second goal of the night at the 28:48 mark of the second period, the Tigers fought back with goals by Seth Weller and Wes Smith to make it close at the end, with HHS winning the match, 3-2.

“I thought we played really well in the first half with goals by Ryan Howland and Judah Brandyberry,” said Hillsboro head coach Ben Howland. “It’s always good to come away with a win over one of your rivals, and hopefully we can build on this game tonight and from our win over Western Brown and have a good second half to our season.”

McClain head soccer coach Nick McNeal, despite being disappointed, still was proud of how his team continued to compete and play much better in the second half.

“I thought the first half was really rough for us,” McNeal said. “Soccer is a team sport, but our guys still need to win their individual battles out there for us to be successful.

“We allowed Hillsboro way too much time and space to make their passes, especially in the first half, but I thought we came out much stronger in the second half and were really the better team in the final 40 minutes.

“Wes Smith and Seth Weller made some nice plays up top to get us back to 3-2, but it was still just a little too late,” McNeal continued. “I thought Hillsboro did a fantastic job tonight, their defense held strong, and I thought Carson Scott was really solid in the back for them and Tate Davis had a nice game as well.  He provided a lot of good passes in the box for them all night.”

McClain will host Jackson on Thursday, Sept. 21 starting at 7 p.m. Hillsboro hosts Athens Thursday at 6:45 p.m. in non-conference play.