Bears avenge loss against Cougars

Clovis High Braedon Rouff (14) jumps high up to head the ball in against Buchanan at Clovis High on Feb. 3, 2017 (Christian Ortuno/Clovis Roundup)

By Paul Meadors | Sports Editor

In the second league meeting against the Clovis Cougars on Friday, Feb. 3, the Buchanan boys soccer team cruised to a 4-0 win at Lamonica Stadium. Unlike in the first meeting when the Cougars took a 2-1 win on the road, the Bears came out focused and never let up.

“We came here totally prepared. Everyone did their job,” said senior midfielder Stephan Morris. “Preparation was the biggest adjustment. We had a team dinner last night and ate good. We all got sleep. We were just mentally and physically prepared for this game.”

Buchanan’s first goal came on a bizarre play in 13th minute of the first half. The goal was initially in doubt because it appeared that the ball went directly into the goal without being touched after a long throw-in.

The referees, however, consulted with each other and determined that Stephan Morris barely touched the ball with his head after the throw-in.

In stoppage time in the first half, the Bears found a second goal. This time it was senior forward Jacob Rudolph who chipped it over the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.

The Cougars, who have shown their ability to make adjustments in the second half, didn’t have any answers coming out of the break. Instead, the Bears continued to pile it on.

With only two minutes gone by in the second half, senior defender Jonathan Zepeda took the rebound and converted his shot from just inside the box. After the Cougars gave the ball away in their own half five minutes later, Morris completed a through ball to Rudolph, who calmly netted the fourth goal.

The game was physical like it was during the first meeting between the two teams, but this time both teams stayed calm and nobody was shown a red card.

“It’s always gonna get a little chippy in a high school game. They just played physical and we had to be physical back,” Morris said.

With the win, the Bears moved to 6-2 in the Tri-River Athletic Conference. The Cougars dropped to 7-2.

“We came out the same way we played them the last few times. The reason  they won is because they didn’t. They came with a whole different mentality,” Clovis junior Rubehn Martinez said. “They weren’t going to take no for an answer. They took what they deserved.”

The Cougars will finish the regular season at Clovis West on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. The Bears will be at Clovis North on Feb. 8 to finish the regular season.