By Michael Finnegan / Special Contributor
GARLAND — North Mesquite scored three unanswered goals, two of them in the second overtime period, to eliminate Jesuit 3-1 in a Class 6A Region II quarterfinal on Tuesday.
After a scoreless first half, Jesuit went on top 1-0 on a Ethan Moore blast from 10 yards out midway through the second half.
The Rangers (17-3-4) played at their tempo for most of the game, but with just over 11 minutes to play, the momentum shifted. North Mesquite was awarded a penalty kick on a tackle, but goalkeeper Luke Ostrander made a diving save to protect Jesuit’s advantage.
So everyone thought.
After a five-minute delay, the Stallions (20-2-2) were given a second opportunity after the officiating crew ruled that Ostrander encroached. On the second attempt, Brandon Davis tied the score.
“I’ve known those refs for a long time and they’re a good crew,” said Jesuit head coach Charlie DeLong. “I couldn’t really see from the sideline what happened, but that’s when the momentum went their way.”
Jesuit had a chance to regain the lead late in regulation, but Patrick Howell’s breakaway shot was saved by North Mesquite goalkeeper Jean DeLeon.
“We had a wonderful season, and really played great tonight, too,” said DeLong. “But we had a few breakdowns defensively late in the game.”
Jesuit again controlled the pace in the first overtime period, but DeLeon and the Stallion defense blocked three shots on goal. In the second overtime, Franco Resendiz received a cross and scored to put the Stallions up 2-1 with 6:19 remaining. Fernando Valdez later added an insurance goal.
After winning its first two postseason games in nail-biting fashion — 3-1 in overtime against Richardson and 2-1 against North Garland — Jesuit couldn’t do it a third time against the Stallions, who went to the state tournament a year ago.
“We’re a very tight-knit team and have great chemistry,” DeLong said. “I’m proud of these boys and look forward to next season.”