By Clyde Hughes, Printed in the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Oct. 16, 2014
KOKOMO – It happened nearly
within a blink of an eye. One moment it looked like the Fishers Tigers
were banging away at a goal chance, then the next it was the Harrison
Raiders on their way to the regional final after a thrilling overtime
victory at Kokomo High School Thursday night.
The Raiders’ Cole
Boyer tallied the winning goal when he parked a long free kick by
Christian Stiverson into the upper left corner of the goal just out of
reach of Fishers goalie Trey Beatty with 4:58 left in the second
overtime, giving Harrison the stunning 1-0 victory over No. 10-ranked
The Tigers handed Harrison (17-1-2) its lone loss, 3-0, earlier in the season.
was happy for me but more for my teammates,” Boyer said. “I was happy
that we were able to come back and beat the team that beat us, because
we didn’t have a good showing the first time we played team. I was just
at the right place at the right time.”
Harrison moves on to take
on the host Kokomo Wildkats (14-6), which it beat 2-0 earlier in the
season. Kokomo scored all of its goals in the second half to whip Jay
County 5-0 in the first regional semifinal.
After the Raiders
withstood a furious offensive assault by Fishers in the second half and
overtime, it appeared the contest would come down to penalty kicks until
referees stopped play with Harrison driving down the field because of
an injured Tigers player at roughly the five-minute mark.
injury break, which appeared to break the Raiders’ momentum, actually
gave Harrison a chance to plan what proved to be its game-winning
strategy at midfield.
“Jeremy Dewell and I talked it over and we
decided that I would take the kick and float it over the penalty kick
spot,” Stiverson said. “Dewell told me Cole was right there to run into
it and he’s one of the fastest players on the team, if not the fastest.
When he made it, I just went crazy. I was so happy.”
Up until that
point, it was Fishers that dominated the second half and looked like it
would be the team that would score the crucial first goal, as the
Tigers had four shots on goal compared to Harrison’s one in the second
half and four more in the two overtimes to the Raiders’ one.
Harrison’s defense, led by goalie Kyle Bugay, turned the Tigers away
time and time again, keeping the game scoreless on the muddy,
slow-playing field at Kokomo.
“I think our boys were taken aback
by the conditions of the field, but they haven’t been to regionals
before and I felt they were on cruise control in the first half,” said
Fishers coach Robbie Pels.
“We had our chances in the second half,
but we didn’t finish. All the credit goes to Harrison. They really came
out and played hard from the very beginning and it really showed. Bryan
(Clouse) is an excellent coach and he really had his players ready for
Clouse said he knew after going getting just four shots
on goal against Fishers in the first contest that the Raiders would
need to make the most of their scoring opportunities in this game.
knew we could play a lot better than what we did the first time we
played them,” Clouse said. “The great thing is that I don’t think we’ve
hit our ceiling yet. (Fishers) kind of held on there in the second half,
but I was confident that if we got an opportunity that we could net
one, and Cole did a nice job of getting it in.”