Rebs earn first district win against Vipers

A dramatic second half goal carried the Hays Rebels to a thrilling 2-1 win over the Vandegrift Vipers Friday amid dismal conditions Friday at Shelton Stadium. 

The result, which was capped off via a goal scored by a header from Erikson Avila, was the team’s first district victory the 2018 season. 

The Rebels started off strong by using the wet field conditions to their advantage. With every chance the Rebels had, they shot from outside of the box to catch the Viper goalie off his line.

However, both teams had trouble passing the ball on the turf as weather conditions worsened as the game wore on.

Vandegrift, however, picked up the pace and started to generate chances on offense. The Vipers capitalized on a Rebel error with seven minutes left in the first half. 

Hays Rebel goalkeeper Lane Reynolds dives forward to secure a loose ball in front of the net in Friday’s district game against Vandegrift. (Photo by Moses Leos III)

A shot from outside the box was taken and a Rebel defender got to the ball first. Not getting the ball out of the box, a Vandegrift player instead shot the ball into the lower left corner to earn the first goal of the night. Vandegrift led 1-0 at halftime. 

Rebels head coach Jason Burnett said his team knew what needed to be done heading into the second half.

“We made our adjustments and went out there and played hard, we didn’t give up,” Burnett said.

Starting off the second half, Rebel Jamie Santander got a shot off from a corner kick and evened the score 1-1. The Vipers quickly mounted a retaliation strike, but were shot down by the Rebel defense, which kept Vandegrift off the board. 

Roughly 15 minutes into the second half, Santander took the ball into the box and drew the Viper goalie off his line. Santander crossed it across the goal and Erikcson Avila was there to head the ball into the back of the net to take a 2-1 Rebel lead. 

For the remainder of the match, Vandegrift attempted to notch an equalizing score, keeping possession within the Rebel side of the field. However, Hays’ back line kept its shape and prevented Vandegrift from scoring a tying goal. 

Burnett said his team did a great job at defending the Vipers after its early show of offense. 

“Vandegrift had only two people back here on defense, so they were attacking with every single person they had,” Burnett said. “We were trying to do our best to defend it with our normal force. If we got the ball in the middle of the field, we could possess and take more time.”

Senior Rodolfo Leyva said his team played great and kept their cool to finish the game out strong.

“I’m really proud of them and happy we won our first game. We’ve been waiting for a win and we got it,” Leyva said. “I couldn’t be any happier with them, and as a captain, I’m really proud to see them play hard and win the game.”

Comment on this Article

About Author

Comments are closed.