SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Kenton pushed its offensive attack to full throttle in the second half.
In fact, the Wildcats seem to be everywhere in the Shawnee end.
Kenton’s passionate play in the second half led the Wildcats to a 2-1 victory over Shawnee in a physical boys soccer match Tuesday.
Shawnee led 1-0 at the half.
But Kenton took command of the midfield in the second half and notched the win.
“I know what that feels like when the wave of a team is getting on you and it’s hard to get away from it and it’s hard to change the tide,” Shawnee coach Ryan Quatman said. “The difference (in the second half) was they were fired up. They were winning 50-50 balls. They were keeping it down in our defensive end and we couldn’t get it out.’’
Shawnee is 9-2-1, 5-1 (15 points) in the Western Buckeye League.
Kenton is 9-0-1, 4-0-1 (13 points) in the WBL.
Shawnee freshman Jacob Miller scored for Shawnee.
Landon Bartlett and Hayden Hicks scored for Kenton.
“The physicalness makes it fun,” Bartlett said. “I’m just glad we came out with a win.’’
The game was very physical both ways, with plenty of no-calls.
“It was a very physical game, but it’s a WBL dogfight for the top of the league,” Kenton coach Jamie Bartlett said. “I think when you get in those matches, that stuff just happens.’’
Added Quatman, “We can play (that way). We’re OK with that. We have big guys who can bang too and so do they. I don’t think we stepped down from anything, but neither did they. It was a good physical game.’’
Two Kenton players were handed yellow cards in the final 15 minutes.
One Kenton fan was ejected with 14:33 to go when there was a no-call on a Shawnee player.
Hicks had the game-winning goal with 29:08 to go.
He dribbled the ball into the heart of the 18-yard box and fired a low liner with his left foot into the lower-right corner of the net.
That gave Kenton a 2-1 lead.
Miller scored first for Shawnee at the 34:54 of the first half.
He knocked a knuckleball from the top of the 18-yard box and it went through the Kenton goalkeeper’s legs and into the net.
That gave Shawnee a 1-0 lead, which it held to half.
The Indians controlled the time of possession and the midfield in the first half.
But in the second half, Kenton dominated the first 20 minutes.
“I told them one of the keys would be us being able to control the midfield,” coach Bartlett said.
Added Landon Bartlett, “We came out with that fire (in the second half).’’
At the 39:20 mark of the second half, Kenton’s Reed Cox had a throw-in and threw the ball into the box. Bartlett one-timed it into the net from 12-yards out.
That tied the match at 1.
“Reed threw it and Drew (Hoppe) ran toward the ball and faked it and I ran behind him and I shot it,” Landon Bartlett said. “It worked perfectly.
“We were all super pumped up after that.’’
Shawnee outshot Kenton 12-7, including 9-2 in the first half.
Shawnee goalkeeper Landon Hoehn made three saves.
Kenton goalkeeper Luke Woodruff had five saves.
With 6:15 to go, a Kenton player took down a Shawnee player very close to the box. But there was no penalty kick awarded, as the referee declared the foul came outside the box.
“They call the game the best they can,” Quatman said. “It’s a hard game to call. There was a lot of stuff going on.’’
Shawnee’s Ethan Swallow took the free kick from 19-yards out and fired it over the crossbar.
Shawnee had one final chance with 10 seconds to go on a corner kick.
Ryan MGuire put his head on the corner kick, but Woodruff was there to gobble up the save with three seconds left.