Elks down Cleburne in shootout
Burleson midfielder Erik Lopez capped the Elks’ District 9-5A match with Cleburne in thrilling fashion with a sudden-death penalty kick goal that gave Burleson a 6-5 shootout victory.
The Elks and Yellow Jackets finished regulation play tied at 2-2 and each team scored on their first five penalty kicks before Elks’ backup keeper Rylen Sibley made a huge save to put Burleson in position win.
Lopez finished the job, sending the Elks’ bench into a frenzy on the field.
“That was the wildest game we’ve had in district so far,” Burleson coach Travis Hughes said. “And we’ve already had some wild ones. It’s the third penalty shootout we’ve had so I guess we’re getting used to these.”
Britt Jones, Jose Llamas, Hernandez, Hayden Whitten and Rolando Medina all scored in the penalty shootout before Lopez won it for the Elks.
The penalty kick shootout win moved Burleson to a 9-1-4 overall record, and to a 2-0-3 record in District 9-5A. The Elks remain in third place in district play. Burleson goes on the road Tuesday to take on Arlington Seguin.
The Elks opened up the scoring 26 seconds into the game Hernandez was fouled in the box. Jones capitalized and scored on the penalty kick, giving Burleson the early 1-0 lead.
Burleson forward Mekhi Chambers added to the lead when he scored a breakaway goal with 8:05 left in the first half to give the Elks a 2-0 lead.
Less than a minute later the Yellow Jackets responded with a goal from Zach Long to cut their deficit to 2-1.
After halftime the game got chippy on both sides. Two players received red cards, including Burleson goalkeeper Alex Heinle.
Hughes said it was to be expected in a rivalry game.
“It’s Cleburne and Burleson,” Hughes said. “Once it gets that way and starts rolling downhill it’s tough to stop.”
Cleburne tied the game up with 15 minutes left when Jarett Rodriguez scored off of a deflection from Heinle. After a vehement argument on the call, Heinle received a red card.
Sibley took over in goal for the remainder of the game. Hughes was impressed by the way Sibley played down the stretch and in penalty kicks.
“Rylen did a great job,” Hughes said. “He came in a tough situation. He stepped up and did a good job getting his hands on a couple penalties that went in and then was finally able to save one to win it.”