HARKER HEIGHTS— The Knights secured the final District 12-6A playoff spot with a 5-3 shootout victory against Copperas Cove after the teams played to a 1-1 draw on Friday night.
The two points earned from the win on penalties eliminating Shoemaker. regardless of the Wolves’ outcome with Waco Midway.
Moments earlier, Waco clinched the other remaining playoff spot and eliminated Temple with a 2-0 victory.
After a save by Knights keeper Jack Byse, Miguel Primero capped off his final game at Knights Field by ending the shootout with a low liner past the keeper into the back left corner of the goal.
Primero then turned to see his teammates sprinting directly toward him to celebrate.
After a scoreless first half, Heights’ junior Jaime Vargas put the Knights on top in the 42nd minute.
Knights sophomore keeper Byse had three saves early in the second half. But Copperas Cove’s Jaylin Smith sent a ball out of his reach in the 58th minute to tie the game 1-1.
Byse made another four stops in the remaining 22 minutes to keep the score tied at the end of regulation.
Harker Heights controlled the ball for 28 minutes in the first half and had nine shot attempts between Vargas and senior Angelo Quintero.
Of those Knights attempts, Cove goalkeeper Noah Quinn made three saves.
Although the Bulldawgs made it down the field four times in the first half, Byse had two saves on attempts from Darrell Quichocho.
The other attempt from Alejandro Gomez soared too far left of the net in the 16th minute.
Marlon Peters, Nicholas Gianopulos, Alberto Ochoa and Vargas each made their tries in the shootout before Primero’s final kick allowed Harker Heights to secure the final playoff spot.
The Knights (7-3-5, 28 pts 12-6A) have a bye on March 19 and close out the regular season against Shoemaker on March 22. The Dawgs (2-10-2, 8 pts) host Temple on March 19.
FRIDAY'S 12-6A SCORES
- Belton 11, Ellison 1
- Harker Heights 1, Copperas Cove 1, (Harker Heights wins 5-3 on penalties)
- Waco 2, Temple 0
- Waco Midway 5, Shoemaker 0