By Mark W. Miller
Killeen Daily Herald
J.T. Jones was in the right place at the right time as the Killeen High boys soccer team avoided a shootout and defeated Ellison 2-1 in overtime.
With 79 seconds left in the second half of overtime, Jones found himself right in front of the goal with a loose ball just in front of him.
"I got free. I guess it was an accident," Jones joked. "Toe poke went in the net."
Adolfo Rivera started the play, curling a pass into the box, and the ball just seemed to bounce all over the place.
"There was actually just a mess in front of the goal and the kids followed it," Killeen coach James Gay said. "Kind of trashy."
It was a frustrating ending for the Eagles, who nearly took the lead in regulation on Clint Harler's worm-burner that was stopped by Killeen's keeper.
"It's a tough one to take, but sometimes you've got to," EHS coach Niles Dunnells said. "We had a bad mis-bounce there and Killeen was able to capitalize on it. Sometimes that's how it goes."
Ellison (9-12-1, 7-8 District 17-4A) trailed 1-0 at halftime, but tied it in the 63rd minute when Jimmy Rodgers slipped behind the defense for a through ball from Ricky Pallanez.
"Once we got that goal I felt like we were back in it," said Dunnells. "We kind of changed things up, changed our formation a little bit to try to get more of an attack going. It seemed to work for us.
I felt like we were doing a real good job of possessing the ball and getting the attack going. we just couldn't find the net."
Matt Funk opened the scoring for Killeen (11-12-1, 9-6), chasing down a pass in the deep corner from Brian Wood and looping a shot over the keeper despite the tough angle.
In the minute after the Eagles tied the game, the Roos missed a golden opportunity right in front, but Marvin Bautista's shot sailed over the goal.
"I felt like we had at least four or five good opportunities that we just missed them," said Gay. "And that happens sometimes.
"It's been a problem all year. We haven't scored as many goals as we think we could or should sometimes."
Both teams finish the season Monday. The Roos travel to Mexia. Ellison hosts Midway at Buckley Stadium.
Contact Mark W. Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org