BAKER — An experienced Port St. Joe boys soccer team flexed its muscle against Baker on Saturday in doubleheader action.
The Sharks beat the Gators 6-3 in the first game and won the nightcap 8-0, dropping Baker to 0-9 on the season.
The early game’s opening moments belonged to the Sharks as Port St. Joe seemed to score at will, delivering five goals before the mandatory water break midway through the first half.
Up 5-0, the Sharks seemed to smell blood in the water and were poised for the kill that never came.
Yes, Port St. Joe added another goal late in the first half to go up 6-0, but the second half belonged to the Gators.
“They jumped on us kind of quick,” Baker coach James Kerrell said. “I’m not sure if we were still asleep or just not ready. I don’t know what happened out there early.
“We did some personnel changes and moved some people into different positions and that kind of helped us out a little in the second half. Port St. Joe is a strong team. They are very well coached and very well disciplined.”
In reality, the Sharks called off the attack in the first game as the Port St. Joe coaches played the backups a large part of the second half.
“That makes it tough because you are playing a doubleheader and you are trying to keep guys as fresh as you can,” Kerrell said of the short bench. “You cringe every time a kid goes down with a possible injury. When you have one kid sitting on the bench it’s tough.”
The Gators finally found the net midway through the second half when Mason Lowery scored on an assist by Kodi Moen.
The match’s final two goals belonged to Tyler Colonna; Devin Ribbons picked up an assist on one of the goals.
Kerrell was happy to see Colonna finally find the back of the net for a score.
“Tyler has kind of had a monkey on his back all year long,” he said. It’s either glanced off his foot wrong or he hit the side post.
“I was just glad to see that he came through and scored. And it was good to see Mason score too because he’s got a good leg.”
Although the Gators fell in the doubleheader’s second game, Kerrell found some positives in the first game.
“I think in the second half we did a better job of passing and moving the ball around and getting some better looks,” he said.
“I think we stepped up a little bit better defensively in the second half.”
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524