With just one game to play, Andover Central kept their perfect record in tact Tuesday night, topping Maize South 2-1 to improve to 15-0-0 on the season. The win for the Jaguars sets up a big matchup later this week when when Central hosts Eisenhower, with both teams entering play without a loss on their record.
The Tigers (14-0-1) tied Derby Tuesday night, earning a point but putting them in a spot that they must win Thursday at Central to earn both a league title and the #1 seed in the 5A West Playoffs. A loss or tie would give the honors to Andover Central.
In Maize Tuesday, the highly anticipated match came to a halt five minutes in when Mavericks striker Raul Gerhardus was fouled inside the box, hitting his head on the turf where he experienced a "massive seizure."
Say a prayer for Raul Gerhardus tonight as he was taken out on the field and had a massive seizure.. Keep him in your thoughts tonight. We love you, Raul. Always. #MaizeSouthSoccer— Maize South Soccer (@MavericksSoccer) October 23, 2019
Play was stopped for upwards of twenty minutes as Gerhardus was taken to a local hospital, where he was released later Tuesday night and diagnosed with a concussion.
Raul was released from hospital and is at home safely tonight thanks to all our prayers! He has a headache and a concussion, but he’s expected to recover soon. We can’t thank you enough. God bless you all!— Raul Gerhardus (@RGerhardus) October 23, 2019
Upon the restart, Maize South still had a penalty kick to take, and Cooper Joseph stepped in the spot where Gerhardus excels and punched home the first goal of the match, giving the Mavs an early 1-0 advantage.
10 minutes later, Jadyn Vossen came through with the equalizer, giving a set piece just enough of a touch with a header, the ball just bouncing in the net to level the match at one goal apiece.
That score held until and past halftime with both defenses coming up with big stops, until the second half when Central had a penalty kick try of their own. With Vossen stepping to the line, Ethan Wiens guessed correctly and came up with the huge stop to keep the score tied at 1.
Central however would beat Wiens one more time, when in the 64th minute a ricocheted ball fell to Leyton Harper who headed it perfectly over to Leo Wurth in front of the net, Wurth connecting to give the Jaguars a 2-1 advantage.
With 16 minutes to play, Central just needed to play good defense the rest of the way, and Blake Robison did just that, making a great stop on a Landon Eskridge shot in the 73rd minute as the score held, giving Central the victory.
The loss was Maize South's (13-2-0) second in three contests after 12-0 start, and now they close their season at home Thursday against Newton. The Mavs need a win or a loss and some help to stay alive for the 3 seed in the 5A playoffs, with McPherson also standing at 13-2 with one game to play.