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18 years later, streak ends

2A-9 BOYS: Osceola ends Jesuit's district dominance and undermanned Brandon stops Lakewood.


© St. Petersburg Times, published February 7, 2003

TAMPA -- The streak is over.

Jesuit's state-record string of 18 consecutive district titles came to an end Thursday as longtime rival Osceola won 2-0 in the district semifinals.

"I told the team they had a chance to do something tonight that hasn't been done since before they were born," Osceola coach Tim Rachford said. "As many years as we've struggled against (Jesuit), it's nice to finally get one."

The Tigers have had the upper hand in the rivalry, including two consecutive state championships over the Warriors in 1998-99. But this year, Osceola (12-5) turned the tables.

The Warriors beat Jesuit 3-2 earlier this season on a hat trick by Jason Villalba, and they found an offensive force in Thomas Schreck on Thursday.

In the 10th minute, when the Tigers failed to clear the ball, Schreck knocked it in. Then, in the 63rd minute, he took a long ball from Villalba and muscled past a defender for a second goal.

In between, the Tigers (15-8-2) dominated play, outshooting Osceola 18-5, but they never scored.

"Our level of intensity and speed of play were just not there," Jesuit coach Bob Bauman said. "Maybe we were looking ahead to Brandon. Who knows? We just looked flat. Even after (Osceola) scored, we never seemed to pick up the intensity."

In the other semifinal, Brandon had to dig deep to get past Lakewood 2-0. The Eagles (17-1-2) played down a man for most of the match after losing forward Andy Skiffington to an early red card.

Still, Brandon appeared in control and outshot Lakewood 20-7. Jason Poole notched his 17th goal of the season off a free kick in the 15th minute.

In the second half, the Eagles squandered chance after chance, and the Spartans (7-5-3) had some close attempts off free kicks. But Brandon keeper Gilchrist Callahan had some key saves.

With four minutes left, Ryan Teneyck sent a cross over to Derek Goforth, who headed in the insurance goal for Brandon.

Brandon and Osceola play for the district title at 7 tonight at Robinson.

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