With one decisive kick delivered by Kyle Jenkins, the Callaway Cavaliers had another win in what has been an exceptional season.
Thursday’s match between Callaway and Opelika looked like it could be headed to penalty kicks, but with just two minutes left before the end of the second and final overtime period, an Opelika player was called for a foul on Jenkins in the box.
Jenkins put the penalty kick into the net, and Callaway escaped with a 2-1 victory.
Had it remained tied through overtime, the game would have been decided by penalty kicks.
The Cavaliers have won five consecutive games, and they have improved to 9-3.
After a scoreless first half, Callaway took the lead in the second half on a Jenkins goal.
Opelika answered with a goal of its own off of a corner kick to even the score.
“That’s the first time we’ve been scored on all season off of a corner,” Callaway coach Jake Hembree said. “So that was kind of shocking that somebody actually buried one on us.”
The Cavaliers had their chances to score again, but they were unable to convert until the penalty kick.
Callaway finished the game with 14 shots.
“We had a lot of good looks, just bad touches,” Hembree said. “We probably had four or five opportunities that should have been put away. You can’t live on opportunities. You have to be able to finish.”
It was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, and neither team scored in the first five-minute overtime period.
Three minutes into the second overtime period, Jenkins went down in the box, and the official called the foul.
Goal keeper Josh Weddle had 10 saves for the Cavaliers.
Callaway will look to improve on its 3-1 Region 4-AAA record when it visits Douglass on Tuesday.
That will be it for Callaway until the following week when it plays a pair of games in Savannah as part of a spring-break trip.
Callaway will play Windsor Forest on March 31, and Islands High School on April 1.
“We’re taking the boys on a little vacation. It’ll be a good way to get away and have some soccer,” Hembree said.
Hembree is hopeful playing some games that week will help the team come back strong after spring break.
“That was one of my motivations for doing that,” Hembree said. “After spring break, we always hit a slump. I would rather play two games and not be flat coming back out.”