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May 26, 2020

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Here we go, Pirates! Here we go!

BHS boys rally to win in second OT over South Range in DIII state semis

By Cort Reynolds
DOYLESTOWN - The Bluffton boys soccer team came from behind to nip third-ranked Canfield South Range 2-1 in double overtime of the Div. III state semifinals Wednesday evening at Doylestown Chippewa High School.

CLICK HERE to watch game highlights with both Bluffton goals from WFMJ channel 21.

• Watch for photos from Marvin Foster - we'll notifiy viewers on Facebook when they are posted.

The Pirates celebrated their fourth consecutive tournament overtime triumph, and their seventh match victory in a row overall. It was also their second straight victory over a team ranked in the top five of the state Div. III soccer poll.

Bluffton improved their season record to 18-2-2 with the win. The Pirates will face fifth-ranked Columbus Wellington (17-2-3) in the state title game Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. in Columbus at the Crew Stadium.

The Wellington Jaguars whipped Botkins 4-0 in the other Div. III state semifinal match at Springfield Wednesday night.

South Range scored first in the final minute of the first half to take a 1-0 lead at intermission. The score stayed that way until the final minutes when Bluffton rallied. 

Bluffton's Jude Spallinger sent a free kick cross-field that Kaden Basil headed from four yards out past the keeper into the lower right corner of the net to tie it 1-1 with just under eight minutes left in regulation.

The teams played through a scoreless first overtime. Then the Pirates netted the winning goal four minutes into the second OT. 

On the run, Jonathan Schriner side-stepped a Raider defender and left-footed a low shot off the diving Canfield goalkeeper from about 10 yards out. 

The keeper got a piece of the shot but was unable to stop it cleanly, and the ball rolled past him into the unprotected net to send the Pirates to the finals.

South Range ended its season 19-3.

Bluffton is now 5-1 in neutral site games. Their last loss came to Shawnee 2-1 on Oct. 5. Wellington is 9-1-2 in neutral site matches.

Wellington's only losses were at Div. I Hilliard Davidson by a 2-1 count Sept. 5, and at Columbus St. Charles 3-0 on Sept. 26. Since then, the Jaguars have won nine straight matches.

Wellington has outscored its opposition 36-0 in its six tournament matches. Their closest tournament match was a 3-0 regional semifinal win over Berlin Hiland.

Bluffton has outscored its foes 19-4 in their 6-0 tourney run.