Locked in a scoreless tie deep into the second half, a bad break for the Brownwood Lions went on to propel Stephenville to a 2-0 victory in Friday’s District 6-4A and regular season finale.
With 18:22 remaining, the Lions were whistled for a handball in the box, which resulted in a 12-yard penalty kick. On top of that, the officials spotted blood on Brownwood goal keeper Tanner Roberts, who was forced to exit the game during the penalty kick, which Stephenville converted.
“That handball in the box, the ball had been hitting everybody’s hands all night inadvertently,” said Lions head coach Scott Swanzy. “To get that penalty kick was a back breaker. Then I had to take my goal keeper out and that was weird.”
Stephenville added an insurance goal with 2:09 left as Brownwood was focusing all its attention on the offensive end at the time.
“The score was just not indicative of the game,” Swanzy said. “I felt like in the first half Tanner and our back line kept us in the game. We’re a counter attacking team, we’ve been working hard at countering and we had two or three really good scoring chances, and probably six or seven good shots on goal.”
The Lions (1-13-1, 0-6) are still headed to the playoffs as the third seed from 6-4A, as they will visit Graham at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Brownwood’s lone victory this season came against Graham, 4-3, at Gordon Wood Stadium in the pre-district finale.
“This performance means everything for us going into the playoffs,” Swanzy said. “We’re in the right mindset, we’re in game shape and we have a whole week to work on something that I think will make us a little more offensively potent.”