State 3A soccer: Jefferson Academy rallies to beat Fort Lupton

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BROOMFIELD -- Chyler Ward converted a penalty klick with 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation time, and Will Spencer added an insurance goal with 25 seconds left to give Jefferson Academy a come-from-behind, 4-2 win over Fort Lupton High School Nov. 2.

The match was part of the second round of the state 3A soccer playoffs.

"I'm not going to be pointing fingers at anybody. But I hate it when the refs dictate the outcome of the game," FLHS coach Kyle Reddy said. "That penalty, when they scored that third goal? That was not a penalty. The dude went down on his own. But hey, the refs are going to call that. The fourth goal was obviously offsides."

FLHS didn't trail until the penalty kick. Angel Botello and Giancarlo Mendez scored the Bluedevils' goals 15 minutes apart in the first half.

"The boys battled," Reddy said. "I always tell my boys you're plying three teams. You're playing the opposition. You're playing the referees, and you're playing yourselves. You've got to have your head set. Towards the end, we started beating ourselves."

FLHS goalkeeper Hector Morales faced 12 shots and made three saves, including one where he tipped the ball over the crossbar in the 59th minute of play. Eight minutes earlier, a Jaguars' shot from deep clanked off that same crossbar.

Fort Lupton advanced to the second round for the second time in the past three seasons. The Bluedevils finished with a record of 13-4.

We'll have more on the game in the Nov. 10 issue of the Fort Lupton Press.

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