CULLMAN – Cullman took on Oxford at home in the first round of the 2018 AHSAA Boys Soccer Class 6A State Playoffs Friday night, and the Bearcats shut out the Yellow Jackets, 2-0, in what turned out to be a very physical game.
Cullman got the first goal of the game with 9:44 remaining in the first half when Miguel Tizapa shot it from an awkward spot on the right side; he was able to get it in the net to put the Bearcats on the board. It got very physical in the first half between both teams, with the referees having to calm both sides down multiple times, and it carried over into half number two. The Bearcats missed on multiple opportunities to stretch the lead, but goalkeeper Jaron Potter came up with some key stops, including a huge stop on an Oxford penalty kick; they went into the half still up, 1-0.
Multiple Bearcat players ended up getting yellow cards in the second half as the play got even more physical between both teams. Oxford lost its cool late in the game and Cullman took advantage with 1:47 remaining when Isaac Rodriguez went on a breakaway and put it in on the right side of the net to seal the win for the Bearcats.
In the second round of the Class 6A State Playoffs, the Bearcats will travel to Florence Tuesday at 7 p.m.
"We never gave up in the game," Cullman coach Casey Harbin said. "We had some special plays made from some very special players. We still have to improve on everything, but we have faced adversity before and we have survived. At least we know how to win now."
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