The boys were blanked by Kelly Walsh 1-0 Friday—Jackson’s first loss of the season. The Trojans got revenge for a 3-2 Broncs victory in Casper back on April 10.
It was a match to remember with all the tension and pressure of a post-season-type tussle between two heavyweights on the pitch.
“It was a big game. It had the intensity of an important game,” said Jackson coach Matt Hoelscher.
Both teams battled their way to a scoreless first half. Hard tackles, numerous cards, and a lot of between-the-boxes play marked the first 60 or so minutes of play.
“Their game plan was to sit back on defense and use the wings in transition. They are definitely dangerous out there,” Hoelscher said.
Still, Jackson had a few chances of their own late in the first half, and Jackson goalkeeper Javy Huta, back from injury, had to come up big on one particular stop.
“He made a killer save,” Hoelscher said.
But in the 70th minutes of play, Jackson blinked first. One miscue led to another and all of the sudden the Trojans had the goal they needed to secure a 1-0 win. It was a somber mood at the post-game team meeting.
“That humbled us a little bit. Some of the kids took it pretty hard. It was an emotionally draining game,” Hoelscher said. “It’s disappointing because, while I did not expect to go undefeated, it also means we will not likely be able to win the conference, which was a goal we had at the outset.”
The boys showed some mettle less than 24 hours later with a win over Natrona on Saturday. Two quick goals had the Broncs up 2-1 at the half. Still, Hoelscher felt his club left too much on the table with missed chances. A heated halftime chat had the Broncs looking more focused in the second.
Jackson cruised to a 6-1 win over the Mustangs to improve their record to 11-1. The Broncs got scoring from Teddy Opler (2G, 1A), Daniel Huerta (2G), Dilan Tzompa Perez (1G, 1A), Miguel Perez (1G, 1A), James Dewell (1A), Kai McClennen (1A), and Charlie Hoelscher (1A).
Next for Jackson is the final two regular season games this week against Star Valley (home on Wednesday) and Evanston (away on Thursday).