JACKSON — This senior class for Jackson has accomplished a lot on the soccer pitch in its four years.
But there’s two things it hadn’t checked off the list: beating Chillicothe and winning the FAC.
That all changed on Saturday.
In a makeup game with conference implications, the Ironmen played a hungry and intense 80 minute battle, ultimately walking out with a 1-0 victory over the Cavaliers, their first victory over them since 2011.
The win mean the FAC title is officially spilt between Jackson, Chillicothe and McClain.
“It’s been four long years battling Chillicothe and waiting for this moment,” Jackson’s Isaac Kuhn said. “They’ve always been our rival. Our freshman year, we lost to them 8-1 and we’ve been chipping away to beat them ever since. It’s our last game at Alumni Stadium and to go out finally beating Chillicothe is incredible.”
To add the cherry, the victory additionally came less than 48 hours after Jackson’s penalty shootout victory over Circleville in a Division II sectional final.
After a scoreless first half, Jackson was awarded a corner kick less than five minutes into the second half.
Collin Ghearing took the corner strike and sent a beauty right to the head of Trent Wolford, who finished the rest for the only goal of the game.
“I’m always on the back post whenever a corner is taken,” Wolford said. “Anytime Collin, or whoever takes the kick tries to put the ball in, I’m always right there and he got the ball right to me.
‘After that goal, I kept looking up at the clock seeing how much time was left. It was the longest 35 minutes ever to play defense, but we had to get the job done.”
Jackson had an insurance goal scored with less than three minutes left, but it was waved off for a player being offsides.
But it didn’t matter as Jackson’s defense locked down, continued to clear the ball and watched their final team goal finally get checked off the list.
“It was all about our defense getting and staying on the same page down the stretch,” Kuhn said. “They had Isaac Crawford and Gabe Maimone up top, so we made it a point to shut down those two guys and let someone else try and beat us.
It’s a great sense of accomplishment, and even better to finish our last game at home with a win. This has been a huge goal of ours since we entered high school and it took all four years, but we finally did it.”