ATHENS — This senior class at Jackson didn't forget that Athens knocked them out of the tournament in their freshman season.
However, they will have to move on knowing they never got their revenge.
The Bulldogs scored three goals in a six-minute span, and overwhelmed Jackson in a 4-1 victory, ending the Ironmen's season at 10-5-3 in a Division II district semifinal on Wednesday.
"This was an emotional seven day span for us, but we came out flat and Athens came out hungry," Jackson coach Lee Lord said. "It took us about 20 minutes to finally get into the game, which was far too late. We had a good scouting report on Athens, but they're a really good team that plays aggressive and passes the ball extremely well. We didn't follow our gameplan and it got us."
Although the Ironmen didn't avenge that 2017 loss, what this seasons class accomplished in its four years on the soccer pitch is astounding.
The team won 44 games, three sectional titles in a row, a share of the FAC championship and defeated Chillicothe in its final game.
It's only the second time in school history a senior class won three straight sectional, cementing its place in Jackson lore.
"This has been one of the most successful groups in Jackson soccer history," Lord said. 'I think they only group that matches this class is the group from back in the mid 2000's that won closer to, if not 50 games. These guys brought respect back to Jackson soccer."
Athens' Austin Jaunarajs scored the game's opening goal with 30:45 remaining to put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0.
Just 35 seconds later, Brady Jaunarajs got a breakaway and connected with the back of the net, pushing the lead to 2-0.
Brady connected on another goal just six minutes later to make it a 3-0 game that ultimately sealed the deal.
He connected on another goal to complete the hat trick in the second half before Jackson finally got on the board with a goal from Trent Wolford to cap the game.
"There were a lot of little things that we didn't do and you can't afford to have those miscues at this stage in the season," Lord said. "We didn't get out on defense and got called offsides probably seven or eight times. It's was just an all around off day which happens, but we picked the wrong day for it to happen."
Jackson now says goodbye to 10 seniors: Wolford, Collin Ghearing, Isaac Kuhn, Ryan Holloway, Joe Crabtree, Noah Collins, Haydn Brown, Cortland Bellar, Keaden Fulton and Ty Broermann.
"They took us from a middle second tier program to a lower first tier program," Lord said. "There's still a lot of levels this program can climb but these seniors gave us a great foundation to continue building upon and these youngers now have a standard to uphold because of them.
"We're going to be young and inexperienced next year and there's going to be a lot of growing pains, but I'm excited to see what these young guys accomplish. But we'll miss these seniors and I couldn't be more proud of who they've become on and off the field."