Photo/James Pugh

The first 10 minutes was ‘pitch’ perfect. Northeast Jones’ two-nil lead in the opening minutes Thursday afternoon was built from its use of the outside wings, followed by quick feet and awareness in the box. Though laziness set in as the game progressed, especially in the second half according to head coach Matt Reid, the Tigers held Clarkdale scoreless through 63 minutes of Monday’s Thanksgiving week match en route to a 6-1 win. 

“We started strong,” said Reid. “Clarkdale continued to put numbers and numbers back in the box, and that made it difficult to score. They clogged up our passing lanes. 

“But overall, I can’t be too disappointed. Our guys are playing pretty well so far this year.”

Reid did add, though, how he wished his team could play to their potential in longer spurts. Northeast Jones controlled possession of the ball in the first half; things reversed action in the second despite the Tigers outscoring Clarkdale 3-1 in the final 40 minutes. Goals by Logan McLelland and Alex Gonzalez in the 5th and 6th minute and an own goal by Clarkdale in the 32nd minute put Northeast Jones up comfortably 3-0 at the half. 

“Sometimes we’ll have spurts of greatness,” Reid said, “then we’ll make a few silly passes in a row. If we can learn to play more consistently, then it will be a good year for us.”

Nearly flipping the field in time of possession, Clarkdale challenged the Tigers’ back line in the final half. The Tigers broke just once as Clarkdale netted its only goal of the match in the 63rd minute.

“I think we just got lazy,” said Reid. “Our midfielders were not getting back as they should, and our backline looked a little unorganized. I guess we played too cocky being up so many goals. I’ll look at the tape this week, and we’ll fix that.”

After second-half goals by Jason Garcia and Kaydon Howard, Clarkdale chipped in once again to extend the Tigers’ lead. Their second own-goal of the match, this time in the 72nd minute, ended all scoring on the evening. 

“Our guys put the ball in position for them to make a mistake,” Reid said. “But they did give us a couple [cheap] goals. 

Northeast Jones improves to 4-2-1 on the season, while Clarkdale falls to 3-4-2. 

Girls Final: Clarkdale 4, Northeast Jones 0.

Clarkdale girls improved to 5-1 on the season with their second shutout victory of the season. The Lady Bulldogs blanked Northeast Jones 4-0 in girls soccer Thursday afternoon prior to the boys’ contest.

Four different Lady Bulldogs netted goals in the win, including captains Mary Ashley Culpepper and Ravynne Wilson, as well as Brooke Gibson and Cora Bucurel.

Northeast Jones girls fall to 2-4-1. 

Note: Northeast Jones travels to Ellisville Tuesday week to take on county rivals South Jones.