News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Austin High's Pascal Alonso attempts a shot on goal against Decatur in the Bob Jones Invitational. The Red Raiders won 1-0.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Austin High's Pascal Alonso attempts a shot on goal against Decatur in the Bob Jones Invitational. The Red Raiders won 1-0.

A hard-fought victory
Austin, Decatur battle each other with Red Raiders taking a 1-0 win

By Bradley Handwerger 340-2462

MADISON — Tomo Matsuo flicked his sweat-soaked jersey to the ground behind Austin High's bench.

Mark that down as a sign of well-earned frustration.

Decatur mentally and physically wore down the Black Bears and Matsuo and took a 1-0 boys soccer win Friday night over its city rival in the Bob Jones Tournament.

The Red Raiders (6-0-2) committed 10 more fouls than did Austin (12-3-1), took five fewer shots and three fewer corner kicks, but prevailed anyway.

"We got a good assist and a good goal, and we won," Decatur coach Brian Quarles said. "It's a big win."

But you'd never know how happy the winning side was afterward.

Late in the game, Decatur's Mason Hastie fouled Austin's Matsuo hard, earning a red card and putting the Red Raiders a man down with fewer than 10 minutes to play.

Austin head coach Lewis White was livid. A fan in the stands responded by heckling White. Then some words were yelled between Quarles and White.

All was fine after the game between the coaches, but neither camp appeared happy with the way it went downhill.

"I expect (fouls), but I hate it," White said. "Both ways. It's that Decatur-Austin unnatural hate."

Going into Friday's match, White wasn't sure how Decatur would play. At that point, the Red Raiders had played only eight games all season. The two schools originally were supposed to meet March 2, but that days' violent weather forced a cancellation.

"That's the first time I've seen them play all year," White said. "They haven't played many games. I didn't have a chance to see any games."

That changed Friday when White got an up-close and personal look at the Raiders, ranked sixth in Class 5A.

Early on, White's Black Bears, ranked fourth in 6A, controlled the game.

Austin outshot Decatur 9-2 in the opening half, most of the shots coming in the first 20 minutes.

But Decatur didn't allow any great shots other than Matsuo's swerving free kick that went just above the crossbar.

The Red Raiders' patience paid off in the 24th minute.

Phoenix Iverson, on the left flank, saw teammate Raul Alanis one-on-one with an Austin defender near the top of the 18-yard box.

He lofted a pass high enough and long enough for Alanis to spin to his left and around the defender.

Alanis gathered the ball, took one touch and went opposite post past the goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead.

"It was crazy," Alanis said.

"I was just getting to ready to score. That's what I do for Decatur — score goals."

Decatur finished the game with 19 fouls committed and two cards — one was Hastie's red, the other a yellow on Mitch Fawcett. Austin also got carded, with Will Harris picking up a yellow.

Continuing with tournament play Saturday, Austin will face Prattville at 8:30 a.m. before playing East Limestone at 11. Decatur will meet Huntsville at 9:45 a.m. and Bob Jones at 3:30.

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