The fire Midway’s boys ignited Monday night continued to burn Wednesday as the Raiders toppled Hobbton from its No. 2 spot in the Tri-County Conference with a 5-1 road win.
“This is by far their best game all season,” said an elated coach Allan McLamb of his Raider team. “We got this win on the road and on their senior night, and it’s a great victory for these kids.”
McLamb said the Raiders were peaking at just the right time, with the start of the playoffs less than a week away. “They’ve been practicing hard, and when they came out tonight you could see the desire to win in their faces.”
Hobbton coach Bryan Martinez expressed great disappointment and dismay in his team’s performance. “I really don’t know what’s going on with them. I know Monday’s game with Wallace took a lot out of them, but they weren’t playing to their potential then either.
“At times they would get things together today (Wednesday), and then they’d just lose it. It’s really hard to say what happened.”
The game started out at a relatively even pace, with Midway only taking a 2-1 lead into the half, but when the Raiders returned to the field after the break, that fire ignited and Hobbton never saw what hit them.
Raider Jovani Espino got Midway’s first goal of the night off an assist from his brother Faustino Espino. The second game from Matt McLamb, with an assist from Jimmy Blackmon.
Hobbton’s only goal, scored in the first half, came from Benjamin Villagomez with an assist from Jonny Ramos.
After the break, and fired up, Midway played with heart and determination, moving the ball well, communicating well and showing off the soccer prowess McLamb said he was so proud to watch.
The Raiders’ third goal was scored by Blackmon. Also adding goals were Chis Dixon, off a free kick, and Jovani Espino off an assist from Alex Boggs.
“This group of seniors were 0-17 when they were sophomores. Now they are looking at being No. 2 in one of the toughest soccer conferences and heading into the state playoffs. That speaks well of the kids I’ve got,” McLamb said.
The playoffs begin Halloween night, but who Midway and Hobbton will face first in still up in the air.
“It doesn’t matter who we play,” McLamb said, “we’re going to practice hard and come out and play the kind of soccer these boys have been playing. They’ll be ready.”
Martinez said it was back to the drawing board as the Wildcats prepare for next week. “We’ve got to regroup and refocus our efforts, shake off the losses and focus on the playoffs,” the Hobbton coach stressed.