SENIOR Night lived up to its billing for the Jackson County boys’ soccer team.
Seniors Patrick Ventura and Phillips Burzo both stepped up, scoring two goals each as the Panthers (5-4-1) overcame an early 1-0 deficit to defeat visiting Morgan County 4-2. Jackson County is now 3-0 in Region 8-AAA play.
“It’s wins like that that we need to have,” first-year coach Elie Viviant said. “We haven’t been a real successful program in the past. We need to feel what it is to win. Tonight (Friday) was senior night and my seniors took care of business in the second half. That’s what I expect from them.”
Jackson County joins two other unbeaten in region play — Oconee County (4-0) and North Oconee (2-0).
“It’s good because we have big games coming up,” Viviant said of his team’s perfect record thus far in the region. “I think tonight (Friday), we opened the door to the playoffs for us.”
In Friday’s win, Ventura tied the game at one with a first half goal in the 25th minute. Shortly after halftime, Burzo gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead, scoring on a penalty kick 31 seconds into the second half.
Morgan County equalized in the 45th minute of the game, but Burzo scored on a breakaway three minutes later to push Jackson County back out front 3-2.
Ventura padded the lead in the 50th minute when he scored on a breakaway as well.
Jackson County, which is on spring break, doesn’t play again until Tuesday. The Panthers have four region games remaining, including a makeup date with Elbert County. Jackson County’s toughest test will come April 22 when it faces third-ranked Oconee County (11-2).