It has been said that when it rains, it pours. And for the O’Fallon Panthers it did, literally, on Tuesday in a Southwestern Conference showdown with Collinsville.
High scoring senior Eric Tejada scored on a head ball with less then six minutes gone in the first half to get Collinsville off and running and the Kahoks poured it on from there as they went on for an easy 5-0 win.
Playing near flawless soccer in the first 20 minutes, Collinsville (5-1, 2-0) scored four times then added a fifth goal in monsoon like rain with three minutes left in the first half as it stunned one of the top teams in the metro-east in O’Fallon by taking a 5-0 halftime lead.
“I am really our toughest critic and I just told the kids that I think we can play better,’’ a smiling Collinsville coach Clay Smith said after the game. “But in all honesty, that was about as well as I’ve seen us play in the first 20-25 minutes. The way we moved the ball and created scoring chances..... we played very well.’’
Tejada and Luis DeAnda scored two goals each for Collinsville while Clay Hartman sloshed through a soggy field to add a fifth goal for Collinsville, which rebounded with a bang after dropping a 2-1 decision to Chatham-Glenwood on Thrursday.
THE TURNING POINT
Collinsville senior midfielder Jared Hamann was fouled by an O’Fallon player at the 40-yard mark, setting up a free kick with just over five minutes gone in the game. Taking the free kick, Hamann drilled a pass up the right side of the field that Tejada met perfectly and headed the ball into the goal to give Collinsville the only goal it would need.
“That’s my senior captain (Hamann). He had a knack of being able to hit players with passes on the run.,’’ Smith said. “Tejada did a great job and it was just great execution by both players.’’
Hamann wasn’t done either. Less then five minutes later, Hamann found DeAnda off a free kick on a similar play and the fleet Kahoks senior forward buried a shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net for a 2-0 Collinsville lead.
NOT READY TO PLAY
O’Fallon coach Jason Turkington had little response when asked about his team’s slow start.
“They’re high school kids,’’ Turkington said. “Let’s give Collinsville credit. Those kids came out flying and we just didn’t have any sort of response. They were the better team tonight. This one was over 20 minutes into the game.
“I thought we played a little better in the second half. But the game was over so that’s irrelevant. Just like we were for most of the night.’’
O’Fallon slips to 4-2-1 for the season and is now 0-2 in the SWC.
O’Fallon plays at Alton on Thursday; Collinsville plays at Triad on Saturday.
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2661.