Kaemon Jiles couldn’t have picked a much bigger game to score his first varsity goal.
The Columbus North junior, playing in only his fourth varsity game, knocked in a cross from Alex Davidson in the 28th minute Saturday night for the only goal in the Bull Dogs’ 1-0 victory against Columbus East.
“We’ve been working on offensive relationships, and I saw (Davidson) coming in, and I stepped into the defender, checked away,” Jiles said. “I got a touch off my left (foot) and got a half volley in. It’s the most amazing feeling ever — my first varsity goal.”
Until that point, the Olympians (3-2-1) had controlled play. But North (2-1-1), ranked No. 14 in Class 2A, seized the momentum with the goal.
“That beginning of the game was kind of low intensity on both teams,” Davidson said. “You just have to pick it up and take it a step further. It’s a game of moments, and you have to take what you get. I just saw Kaemon wide open, and put it right there for him. It was a great shot by him, a great finish.”
East outshot the Bull Dogs 10-7 in the first half, putting six shots on goal to North’s five. The Olympians’ best chance came in the seventh minute when Andrew Thomasson put a shot just wide of the goal.
North outshot East 7-3 in the second half to finish with a 14-13 shot advantage. The Bull Dogs put nine shots on goal to seven for the Olympians.
“East is a good team, and I think when we play good competition like that, it brings a more mature performance from our team,” North coach Andy Glover said.
“We want to play better than that, and I think we can,” he said. “It’s going to take some time to get there, though. I’m hoping we can hit midseason form soon. The next three weeks will be very telling.”
A.J. Cruite finished with eight saves for the Olympians. The Bull Dogs’ Ty Bentham recorded seven saves in posting the shutout.
“We didn’t come out and execute our game plan the way we should have and let factors determine our play,” East coach Brad Barber said. “That’s not the Olympian way, and we’ll be better next time.
“I don’t think it was technique; I don’t think it was tactics,” he said. “I don’t think we were we were mentally sharp, and when it came down to it, that was the factor in this game. We need to come back and make sure we’re ready in October.”
Barring a major upset, North and East will face each other again in the sectional.
“Unless something bad happens to East, like they don’t make it through, we’re going to have to play them again, and that’s what really matters because if we don’t beat them then, we don’t move on,” Jiles said. “It’s a good thing to have under our belt, a confidence builder, but we need to make sure that we’re working to beat them again.”