With the season on the line for both teams, region soccer semifinals are often among the most dramatic matches of the high school season.
That wasn't the case Tuesday night at Boyd-Buchanan, when the Bucs took all the drama out of their 3-A/AA semifinal with Hixson by scoring three goals in a four-minute span of the first half.
Boyd-Buchanan went on to a 6-0 victory and will play for the region championship at 5:30 Thursday at East Hamilton, which defeated Sweetwater 5-0 in the other 3-A/AA semifinal Tuesday.
"Last year we lost this game, and we really don't like going home," Bucs coach Jason Owens said. "We put a couple goals in early, and that's hard to come back from."
Kenny Diaz started the scoring for Boyd-Buchanan against Hixson with a goal 10 minutes into the match. Mason Wortman followed with a score in the 12th minute, and another from Chase Reed in the 13th put visiting Hixson (10-9) in a quick 3-0 hole.
"That early lead helped a lot, especially with this young group of guys," Owens said. "I have to be honest; they were ready for this game. Sometimes you can just see that during warmups, and this was one of those times. I think tonight we played like we're capable of playing."
Boyd-Buchanan continued creating dangerous scoring opportunities throughout the first half, and with 6:36 remaining, Ian Pilgrim slid another one into the goal. The Bucs scored again in first-half stoppage time on a ball from Wortman, and Zach Jenkins finished the scoring in the 55th minute.
The victory puts Boyd-Buchanan's record at 15-3, and guarantees the team a spot in Saturday's Class A/AA state sectionals. To earn the right to host that match, the Bucs must first get past second-ranked East Hamilton (15-1), the team that ended their season last year in the region semis.
"They're a great team, and it's going to be a fun game," Owens said. "They put us out 1-0 last year, and we have basically the same team back. Hopefully we can take it to them and make it a great game."
East Hamilton 5 Sweetwater 0 Jalen Goddard scored three goals in the Hurricanes 5-0 win over Sweetwater. Daniel Duk and Alex McCarney also had goals. East Hamilton led 3-0 at the half.