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Working overtime
Etson Mendez
Jeffery Simmons photo Etson Mendez looks for open room against Rhea County. The Pioneers won 2-1 in overtime Thursday.

Maybe it was ESP between two brothers. Or just a last-ditch effort to make a play. Whatever it was, coach Matt Jackson wasn’t complaining.
Senior James Jackson scored two goals, including a game winner with 12 seconds to play, to help the Warren County High School soccer team defeat Rhea County 2-1 in overtime Thursday night.

The pivotal District 6AAA battle needed extra time after Rhea County was awarded a penalty kick and capitalized with less than 10 minutes to go in regulation. It erased a 1-0 lead Warren County held for nearly 65 minutes, thanks to Jackson’s first goal near the onset of the match.

All ties in district games have to go to overtime, and the Pioneers saved their best work for the last seconds. Warren County thought it had the winner early in overtime, when freshman John Jackson took a kick after a call and found the back of the net.

It was overruled though, as the kick was deemed an indirect – which requires an initial touch before it can be shot in net – and not a direct kick the Pioneers thought it was ruled.

Warren County was forced to regroup, making magic in the waning moments.

With time dwindling and a battle of penalty kicks looming, Warren County made a rush in the Rhea County zone. The Jackson brothers blitzed into the zone, with John making a last-second cross. James flew in on a dead sprint, laying all out to push the ball past the Rhea County keeper.

The Pioneers will have a chance to protect their home field again Tuesday, welcoming White County to town. The District 6AAA showdown is set for 7 p.m.