The Chillicothe Hornets were facing the Savannah Savages for the 3rd time this season and the 2nd time in less than a week when the two teams met at Excelsior Springs High School in the first round of the Class 2 District 8 tournament on Saturday morning. The Hornets were 2-0 against Savannah in the regular season and started strong to begin the postseason as Jadon Collins scored, assisted by Jacob Adams less than 6 minutes into the game.
The Savages put up a fight however, equalizing 9 minutes later to send the game to halftime knotted up 1-1. In the 2nd half, Savannah struck first scoring in the first minutes following the halftime break, and then doubling their lead midway through the half. Chillicothe found themselves trailing by 2 with the season on the line and just 20 minutes to play, when their senior leaders stepped up to the challenge. Jacob Adams scored back to back goals, in a span of just 5 minutes to tie the game up, the first one assisted by Josh Adams, the second by Coy Jones. Then in the final 4 minutes, with the score tied 3-3, Jonny Sanchez combined with Josh Adams who delivered on the game winning goal to advance the Hornets into the district semifinal game.
Coach Tim Cunningham was very pleased with his team’s resiliency, especially his seniors. “Our guys showed a ton of mental toughness today. Going down 3 to 1 with 20 minutes to play, our seniors rallied us back, scoring 3 times in about 14 minutes. Jacob Adams, Jadon Collins, Josh Adams, Jonny Sanchez, Tyler Stephens and James Mathew put the team on their backs and carried us to victory.”
The victory improves Chillicothe to 9 wins and 11 losses on the season and sets up a district semifinal matchup with host and top seeded Excelsior Springs.