By Mike Grant
---- — DUBOIS — Washington Catholic scored two quick goals and then held on to beat Northeast Dubois and capture the Class A sectional title on Saturday.
The host Jeeps made a game of it, pushing hard in the second half, but the Cardinals were able to hang on for a 2-1 win.
WC attacked early and often in the match. Blaine Fuhs picked up the first goal at the 34:37 mark. Less than three minutes later, Fuhs found the back of the net a second and the Cardinals had all of the scoring they would need.
"We started really strong," said Washington Catholic coach Wayne Neace. "We put a lot of pressure on them and Blaine hit those two goals. After that we seemed to relax waiting for the other team to fall apart and they didn't."
The Jeeps had a big chance to cut into the Cardinal lead late in the first half, but the defense stuffed a penalty kick at the 5:41 mark.
Northeast Dubois came out much more aggressively in the second half. The play became more physical and the Jeeps' Drew Jacob scored about four minutes into the final period.
From that point on the Cardinals played a stingy defense to hang onto the lead. "They played a really desperate second half," said Neace. "They attacked and we were trying to eat the clock."
WC's second half shots were just off the mark. A penalty kick from close in just bounced off the crossbar and the goal keeper was forced to make several stops. "We got some shots in the second half, they just didn't find the net," said Neace.
The match wasn't decided until the final seconds when time ran out with Northeast Dubois still trying to push the ball in for a tying score. When the siren sounded the WC celebration began.
"Our seniors really played well and showed a lot of leadership," said Neace. "Co-captain Brody Wilson was really a key for our success. He played four years and is an amazing kid."
The other co-captain Josh Fiscus received high praise from the coach. "He was just a work horse for us," said Neace.
Senior back Thomas Bradley was one of the Cardinal defenders who stepped up as Northeast Dubois put on the pressure late in the game. "He played well and has really been a blessing," said Neece.
An injury kept a fourth senior Dylan Walker from playing. "He scored some key goals for us late in the season before he was hurt," said Neace.
The WC seniors celebrated and savored the sectional win. "It was a great win for the team, especially after getting knocked out last year," said Wilson.
"I'm really proud of the team," added Fiscus. "We came out and worked hard. This win feels good and we're not done yet."
Washington Catholic will take on a familiar foe at the Gibson Southern regional this Thursday in Blue Chip rival Vincennes Rivet. The game is set for 6 p.m. Forest Park takes on Evansville Mater Dei in the second game. The final is at 1 p.m. Saturday.