It came down the very end — literally.
Central Hardin and North Hardin — a pair of longtime rivals — always seem to play at their very best when competing against one another, and that was the case in Thursday night’s 17th District boys’ soccer match at North Hardin.
The two sides went back-and-forth throughout the entire tilt — and played two overtime periods — before the Bruins scored on a goal from junior defender Jordan Allen with just 3.5 seconds left to escape with a hard-fought 3-2 win.
“You want to see that your boys can battle no matter how the game’s going,” Central Hardin coach Justin Maddock said. “All that matters right now is that we’re 1-0 in district. North’s always gonna play us tough because it’s a district game. It’s good for the boys to get that win. Now we’ve just gotta go and do more work.”
Central (3-2 overall, 1-0) trailed 1-0 for most of the opening half after North (0-3-1, 0-1) struck first on a goal from sophomore midfielder Cayden Logsdon.
Senior defender Kyle Wilcox scored at the 4:28 mark to help the Bruins tie it at halftime.
Logsdon found the back of the net for the second time on a shot at the 35:48 mark of the second to put the Trojans up 2-1.
Central Hardin answered with sophomore Michael Mensch’s goal with 9:32 remaining in regulation to make it 2-all, and the two sides ultimately went into an extra period.
“I think we felt aggressive and could create many opportunities,” Maddock said. “We were kind of at a point where we had nothing to lose. They were playing their butts off, so we needed to attack and go and put them under. I didn’t want to get to PKs, and the boys just wanted to keep battling and get the W.
“At no point did they want to lose, so we keep fighting.”
As the Bruins nor Trojans scored in the first overtime, the match extended into a second extended frame.
With the scoreboard still knotted at 2-all with just seconds left to tick, Allen was able to send his shot through the net and send Central out on top.
“I kinda knew that (senior defender) Xander (Allen) likes to go back post, so I just positioned myself with him and the guys back there. Xander got the best chip and I just hit it in,” Allen said.
“It was just a team effort, honestly. North came out really hard — and we weren’t expecting that. I feel like they worked very hard, we worked very hard and it was just a good game.”
While the Bruins were more than satisfied with the outcome, North Hardin would’ve liked to have been on the other side of things.
“They just got their head on the ball,” North Hardin coach Jim Stone said. “They were a little taller than us in certain spots. It was a well-played game. It’s always a tough game with Central. Both teams deserved to win, but they were the ones that scored with 3.5 seconds left. Unfortunate.”
The Trojans return to action Saturday in a 7 p.m. road trip to Bardstown, while the Bruins host Elizabethtown at 7 p.m. Tuesday.