The East Hall boys soccer team is one step closer to returning to the Class 3A state championship game.
After about 24 minutes of scoreless play in Wednesday night’s second-round match, the No. 2 seed Vikings ripped off three goals in four minutes to kickstart a 6-1 win against top-seeded Crisp County in Cordele. Sergio Turcios recorded a hat trick for East Hall (16-4).
“Once we kind of broke that ice, we took over the game from there,” Vikings assistant coach Ted Deppe said. “ … I think once we scored a few, it kind of opened things up a little bit more defensively and allowed our midfielders and wings to work better.”
East Hall will host fellow No. 2 seed Tattnall County in the quarterfinals at a time to be determined Saturday after winning the GHSA-mandated coin flip to designate a home team.
Freddy Rebollar made an overlapping run from his defensive position to notch the game’s opening goal, setting off the flurry of first-half scores. Brandon Callahan provided the Vikings’ other two goals and recorded an assist, while Carlos Castrejon dished out two assists of his own.
“We moved the ball well all night and really controlled the tempo of the game,” Deppe said. “We only put six in, but we ended up with about 25 or 26 shots.”
Johan Rodriguez registered three saves for East Hall.
Deppe said Crisp County had some decent scoring opportunities early in the contest on a few throw-ins and headers. He cited a specific instance when the Vikings’ defense “overplayed” a ball that appeared to be going in but rolled just wide of the right post.
East Hall is now only two wins away from returning to Macon, where it lost to Decatur 3-2 in the state championship game.