Off to Alabama: Jimmies edge RMC, advance to 2nd roundClose matches between Jamestown College and Rocky Mountain are nothing new. The stakes were much higher Saturday, however, and this time it went to the Jimmies.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Close matches between Jamestown College and Rocky Mountain are nothing new.
The stakes were much higher Saturday, however, and this time it went to the Jimmies.
Jade Johnson scored in the 27th minute for the only goal of the game as the 24th-ranked Jimmies earned a trip to the NAIA national tournament’s second round with a 1-0 victory over the Battlin’ Bears.
“I don’t think it’s really sunk in for anybody yet,” said JC coach Phillip Bohn late Saturday night. “It was a tough, hard-fought game like it always seems to be when we play them.
“Walking off the field everybody felt pretty good. There definitely was a sense of satisfaction because our guys worked really hard. Nothing was easy.”
Rocky Mountain, ranked 20th, had beaten the Jimmies (16-4-1) twice during the regular season, but Johnson’s goal off an assist from George Gauld was all Jamestown College needed on Saturday in Billings, Mont.
“The goal was amazing. Jade had an impossible angle on the shot. I’m not exactly sure how he was able to score with the angle he had, but you can’t chalk it up to luck, because he’s been doing it all season,” Bohn said. “He’s had an amazing season.”
Thomas Cooke had another stellar performance in goal for the Jimmies. Cooke faced 14 balls, but stopped them all, turning away eight Rocky Mountain (13-3-2) shots in the first 45 minutes and six more in the second half.
The Jimmies also got stellar play from Matt Balshaw and Jack Hartley in the back, who were charged with trying to slow down Rocky Mountain ace striker Oliver Gore.
“They really did a good job. … It was a lot of what we expected. A lot of service into the box. Set pieces, corners, there was constantly balls going into the box,” Bohn said. “It makes for some tense moments, but all of our guys did a good job of staying organized and not getting out of position too often.”
Both teams had periods of sustained possession, but neither led to goals.
“They were able to fend us off when it looked like we might be building towards a goal, and then we were able to do the same to them,” Bohn said. “It sounds cliché, but both teams played with a lot of heart and deserved to win. We’d never beaten them (on their home field), so it’s pretty exciting for our team.”
The Jimmies now move into the final 16 and will take on national tournament host Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) on Nov. 26.
“Our goal was to get to Alabama and win. Obviously we have a tough opponent, but our guys believe they can win,” Bohn said. “We have a lot of work to do in preparation, but it’s very exciting to think of what’s next for us.”
NAIA National Tournament Opening Round
At Billings, Mont.
Jamestown College 1, Rocky Mountain College 0
1, JC, Jade Johnson (George Gauld), 27:00.
Keeper saves: JC, Thomas Cooke 8-6—14. RMC, Joachim Soderstrom 1-2—3.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org