It would take more than a water-logged field to slow down Baton Rouge High on Friday night.
The Bulldogs sloshed their way through the mud to take a convincing 3-0 win over Walker on their home field and with it, avoided a discouraging 0-2 hole in the District 3, Division I standings.
“I was worried we had a tough game against Catholic on Wednesday night and I was wondering how the guys would respond,” said Baton Rouge High coach Richard Harsch. “But they came out working hard, implemented some of the things we’ve been talking about and I think it was a good step forward. especially early in district.”
The Baton Rouge High boys (10-7-4, 1-1) controlled the majority of possession on Friday night, choosing to attack the Wildcats (13-4-3, 1-1) with long balls played through the back line.
It took a little while to finally hit the back of the net, but in the 21st minute, Andrew Drummond finally broke through the defense with a long run from around mid field while the defense tried to step up in an offsides trap.
Once deep in the box, Drummond pulled back on the ball before slipping a shot to the far left post.
Just a few minutes later, though, Baton Rouge High's Haytham Bachar ripped a left-footed shot from about 12 yards out that easily beat the extended hands of Walker goalkeeper Brennan McGowan.
The two, first-half goals would have been enough for the Bulldogs to walk away with a victory, and for a while it seemed like that’s all they would get, but a foul with about four minutes to play set Baton Rouge High up for one last try on the goal.
Tyler Walker took a run on the ball from about the edge of the center circle and sent it into the far post where it looked like it would be intercepted by McGowan, but at the last second, Logan Bueche struck a mid-air volley into the upper net.
“We had missed a lot of opportunities early in the game, so to end on that high note of a good service and pin-point finish, it was a good way to end the game,” Harsch said. “I was disappointed in our finishing earlier in the game, so that was good for us.”
Walker had its opportunities to score, but could never get over the last barrier in order to light up the scoreboard — that barrier being BRHS keeper Rhys Parker.
Parker posted a clean sheet on the evening with seven saves, including a few a dangerously close position.
But Parker and the defense stood strong for their fifth shutout of the season. It was only the second time this year Walker was held scoreless.
Baton Rouge High outshot Walker 20-8 Friday night, but only 9-7 in shots on frame.
“The opportunities were there,” said Walker coach Todd Wall. “It’s just some days they fall and some days they don’t and it changes the dynamics of the game when it doesn’t happen. Nine times out of 10 we get some of those goals.”