What looked early on to be another feisty rivalry match between the Baton Rouge Capitals and the New Orleans Jesters quickly turned into a rout, as Capitals forward Achille Campeon scored three of Baton Rouge’s six goals in a comfortable 6-1 win at Christian Life Academy Stadium last night.
The win clinched third place in the Premier Development League’s Mid South Division on the final night of the regular season for the Capitals, who entered the night trailing New Orleans in the standings by one point.
The two teams split their season series 2-2.
“We beat our local rivals, and at this stage of the season that’s all we had to play for,” said player/coach Stuart Hayers, whose team missed the playoffs one year after finishing third in the nation.
Campeon scored the first three of Baton Rouge’s goals and was joined on the score sheet by Francois Navarro, Luke Sheekey and Scott Burris.
Oliver Hewitt-Fisher scored New Orleans’ lone goal with a solo effort late in the first half.
“They outplayed us everywhere,” Jesters coach Kenneth Farrell said. “(Baton Rouge) deserved it. They played like it was their last game ever.”
Baton Rouge took the lead in the 22nd minute in the driving rain when Campeon tapped home a crisp Ben Callon pass.
Callon dribbled down the right edge of the penalty area and drew in the Jesters defense, including goalkeeper Jordan Lower, before turning back upfield at the touchline and slipping the ball through to his fellow forward, who easily one-timed the shot into the empty net.
Campeon picked up Baton Rouge’s second goal in the 34th minute when he received a Navarro cross at his feet with his back to the goal, turned, and blasted the ball into the top right corner of the Jesters net.
New Orleans pulled one back two minutes later when Hewitt-Fisher drilled a low shot past Capitals goalkeeper Chip Sanders to make it a 2-1 game.
Six minutes into the second half, Campeon restored Baton Rouge’s two-goal margin when he once again scored into an empty net after being set up by a rampaging Callon.
Callon sped into the New Orleans penalty area with the ball, beat a defender, and drew Lower out to the edge of the six-yard box before sliding the ball across the face of the goal where Campeon easily completed his hat trick.
Navarro scored three minutes later to make it 4-1, and Jesters defender Frank Judice was shown a red card for spitting in the melee that followed Navarro’s strike.
In the 74th minute, Luke Sheekey, who had come on as a substitute just minutes earlier, scored for Baton Rouge when he volleyed in a cross by electric right fullback Kyle Wood, who had been a handful for opposing teams all season long.
“(Wood’s) an absolute animal; he’s one of the best right backs I’ve ever played with,” said Hayers, who anchored the other side of Baton Rouge’s defense at left back.
Burris scored the final goal of the match in the final minute, completing the romp.