ST. AMANT — Determining who finished second in Division I, District 5 boys’ soccer behind Catholic High became a moot point Saturday afternoon at The Pit.
Baton Rouge High and St. Amant, the two schools who could lay a claim, settled the issue on the field in a tight, first-round playoff game.
Powered by Grant Odenwald’s two second-half goals, 17th-seeded Baton Rouge High outlasted No. 16 St. Amant 3-2 after the schools had split a pair of regular-season games.
Baton Rouge (11-5-8) took a 1-0 halftime lead on Logan Bueche’s goal in the 38th minute. St. Amant (14-7-3) got two assists from Briggs Bourgeois, whose throw-ins set up headers by Trey Cutrer and Hector Rodriquez.
With the win, Baton Rouge High advances the regionals where it will host top-seeded St. Paul’s of Covington, a 5-0 winner over No. 32 Alexandria.
“The first game, we got a little lucky and beat them,” Baton Rouge High coach Richard Harsch said of his team’s 4-0 win over St. Amant on Dec. 17. “But coming out here a couple of weeks ago, we know they’re a strong team, especially at home.
“Briggs Bourgeois is a next-level player. We just had to shut him down, and the defense came together for us.”
After seeing Baton Rouge High take a 1-0 lead late in the first half, St. Amant struck quickly in the second half to tie the score. From a throw-in near the left corner, Bourgeois put the ball in front of the net, where Cutrer headed the ball in for a 42nd-minute goal.
Baton Rouge High got its own surge of energy, and scored twice in the next seven minutes to take a 3-1 lead.
The first came in the 45th minute after Josh Hulgan took possession near the top of the penalty box. Hulgan sent a pass to the left post, which Odenwald headed into the net.
The final BRHS score came three minutes later when Odenwald chased down a pass in the penalty box, eluded a defender and beat the goalkeeper for a 3-1 lead.
“The first goal, (Josh) played a beautiful ball in. I just put my head on it, and it went in,” Odenwald said. “For the second, my teammate played me a great ball over the top. It was a wonderful ball, and I did what I could.”
St. Amant added another header off a Bourgeois throw-in in the 53rd minute. This one came from the right side, and set up Rodriquez for the third header goal of the half.
As the second half clock wound down, St. Amant had chances to tie but came away empty each time.
In the 62nd minute, a St. Amant throw-in from the right side found its way into the back of the Baton Rouge High net, but no one had touched the ball and the goal was not allowed.
In the 75th minute, Bourgeois sent a pass into the BRHS penalty box that was headed by Rodriguez toward the goal. Odenwald was there to help deflect the ball wide.
“(BRHS) did an excellent job of man-marking (Bourgeois), our best player,” St. Amant coach Adrian Garcia said. “I give (Harsch) all the credit for what they did defensively.
“Both teams left everything out on the field. Sometimes it’s just an inch here or an inch there, and that’s what makes the difference in a game. That’s what happened today.”