GEORGETOWN — For Scott County, winning is Cool.
Cameron Cool's first-half goal kick-started the Cardinals' 2-1 district victory Thursday night over visiting Henry Clay.
Cody Burke added a second-half tally as the Cardinals (6-2) won their fourth match in a row.
Henry Clay, unbeaten in its previous six (5-0-1), may have suffered more than just a loss.
Playing minus standout forward Thomas Ueland (sprained ankle), the Blue Devils saw goalkeeper David Vasquez go down in the second half with what is feared to be a season-ending ACL injury.
Play was physical throughout, and three yellow cards were issued.
"It was hard-fought," Henry Clay Coach Tim Bernardi said. "They're a good team, a great team. They possess the ball really well, pass the ball. Big, physical, strong-side, and I knew it was going to be a tough battle."
"This game, it's always a good rival in the district," Scott County Coach James Dummer said. "So it just came down to who wanted it more and who finished the shots. We knew it was going to be a physical game coming in."
Cool struck about 2:45 into the match, from near the top of the 18.
"I got the ball and I had time to 'turn' on the defense," he said. "I beat a defender and saw the open shot, and I just hit it low — bottom post — and it went in."
Similarly, Burke scored in the early going of the second half, about 1:20 in.
"My goal came off a great transition play," he said. "Cameron got the ball in the middle and passed it over, and I used my speed as an advantage over this team and just capitalized on the opportunity."
Henry Clay halved the deficit in the 66th minute, when Jevic Bosele won a goal-mouth scramble and booted on target.
"Unfortunately, we came out a little flat and they managed to get a quick early goal on us, put us on our heels a little bit," Bernardi said. "I felt like we kind of fought through it and persevered, and starting playing, definitely, in the second half to make it a 2-1 game. Unfortunately, we just couldn't get the equalizer to make it 2-2."
The Blue Devils (5-3-2) continued to press down the stretch, but Scott County would not wilt.
"Most of them on the other team were smack-talking a lot, but we kept our cool," Cool said. "We didn't say anything back to them. We kept our heads on straight and we were communicating a lot, which helped out. And then we just fought hard."
"Definitely heart," Burke said when asked what made the difference. "We came out and played from the get-go and didn't let up in the second half."
SCOTT COUNTY 2, HENRY CLAY 1
Goals — HC: Jevic Bosele; SC: Cameron Cool, Cody Burke. Goalkeepers — HC: David Vasquez, Itai Kumengisa; SC: Brad Woodie. Records — HC: 5-3-2; SC: 6-2.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.