In a game between Tates Creek and Woodford County that feature a Batman and a Cubaka (pronounced like the character Chewbacca from Star Wars), it was Jason Murillo who turned out to be the hero on Tuesday night.
The senior midfielder scored the game's lone goal, a strike from inside the 18 that gave the Yellowjackets a 1-0 win over the host Commodores.
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Woodford County was No. 8 in the latest state rankings. Tates Creek was No. 12.
Murillo connected just after grabbing his own miss that rebounded back to him in the 66th minute.
It was the second game in which Murillo has "taken the team on his back" and made a run from deep in midfield to score, Woodford Coach Fonyam Atanga said. The first came against Scott County in the Yellowjackets' 3-1 season-opening victory when Murillo scored the go-ahead goal.
"He was fortunate to be in good position to get the rebound and have a really world-class strike to get us a goal to win the game," Atanga said after Tuesday's win.
The winning shot drew top iron but was confirmed by the officials to have crossed the plane of the goal.
Of the evenly played match, Atanga said, "If this had ended 0-0 it'd probably be fair to both teams, to be honest."
Woodford County had several chances on corner kicks, but "unfortunately we didn't score off any of them," Atanga said with a laugh.
Cubaka Mutayongwa, a senior midfielder for Tates Creek, attempted several difficult passes that turned into Woodford possessions. Many of his shots went wide. Those that didn't were quickly sucked up by Woodford keeper Jack Batman.
"We tend to force the issue when we need to be a little bit more patient and look for better options," Commodores Coach Albert Gross said. "They see the correct options but we don't necessarily play them at the appropriate times.
"He's working on it and we're all working on it."
Gross was pleased with his team's effort after playing on consecutive days. Tates Creek beat No. 18 Boyle County 2-0 on Monday night.
"I think the game for both teams lacked a little bit of flair, a little bit of energy," Gross said. "It didn't have as much urgency as we typically have but that's expected since we played last night and had to turn around, go to school and play the next day."
He said that back-to-back was a good hurdle for his players to face early in the season.
"I thought for most of the game we played really well," Gross said. "... The kid just hit a great shot. He's a good player and deserved that goal."
Woodford Co. 1, Tates Creek 0
G—WC: Murillo (66th minute). GK—WC: Batman. TC: A. Shalash.
Records: Woodford Co. 6-0, Tates Creek 3-4.