They played 80 minutes of regulation. They played 20 minutes of overtime. Eventually, though, the Scottsbluff Bearcats fell to the Waverly Vikings on penalty kicks (3-0) in the first round of the Class B State Soccer Tournamen by the final score was 5-4.
After falling behind 2-0 on Waverly goals in the 14th and 15th minutes the Cats got their first ever goal at the state tournament from Karim Castillo to pull to within one.
Then in the closing moments of the first half Scottsbluff took advantage of an opportunity to pull even at the break with Aaron Schaff converting.
The goal scoring continued quickly at the start of the second half with Braden Anderson putting the Cats in front 3-2 but before you could even blink it was Waverly getting all square with a Landon Tjaden goal that came just 20 seconds after Scottsbluff took the lead.
Then with 27 minutes left regulation the Vikings went back in front with a goal from Anthony Ruelas to make it 4-3.
Just five minutes later Aaron Schaff got his second goal of the day and things were tied 4-4 in the 58th minute.
As the game wore on the 90 plus degree temps turned it into a bit of a grudge match defensively without a whole lot of scoring opportunities down the stretch.
The first two 10 minute overtime sessions came and went without a goal and it was on to the spot for penalty kicks.
Scottsbluff keeper JT Painter stopped the first attempt from Waverly and then Scottsbluff missed their first kick.
Waverly would score on their next two with another Bearcat miss mixed in and it was Waverly with the next attempt to seal the win with Landon Tjaden having honors.
It was a heck of an effort by the Bearcats as they come up just short of their first ever win at the state tournament and they end their season with a record of 13-5. A tremendous season for the team and head coach Nate Rock comes to a close in Omaha.
(Big thanks to Jayson Jorgensen of KRVN Radio for the broadcast today on the Rural Radio Network.)