(David Jenkins photo)
In advancing to the quarterfinals, this year's Bulldogs squad becomes the first in school history to win a game past district tournament play.
"First time we ever we've had a playoff home game like that," Sikeston head coach Doyle Noe said. "The atmosphere despite the (rainy) weather, that was huge. The boys tonight came up and had two early goals, then faced some adversity.
"Farmington ties it back up, then we came back and they tied it up again. But in overtime we weren't going to be denied."
Tied 3-3 after regulation, it was junior Brandon Goodwin notching his third goal of the night with 9:33 left in the first overtime that sent Sikeston fans rushing onto the field in victory.
Shortly after a defense stand that that included goalkeeper Michael Gipson make a diving game-saving block in the right corner of the net, Sikeston pushed the ball back up the field and into Farmington territory.
Taking the ball toward the top in the Knights' box, Goodwin sent a shot to the net that came off his foot, chest high and while he was nearly facing his own goal. Surprising the goalkeeper, the shot snuck past his outstretched arms to end the game.
"It was an adrenaline rush," Goodwin said. "I saw their player miss the ball and I took advantage of it. It was a volley, but it knuckled down and went in the corner."
Added Noe, "It was a scissors' kick there and the keeper wasn't expecting it. It was a great athletic play, a great shot by Brandon and it went in for the game-winner in overtime. That's huge."
Going into the half, neither team could have expected the shootout the final 30 minutes of regulation would become. After scoring twice in the first 13 minutes of the game, the Bulldogs faced little resistance in taking their 2-0 advantage into the break.
Things got interesting, however, when a pair of goals by Farmington's Sam Thompson just a minute apart left the two teams tied.
Thompson's first goal came off a throw in from the right corner with just 28:22 to play in regulation as Gipson could only get a hand on it before it rolled to the left side of the net. With Gipson out of range, Thompson headed a quick shot in for the score.
Just over a minute later, Thompson scored on a near identical play to knot things up.
"When the keepers out, the defenders are scrambling and people aren't in their spots they were able to get two pretty quick goals off kind of the same play," said Noe. "But we buckled down and fixed that problem and didn't give anything up on those types of plays the rest of the game."
Only seconds later, Goodwin was able to put Sikeston back on top when he beat his defender with the goalie out of position for a wide-open soft header in to the net.
Trying to close things out, the Bulldogs saw the Knights tie things back up when they were awarded a free kick in the center of the box with 14:05 to play. Notching his third goal of the nigh, Thompson sent a shot untouched to the top right corner of the net to send the game to overtime.
"It was sort of a letdown in the second half," Sikeston's Josh Bill said. "We had that 2-0 lead and blew it, but we stuck with it like we have all year and kept fighting."
Unable to come away with many scoring opportunities in the first 45 minutes of the game, Farmington head coach Rusty Sancegraw credited his team's halftime adjustments with opening things up.
"We changed our formation a little bit and wanted to get after them a little bit more. It worked to our advantage and we kept the ball in their end the majority of the half. They just got a few good chances there.
"(My team) played with a lot of heart. I told them I couldn't ask anymore from them. They battled back and fought through a lot of different things. We go down 2-0 early on a couple of goals and the boys battle back."
Giving Sikeston its first goal of the night just eight minutes into the game, Bill connected on a kick from up top in the box after Goodwin had fell to the ground and was unable to make the shot.
"I actually though Brandon was going to get up and kick it," Bill said. "But he was on the ground so I ran up and put it in. It's always good when you can go up early."
Four minutes later, Goodwin opened up his big night with a free kick from center net. Uncontested, the shot rolled into the lower left corner of the net untouched to put the Bulldogs up 2-0.
With his hat trick, Goodwin moves to the top of the Bulldogs' scoring chart with 27 goals on the year.
"A hat trick in a sectional game, that's amazing," said Noe. "Brandon, he's probably the biggest hustler on the team. He never stops running, he puts pressure on the defenders and gets a lot of hustle goals.
"He's had a great year. The second half of the season he's been up top and scores a ton of goals (27). He passed Hunter tonight on goals. A great game by Brandon. Great effort, great hustle by him."
With the win, the Bulldogs will now wait to until today's sectional matchup between Lutheran South and Trinity Catholic to see who they'll face in the quarterfinals.
With all that Sikeston has accomplished in the past few weeks, Bill, a senior, said this is a great way to end his high school career.
"It feels amazing," Bill said. "The best senior year ever really. I couldn't ask for anything better out of these guys. The seniors, coach Noe, everybody. It's been great."