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Blackman ousts D-B in state quarterfinals

Jeff Birchfield • May 23, 2018 at 2:12 AM

MURFREESBORO — Dobyns-Bennett wasn’t able to capitalize on its scoring opportunities Tuesday night and the Indians’ dream season came to an end in the TSSAA Class AAA boys soccer quarterfinals.

In a 2-1 loss to Blackman, the Indians had 17 shots, seven of them on goal, but their only score came on an own goal just 1:36 into the contest. It was particularly tough in the first half when Dobyns-Bennett had 11 shot attempts. The Indians also had a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.

“I felt we were the better team tonight,” Dobyns-Bennett coach Blake Rutherford said. “I thought a fair score in the first half would have been 3-1, but we made two critical mistakes. In the state tournament, these things are magnified 1,000 percent.”

Luke Buckley had both of the Blaze scores on unassisted goals. He had a tying goal in the 19th minute and the game winner in the 73rd minute.

Dobyns-Bennett couldn’t finish over the final seven minutes and saw its season end at 19-1-2.

Blackman (14-0-1) will play Brentwood in the state semifinal.

While the Indians were wondering what if, they could still reflect on a season in which they swept the Big 7 Conference, District 1-AAA and Region 1-AAA tournament titles.

The eight-strong senior class of Phillip Burdge, Andrew Miller, Eli Click, Matt Diminick, Tucker Holt, Austin Weaver, Mason McDougal and Dipaul Saha led their team to a second state tournament appearance in three years.

“The senior class was phenomenal,” Rutherford said. “Two of them are going on to college to play ball and the others are going to college or the military for other things. They’re going to do some great things. They were the heartbeat of a lot of these things.

“Two years ago, we were testing the waters. This time, I knew we belonged and I thought things were lined up for us. But we just didn’t execute, and when you come to the state tournament it has to be hitting on all cylinders.”

Click led D-B with six shots, three on goal, followed by Burdge and Holt with three shots each.

Goalkeeper Jacob Park had four saves.

“I’m proud of this whole group of young men and I love them to death,” Rutherford said. “I just wish we would have been able to finish out the fairy tale the way we wanted to.”

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