The Indians came out at full strength with Matt Diminick scoring in just the third minute and having three shots on goal in the first eight minutes before the match was halted by lightning. When play resumed, it took awhile for D-B to get going again.
The Tribe finally got a second goal, an unassisted score by Will Arrowood, in the 50th minute after West’s Victor Hanset went out with a red card.
“I know soccer players don’t like lightning, but the first 10 minutes (Spencer) Correll was playing like his hair was on fire out there,” Tribe coach Blake Rutherford said. “It could have been 2-0 in six minutes. The delay happens and give credit to Knox West. They came out and outdid everything after the delay. They were the mirror image of us and did what we wanted to accomplish.
“We changed some things up at halftime and once they got the red card, it deflated their sails.”
“At the first of the game, we picked up the way we had been playing in the district tournament, pinning it around, hitting our crosses and hitting our passes,” Diminick noted. “That rain delay killed everything we had. I don’t know what happened to our minds, but it destroyed us.”
Dobyns-Bennett (17-0-2) travels to Bearden (16-4) for the Region 1-AAA championship on Thursday.
Diminick scored two of the Indians’ three goals, the first off an assist by Correll. His second — and D-B’s final goal — came in the 58th minute when Samuel Garcia got past West’s diving goalkeeper, Carter McAdoo, and made a short pass to Diminick for the tap-in.
Nothing came easy in the physical game, which saw West coach Alex Walls ejected late in the second half. The Rebels finished their season at 8-10-1.
“It was left and right, trash talking, one of the chippiest games we’ve played,” Diminick said.
“It was rough out here, one of the roughest games I’ve ever played.”
The shots at goal were few and far between. The Indians had six for the match and the Rebels had seven. Correll and Diminick each had two shot attempts with one each for Eli Click and Arrowood.
The focus now turns to Bearden, which beat Science Hill 6-0 to advance to the final.
The Indians and the Bulldogs met in a preseason scrimmage in which Bearden came from behind to take a 3-2 win.
“First of all, we’ve got to talk to Mother Nature about these delays before we play Bearden,” Rutherford said. “We scrimmaged Bearden back on March 2 and lost 3-2 after we were up 2-1 at the half. We did not play our game tonight. But if we go out and play our game like we’re accustomed to playing it, we can beat anybody.
“That includes Bearden, that includes Farragut and it includes anybody.”