The Red Raider soccer team split their 2 games on Friday in Alabama as they opened play in the Gulf Shores tournament. The Raiders won a literal slug fest with Madison County, AL in their morning contest by a score of 3 to 0, before dropping the second game to the tournament host, Gulf Shores 5 to 1.
In the morning contest, Breyer Taylor ripped an unassisted goal past the Madison Co keeper at the 10 minute mark to give the Raiders an early lead. Samuel Brown added a goal at the 23rd minute off an assist from Ethan Hickman as Coffee County took a 2 to 0 lead into the second half. Breyer Taylor notched his second goal in the 55th minute before the fireworks ensued. Cole Hawkins took a punch from a Madison County defender before 2 other Tiger defenders jumped on Hawkins. After the fight was broken up, 3 red cards were issued to Madison County which disqualified those players from the game. Madison County decided to forfeit at that point. After the game, head coach Robert Harper expressed he composure shown by his squad.
In the afternoon contest, the Raiders took an early 1 to 0 lead on a Paco Barrera goal off of a Breyer Taylor assist in the 2nd minute. The host Dolphins added 2 first half goals to take a 2 to 1 lead into intermission and 3 goals in the second half against a tired Red Raider squad to claim the 5 to 1 win.
On Saturday, the Red Raiders opened with eventual tournament champion Sparkman as Coffee County was blanked 4 to 0. Sparkman came into the game averaging 8 goals a match in the tournament, but the stingy Raider defense held them to 2 first half goals. Sparkman added 2 goals in the final 10 minutes to advance to the title game and send Coffee County to the 5th place game against Gadsden Southside. The Raiders got on the scoreboard first as Breyer Taylor drilled a shot past the keeper on a pass from Abilene Barrera in the 14th minute to give Coffee County a 1 to 0 lead at the half. Southside answered with goals in the 38th, 43rd and 55th minutes to take a 3 to 1 lead. Coffee County answered back in the 60th with an unassisted goal from Scott Randolph but could not find the equalizer in the 3 to 2 defeat. The Raiders return home to open district play on Tuesday night as they travel to Franklin County for a 7:00 PM match in Winchester.