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Kilgore Rolls Past Ennis + Advances to Fourth Straight Regional Tournament

Kilgore’s Cristian Garcia (7) controls the ball during the Bulldogs’ 3-0 win over Ennis on Tuesday in their Class 4A Region II quarterfinal in Forney. (© Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

FORNEY — Kilgore lived on the edge in last week’s sectional-round win over John Tyler. The Bulldogs opted for a different plan of action in Tuesday night’s Class 4A Region II quarterfinal.

Kilgore got goals from three different players, goalkeeper J.D. Perales turned away shot after shot and the Bulldogs reached the regional tournament for the fourth consecutive season with a 3-0 win over Ennis at City Bank Stadium.

The Bulldogs (21-3-4) will face Frisco Wakeland at 5 p.m. Friday in the first regional semifinal at Carrollton’s Standridge Stadium.

“This is the fourth trip for them four years in a row, so the experience definitely helps when you get this late for sure,” said Kilgore coach Aaron Erickson.

Kilgore advanced to Tuesday’s match after surviving an aggressive offensive attack from John Tyler last Thursday when the Bulldogs were outshot 20-11.

Kilgore’s Cristian Galvan (18) battles an Ennis defender during their Class 4A Region II quarterfinal Tuesday in Forney. (© Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

“I feel like we controlled the ball a lot better than we have the last three games,” Erickson said. “And it was good to see.”

Kilgore played into the wind in the first half, but got on the board in the 30th minute when Colin Nutt headed in Alexis Torres’ corner kick.

“We’ve done a lot better this year than last year on set pieces, whether’s it’s corner kicks or free kicks,” Erickson said. “In the playoffs, they’ve been very beneficial to us.”

The Bulldogs went on the offensive in the second half with the wind at their backs. Kike Rico scored an unassisted goal from 10 yards out in the 45th minute, and Nano Peralez put the game out of reach with a goal off an assist from Nutt with 6:45 remaining.

“I think this is actually good practice for the regional tournament, because it’s always windy there,” Erickson said. “That was a big goal in the first half because when we get to the second half, I feel like we can always pull it out.”

Ennis outshout Kilgore 16-13 for the match, but Perales was once again a wall in goal for Kilgore, registering his second shutout of the playoffs by making 12 saves.

“I think this was his 15th or 16th shutout on the year,” Erickson said. “He’s broken his own record twice already, so it’s always good knowing going into a game he’s always back there.”

Kilgore players celebrate after their 3-0 win over Ennis on Tuesday in a Class 4A Region II quarterfinal in Forney. (© Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

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