Denison earns first win over Sherman in five years
Much like the first meeting between the rivals, Sherman’s aggressive attack produced numerous scoring chances. But Kanyon Ives got help from his defenders and turned away all but one of those Bearcat chances as the Denison Yellow Jackets earned a 3-1 victory over Sherman in District 10-5A action at Munson Stadium.
“Kanyon was all over the place, The kids were feeding off that,” Jacket head coach Scotty Voight said about his sophomore keeper. “He’s definitely got a bright future ahead of him."
It is the first outright victory for Denison (6-10-1, 2-5-1) over Sherman (2-12-1, 1-8-1) since the 2016 season.
“It’s good for them to know that. They want to get out and change things like that,” Voight said. “We came out with great energy."
The result was a complete flip from when the Cats claimed a 4-0 win in late January. The Jackets got a pair of goals from Yadiel Sauceda, Reece Stange had the other goal and Ives and the defense made it stand up.
“We bent but didn’t break. Our guys have really done a good job rotating and switching off,” Voight said.
Sherman opened the second half with a push to take the lead in the first five minutes. Victor Paulin had a cross that went untouched through the box, Noel Martinez had a point-blank shot that was stopped and then Martinez and Paxon Wecker worked a give-and-go but Martinez ripped it wide left.
Stange put the Jackets back on top to stay when he knocked home a rebound after Anthony Cruz was turned away with 27:31 left.
Ives followed with a pair of saves — first on a high shot from Martinez and then Isai Guerrero was on the doorstep – and Tommy Prater raced back to pick up Wecker and turn a breakaway into no shot attempt.
Denison headed the other way and Prater's pass from the right sideline found a flying Sauceda, who in one motion score for a 3-1 lead with 21:08 remaining.
The rest of the way Sherman turned up the heat but couldn’t get anything else past Ives.
Wecker was taken down right outside the box with just under 15 minutes left but Martinez’s free kick rocketed right to Ives, who made four more saves.
Included in that stretch was a header by Daniel Gracia off a free kick, Guerrero being originally stopped but Ives was able to cover the loose ball and Jose Rodriguez just missing outside the left post.
Both teams came up with several chances in the first 15 minutes of action.
Sauceda had a shot from the right side saved by SHS keeper Jacob Prado before Asher Wagner sent a pass through the box that Sauceda was unable to get a foot on.
Minutes after that Paulin put a low, hard shot towards the right post and Ives knocked it wide.
The Bearcats followed with a pair of corner kicks but were unable to convert either scramble into a goal.
As play quickly made its way to the other end of the field, Cruz tried to hammer home a ricochet. Prado had a sprawling save to his left to keep it scoreless.
The Yellow Jackets finally broke through with just under 26 minutes remaining in the first half. Sauceda had a free kick near the left sideline and he curled it into the box. It was deflected past Prado on the right side and Denison held the 1-0 advantage.
It was a short-lived lead as Martinez and Wecker worked to tie the score.
Wecker’s first try came from a long Martinez pass but a pair of Denison defenders recovered so his shot was soft enough for Ives to block it.
But with 22 minutes remaining in the half, Wecker beat Ives on the right side off a Martinez feed and the score was even.
It stayed that way through half-time although each side had chances.
The best of Wecker's three opportunities came at 8:21 but it went just outside right post. A few minutes before that Rodriguez had an attempt deflected and in the final five minutes Ives made a charging, sliding save after Martinez fed Guerrero.
Denison's threats were Ruben Delarosa sending a long, arching free kick on Prado which landed on top of the net and Sauceda’s bid in the box for another goal was stopped by Prado in the final minute before the break.