There wasn’t much difference between the No. 4-ranked soccer team in Class 5A and the No. 4-ranked team in Class 4-1A.
In fact, regulation couldn’t determine a winner Thursday at McPherson Stadium as Salina Central and McPherson High battled to a 2-2 standoff for the first 80 minutes.
But just over 5 minutes into overtime, the Mustangs’ Blake Olmsted banged in a goal off a free kick to give Central a 3-2 victory.
There’s been rain delays and lightning delays, but never a delay for an official becoming ill during a game. At the 19:10 mark of the first half, one of the game officials took ill and could not continue.
The crew already was operating a man down as another official could not attend due to illness. So a 40-minute delay was required for two new officials to arrive.
Central scored twice in 10 minutes right after the delay to take a 2-0 lead as Zach Farmer tallied the first goal, then assisted Angel Contreras on the second.
MHS scored just before the half as Patrick Munsey sliced the lead in half. Early in the second half, Andric McGill came up with the equalizer for the Bullpups.
Both teams had good chances to score late in regulation and then there was a flurry of shots in the OT before Olmsted lit the lamp.
The long and strange evening was a bit of a disappointment for MHS coach Chris Adrian, who saw his team outshoot the Mustangs, 8-6.
“The first 30 minutes of the game we didn’t play with the same intensity,” said Adrian, whose team is now 5-2 compared to the Mustangs’ 6-1. “It took us going down two goals to wake up. If we start the game awake, it’s a different game.”
The Bullpups just couldn’t seem to convert when they had to as they had the Mustangs on their heels for much of the second half and Central goalie Keaton Beach had to make some acrobatic saves.
“The way they fought back after going two down was a positive from this game for sure,” Adrian said. “But we’re better than just playing 60 minutes of a game.”
MHS arrives at the halfway point of its season on Tuesday when it hosts Augusta.
MHS won the JV game 1-0 on a second-half goal by Joseph Cox.