GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Never give up until the clock reaches zero.
The Ohio Valley Christian School boys soccer team were down at halftime, but the Defenders regrouped and defeated Christo Rey 4-3 in the first round of the Ohio Christian Schools Athletic Association tournament on Saturday in Gallia County.
The Defenders (4-8-2) came out strong in the opening minutes of the match. Justin Sizemore scored off a long diagonal ball from Caleb Burnett in the fifth minute to give OVCS a 1-0 lead. Sizemore netted another goal in the 10th minute to make it 2-0.
Farrell Kpaclaui turned it around for Christo Rey with a goal in the 14th minute. William Terry was credited with the assist. In the 22nd minute, Michael Oborio-Santos netted a goal with and assist from Jorge Vargas-Ramirez to tie the game up at 2-0. Jose Hundley gave Christo Rey the lead with a goal in the 26th minute.
OVCS struggled to find an answer throughout the second half until Eric Blevins netted a goal off a corner kick in the 76th minute to tie the game once again. Sizemore recorded a hat trick by heading the ball off a long pass from Burnett in the 77th minute to seal the comeback.
OVCS led with a team-high 10 shots on goal, while Christo Rey had eight. Christo Rey had a 3-2 advantage in corner kicks. Elijah Person led with six saves for the visitors and Marshall Hood had five saves for the Defenders.
OVCS will travel to Bellefontaine in the next round of the OCSAA tournament on Saturday. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Donald Lambert can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106.