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Bengals Soar to 9-0 With Rainy-Day Victory Over Juan Diego

Brighton  PopeA cold, overcast, drizzly evening saw the Brighton Bengals travel south to Soaring Eagle Stadium to take on Juan Diego in a battle of top contenders. While the Soaring Eagle fought hard, a potent transition offense and great performances by Tennison Schmidt and Hunter Albert gave the Bengals a big 16-7 road victory.
“We knew it was going to be a hard game,” reflected Brighton head coach Brandon Horoba, “we brought our intensity and brought our game right from the opening whistle. The key…was unselfish play.”
Despite the cold and the rain, Brighton looked warm early as they took advantage of unsettled situations, pushing the ball off faceoffs and takeaways to net four quick goals in the first four minutes of play. Another unsettled goal from Schmidt a few minutes later gave the Bengals a 5-0 advantage and the looked like they might run away with it in the first quarter. But the Soaring Eagle battled back and made a game of it; Chantz Hower dropped onto the crease and caught a quick catch-and-rip on a feed from Tristan Courtney. Later, Courtney caught a clearing pass deep in his own defensive territory and drove it all the way across midfield, into the box, and put one past the keeper. But Brighton responded when Kaden Garden caught the ball on the low wing and gave his man a shimmy-shake crossover to get his hands free and send the ball high-to-high over the keeper’s shoulder. Neither team was able to capitalize late in the quarter because of lots of unsettled and physical play and the period ended with Brighton up 6-2.
Juan Diego found themselves man-down early in the second quarter due to an offsides penalty and a slash, but Soaring Eagle goalie Brendan Roberts seemed to stand on his head to keep his team in the game, making several great saves and keeping Juan Diego within striking distance. But the Soaring Eagle were unable to net any goals of their own on the offensive end and Brighton eventually capitalized with back-to-back goals from Albert. Juan Diego responded by netting two of their own: one a faceoff fast break from Courtney to Austin Roberts, and the other a nifty inside roll from Jack Maddox at X, sending the teams into the half with the Bengals leading 8-4.
The third quarter started quickly for Brighton as they grabbed the opening faceoff and pushed to Schmidt for the quick goal, kicking off a quarter that was all Brighton. After another Schmidt unsettled goal, the rain started coming down hard making it difficult for players to keep their feet or see the ball, resulting in a lot of sloppy, unsettled play. After the rain lightened up a bit, the Bengals’ Dylan Pearmain was able to score from the low wing, and another Brighton goal to end the period seemed to put things out of reach, 12-4.
In the fourth quarter, Juan Diego came out looking to push back and climb back into the game. A Maddox bounce-shot off the low wing started a three-goal run for the Soaring Eagle with other goals coming from Hower and Zach Madsen. With over seven minutes in the game and just a six-goal differential, it looked as if Juan Diego might claw their way back to unlikely contention. But two slash penalties killed their momentum and allowed Brighton to go on a run of their own that again included back-to-back goals from Hunter and late tallies from Forest Engle on a scoop-n-score in front of the cage and Miles Paulson on a faceoff fast-break, ending the game with the Bengals on top, 16-7.
Things don’t get easier for Brighton as they take on a tough Bingham team at Bingham on Monday night, and Juan Diego will host Palo Verde and Coronado from Nevada this coming Saturday and Sunday.

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  1. Brighton lost Senior Attack Bailey Pope to a broken leg in this game. Huge loss for the Bengals ……

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