TROPHY CLUB — Byron Nelson scored three second half goals to pull away from Gainesville for a 4-0 win in the Region I-4A area playoffs.
The Bobcats outshot the Leopards 12-2 in the second half and 22-3 in the game as they used a relentless pressure offense to frustrate Gainesville.
Byron Nelson, the District 11-4A champion, will play either Wichita Falls Rider or Denton Guyer in the sectional round of the playoffs early next week.
Bobcat sophomore forward Devin Porter scored the first of three second half goals in the 51st minute after corralling a Jalen Jones rebound that hit off the Gainesville crossbar in the goalie box.
Gainesville goalie Aaron DeLeon gave a gutsy effort despite allowing four goals. The senior saved 11 shots on the night and helped command the Leopard defense against an aggressive Bobcat offense.
Byron Nelson junior Arttu Ojanpera would make it 3-0 in favor of the Bobcats on a goal in the 64th minute on a pass from Ryan Dandan.
Bobcat sophomore Christian Pratt would score the final goal on the night on a strike from 30 yards out that zipped past the outstretched arms of a diving DeLeon.
While the Leopards were shutout, they weren’t without their chances.
Hernan Cortez put pressure on the Bobcats early when he broke behind the Byron Nelson defense in the fifth minute only to be stuffed by Byron Nelson goalie Travis Carmichael.
Carmichael made two saves on the night – one in each half.
The second of Carmichael’s saves came on a hard shot from Hector Sagrero from 20 yards out. The Leopard sophomore sent Carmichael diving to his right to make the tough save.
Byron Nelson found the scoreboard in the 22nd minute to take a 1-0 lead on a goal from Jones. The Bobcat senior got behind the Leopard defense, faked DeLeon to his left and shot right to find the back of the net.