A dominant performance over a Houston team has put Kilgore High School's boys soccer team back in the state championship game.
The Bulldogs dominated Houston Washington on Wednesday afternoon at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown, shutting out the Golden Eagles, 4-0, and clinching a berth in Friday's UIL Class 4A state championship.
Kilgore's opponent will be Bridgeport. The title game will also be at Birkelbach, to be played Friday at 2:30.
Single-game tickets are $7 for students and $12 for adults.
Kilgore's David Garcia was injured in the game, going down with 23:10 left in the first half. Trainers and medical personnel attended to Garcia, who was greeted by teammates as he was carted off.
After that, Kilgore's Raul Cedillo scored the first goal of the game with 22:07 left in the half. The Bulldogs dominated control of the ball through the entire game, really, but still, they led 1-0 at halftime.
That changed quickly, right after the second half began.
Yoni Contreras scored for Kilgore almost immediately after the half started, putting the 'Dogs up 2-0 with about 39 1/2 minutes left in the game.
Elian Torres extended the lead to 3-0 three minutes later, and then Torres scored again with 22:01 left, which capped the scoring, and the season for Houston Washington.
Washington really wasn't supposed to be in the game. They had lost the Region 3 final last weekend to Houston Wheatley, but Wheatley self-reported to the UIL when they discovered an ineligible player had participated in the game. Wheatley was ruled out of the tournament late Tuesday afternoon, and Washington put in instead.
Kilgore, coached by Austin Walker, is in the state tournament for the third consecutive year, and for the fourth time since 2011. The Bulldogs are back in the title game for the first time since '11; they had lost in the state semifinals the last two seasons.
In the other semifinal Wednesday evening, Bridgeport – a second-year program that has won 18 straight games – upended Progreso, a program that, like Kilgore, was in the state tournament last year. Bridgeport upset Progreso, 2-0, scoring both goals in the second half.