Springfield, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com) -- The Glendale Falcons and Nixa Eagles have clashed in the Class 3 – District 11 title match the past two seasons. Nixa shut the Falcons out in 2011 and Glendale won a close match last year. On Thursday night, the Falcons were presented with the chance to take the title in front of a home crowd at Lowe Stadium, and they made the most of the opportunity.
The aggressive Falcon attack was just too much for the Eagles to keep up with. Using a series of long passes, the Falcons had several opportunities to score in the opening minutes. Robert Spencer was on the receiving end of one of these long passes and found himself 1-on-1 with the Nixa keeper Josh Pitter. Pitter came 25 yards out of the goal and was able to foil Spencer’s dribble, but Sean Perryman was right behind him and lobbed the ball over the Pitter’s head and into the net from 28 yards out.
Nixa regrouped and was able to settle down and form it’s first threatening attack of the night. Joey Clem found an opening between three Glendale defenders on the edge of the goal box. Clem was able to get a strong shot off, but it was right to Glendale keeper Nicholas Lantz.
The Falcons reset and controlled the pace of the game for the rest of the first half. Anthony Palmisano almost made it 2-0 when his shot bouced off of the goal-post, but Ruel Chappell played the bounce perfectly and put it past the Pitter on the second attempt. Palmisano would get a goal of his own on a breakaway with just three minutes left to go in the half.
It was clear that the Eagles would have to change their strategy on both sides of the ball if they wanted to make a comeback in the second half.
“At halftime I told them it was time to be physical and work for everything, and I think we were better in the second half,” said Nixa head coach Evan Palmer.
It was a much more balanced contest at the start of the second half, but then Josh Call and Derek Roberts scored back-to-back goals to push the game out of reach for the Eagles.
“We were moving off the ball well,” said Roberts. “The ball just came out and Nathan Lantz delivered the ball back in and I saw the opportunity and I took it.”
The Falcons would finish out the match with the shut-out intact.
Glendale head coach Jeff Rogers gives his seniors the credit for the big victory.
“Seniors are going to win you championships, and our seniors led us tonight,” said Rogers.
Senior Benjamin Reinbold was awarded the game ball for his efforts.
“It was an honor, but it is a family thing, we are all together,” said Rienbold.
The Falcons advance to play either Kickapoo or Joplin.
Glendale: 26 (16 on target)
Nixa: 8 (4 on target)
36’ - Sean Perryman
26’ - Ruel Chappell
3 - Anthony Palmisano
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