By Brady Extin | The Times-Post
FORTVILLE — A battle between two familiar foes, and the second- and third-place teams in the Hoosier Heritage Conference, lived up to expectations on Thursday, Sept 22.
In a scrappy, hard-fought game, Pendleton Heights defeated Mt. Vernon 1-0.
With the win — their fourth straight against Mt. Vernon — the Arabians jumped them for second place in the Hoosier Heritage Conference.
It was a back-and-forth match and took until the 24-minute mark of the second half before either team found the net.
On a ball that Mt. Vernon controlled at midfield, it was Pendleton Heights taking advantage of a lapse in concentration from the Marauders.
Kam Kail stole the ball and took it all the way to the right corner on his own before firing a cross pass into the box that was headed in by freshman Dylan John.
The Pendleton Heights shutout didn’t come easy.
The Marauders had countless opportunities to score in the first half but were denied by a stout Arabian defense each and every time.
The best chance came with 19 minutes remaining in the first half when they fired a shot off the crossbar and had a chance to score on the rebound. But a diving save by Pendleton Heights goalie Hunter Suchyna kept things 0-0.
The Marauders had another few looks on net in the closing minutes of the first half but were denied each time by either Suchyna or the Arabian defenders.
The second half was more of the same.
After the Pendleton Heights goal, the Marauder attack was in full force, but the Arabians defense — as they had all night long — wouldn’t allow any good chances.
With 6:30 remaining in the game and time running out, Mt. Vernon was awarded a free kick. The ball was passed into the box following the kick, and found the foot of Zach Johnson. On what was possibly the best look for Mt. Vernon all night the Pendleton Heights defense held strong and forced his shot wide left.
“It looks like I got outcoached tonight. Congrats to them,” Mt. Vernon head coach Matt Mayhew said. “They played a good solid game and had a good game plan that worked for them.”
On Monday night, the Arabians carried the momentum over into a 2-0 win over Oak Hill. Scoring for Pendleton Heights in the game was Kail and Cole Bubalo.
The Arabians played Tuesday night (after press time) in one of their final HHC games of the season against Shelbyville.
They close the regular season out with New Palestine on Sept. 29 before beginning sectionals on Oct. 5 against Noblesville.