Bruins advance to district final

Saturday, November 6, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:59 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rock Bridge looked ready to play Friday at Cosmopolitan Park. After three weather postponements, the Bruins (20-1-2) finally got to take the field against Jefferson City and got a 2-0 win.

They wasted no time as Michael Ferguson headed in David Hilderbrand's cross three minutes in.

"It's nice to have something to sit back on whenever we get a goal early," Ferguson said. The goal the 74th of Ferguson's career, setting a school record.

After the early score, both teams settled into a ball-possession game. The muddy field slowed play down but also created some scoring chances. In one first-half sequence, Jays' goalkeeper Dustin Dolce slipped trying to stop John Carney's shot. The ball came free to the Bruins' Sam Richards, whose shot was blocked by a defender.

Jefferson City's best scoring chance came in the 38th minute when Bruins' goalkeeper Tanner Mills saved a shot in traffic.

"I just got a piece of it with my hand," Mills said.

Mills remained on the ground as he took a knee to the head from Carney, who was trying to clear the loose ball. Mills had to leave the game because play was stopped. He was replaced by Zach Burleson until the next whistle.

As time began to run out the Jays, they flooded the offensive end in attempt to tie the game. Rock Bridge defender Ben Patton cleared the ball out to Matt Spainhour down the field. Spainhour then crossed it to Ferguson, who clinched the win with a 78th minute goal.

"We were just trying to clear it out," Patton said. "I saw Matt running up the line wide open and I just played it to him."

In a 1-1 tie with Jefferson City on Sept. 7, the Bruins didn't score until Ferguson's last minute goal. Assistant Joe Ritter said scoring early was crucial.

"We were able to jump on them early," he said. "We made them kind of change their style and we were able to pull it out. It ended up that that one goal would've been enough to win."

Rock Bridge looks to win its first district title since 2000 on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Cosmo Park against Hickman, a 1-0 winner over Helias. The Bruins are 2-0 against the Kewpies this season.

"I think it'll be difficult," Ferguson said. "They've been an inconsistent team but they always bring the heat when it's a rivalry game."

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