ONLINE EXTRA: Watch video from the game.
Evans High School had its focus tested for all 80 minutes against Mount Zion-Jonesboro on April 22, a game they controlled throughout even though they didn't score until the final minute.
Joe Rizner scored with 54.4 left for the only goal in the Knights' 1-0 win in their first-round Class AAAA playoff opener.
"Sometimes our guys can be a little too unselfish," said Evans coach Brian Killips, whose team improved to 10-2-3 and will play host to Upson-Lee today at 6 p.m.
Killips said his team struggled to score the opening goal all season, even though they lost just twice on the way to the Region 3-AAAA title.
Mount Zion didn't surrender an early goal even though it tried.
The Bulldogs spent the first 20 minutes marred in their defensive third making errors that remarkably didn't lead to a goal: clearing the ball to the middle, letting a cross bounce half a dozen times, leaving Evans players unmarked.
Once the Bulldogs settled down, they had perhaps the best scoring chance of the half. Just before halftime, a Bulldog defender struck a rolling ball near midfield, and the clearance caught the wind and nearly sailed over Evans goalkeeper Jeff DuMond. Backpedaling, DuMond tipped the ball off the crossbar and over the goal.
"If that would have gone in, I would have passed out," Mount Zion coach Chris Brown said. Brown said he was hoping to frustrate the Knights and for one of his team's long passes to leak past Evans for a goal. The Bulldogs produced plenty of moments of pressure but couldn't consistently get past Evans sweeper Bryce Cartledge to shoot on target.
"I don't mind driving two hours to play like this," Brown said. "We don't see a lot of, I guess you could say, pretty soccer where we come from. ... It was a good game between two different teams."
Evans nearly scored twice midway through the second half but missed on a wide-open header and had a goal disallowed for offside.
Class AAAA soccer playoffs
Evans 1, Mount Zion-Jonesboro 0
Lakeside 5, Ola High School 0
Lakeside 10, Alcovy 0
Evans 4, Griffin 3
AAAAA soccer playoffs
Greenbrier 3, Tift County 0
Greenbrier 3, Colquitt County 1
Second round soccer playoff schedule
Greenbrier vs. Chapel Hill, 6 p.m.
Lakeside at Thomas County Central, 5 p.m.
Evans vs. Upson Lee, 6 p.m.
Augusta Chronicle staff writer Matt Middleton contributed to this report.
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