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BOYS SOCCER: Jacks take a step forward in postseason

Bemidji High School junior James Siems (24) jumps for the ball in Thursday's game against Pelican Rapids in a Section 8A first-round playoff game at Chet Anderson Stadium. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 3
Bemidji High School junior James Siems (24) jumps for the ball in Thursday's game against Pelican Rapids in a Section 8A first-round playoff game at Chet Anderson Stadium. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 3
Bemidji High School sophomore Chase Mock (12) steals the ball from Pelican Rapids junior Alfredo Centeno (7) in Thursday's Section 8A first-round playoff game at Chet Anderson Stadium. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)3 / 3

BEMIDJI -- Everything went as expected Thursday night, and the Jacks boys soccer team used a Linaes Whiting hat trick and a two-goal effort from Silas Hess to take another step toward the state tournament, beating Pelican Rapids 5-0 in the opening round of the Section 8A playoffs.

Similar to the matchup between the two teams in the regular season, the Vikings packed it in on defense to open the game, but Whiting broke through when he leaped up for a header off a cross from Aiden Helwig.

“They played a little bit more,” BHS coach Rick Toward said of the Pelican Rapids defense. “They backed it in a little bit, but we recognized that the ability for us to get the ball out wide -- we’ve been playing better out wide the last several games, and we had a lot of attack in the first half even though we only had a single goal from it.”

The Jacks went into the half with a 1-0 lead, but things opened up fast, and within the first 15 minutes of the final 40, they had scored four more.

Silas Hess got it started in the 45th minute when he saved the ball from going across the offensive end line, directed it in front of the net, and the Vikings goalie fumbled it into the net.

Whiting added his second goal in the 48th from Ben Hess and his third in the 54th on a perfect passing play from Ethan Mock to Silas Hess to Whiting for a tap-in tally.

Silas Hess scored his second of the game in the 49th minute to make it 4-0 before Whiting’s third closed the scoring.

“We just couldn’t hit the net in the first half,” Toward said. “We had tons of opportunities that we just missed the net, and obviously in the second half we hit the net better.”

BHS senior keeper Adam Laakso didn’t have to make a save to grab the shutout.

The Jacks host Detroit Lakes for the Section 8A quarterfinals at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Chet Anderson Stadium.

“We can go to the state tournament if we play as well as we’re capable,” Toward said.

Bemidji 5, Pelican Rapids 0

BHS 1 4 -- 5

PR 0 0 -- 0

First Half: BHS GOAL (Whiting, Helwig ast) 13’, 1-0 BHS.

Second Half: BHS GOAL (S. Hess, L. Hess ast) 45’, 2-0 BHS; BHS GOAL (Whiting, B. Hess ast) 48’, 3-0 BHS; BHS GOAL (S. Hess, E. Mock ast) 49’, 4-0 BHS; BHS GOAL (Whiting, S. Hess ast) 54’, 5-0 BHS.

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