In a rematch against an Amarillo Bombers team that beat them in their opening game a few weeks back, the Football Club Wichita Falls Falls Town Flyers could not get revenge on Saturday despite a home crowd backing them.
In a physical game where the Flyers were trailing the whole time, the Bombers pulled away in the final 12 minutes to win 8-3.
The first period belonged to Amarillo. The Bombers scored two goals within two minutes of each other in the first 10 minutes to go up 2-0. Wichita Falls was able to get some shots on goal, but these shots were either off the mark or went right to Amarillo’s goalie.
The Bombers seemed to dominate possession and create more passing opportunities closer to the goal than just unloading a shot when they got in range. The two goals came from unexpected angles and off of great passes.
The Flyers’ defense and goalie Carolos Gonzalez fended off many more chances Amarillo had, with especially great plays from defenders Ralph Annam and captain Robert Swann.
The second period saw Wichita Falls put a bit more pressure on the Bombers, who liked to give their goalie a chance to dribble far up before trying to drop in a deep pass in Flyers territory.
For a time it worked and with that renewed energy, Wichita Falls capitalized with a scramble in front of the goal that ended with the ball in the back of Amarillo’s net. Chris Mendez scored on the play to cut the lead to 2-1. Scored within the first five minutes of the second period, it looked like momentum might swing Wichita Falls way.
The rest of the period played out in a defensive struggle. The Flyers could not keep up that defensive pressure for long and the Bombers went back to their slow methodical pace of controlling possession.
Great defensive plays from both teams kept the ball out of goal for the rest of the period, until Amarillo snuck in a goal in the final minute before halftime to get the lead back up to two goals. Wichita Falls trailed 3-1.
Things did not seem to get much better to start the third period after a 20 minutes halftime. The Bombers scored within the opening few minutes to increase their lead to 4-1.
Still the Flyers played hard. In only its second home game of the season, and with many families with young kids at the game thanks to a free two-hour kids camp hosted earlier that day, Wichita Falls played for them.
Great defensive plays kept the score close for the Flyers. Hard shots on goal went wide. Both teams conditioning was tested as the game dragged on. Some life for Wichita Falls came from former Wichita Falls High School player Pedro Reza in the final minute of the period.
Dribbling up from the left side with a defender between him and the goal playing off of him, Reza took a shot. It deflected off the defender and the sudden change in direction was enough to trip up the goalie as the ball found the back of the net. The Flyers trailed 4-2 heading into the fourth and final period.
The physical play and frustration from both teams started to peak early in the period. After a take down a Bombers’ player was sent to the penalty box for two minutes to give Wichita Falls a one player advantage.
The Flyers did not capitalize in those two minutes, but a few minutes later former WFHS player Alex Ramirez passed to former Rider High School player Christian Okeke, who put the ball in the back of the net just before being converged on by both a defender and the goalkeeper. The score cut the lead to 4-3 with plenty of time still to play.
With Amarillo a player down after getting penalized again for two minutes shortly afterwards and the crowd behind them, the Flyers were riding on momentum.
Wichita Falls could not take advantage of its extra man during the two minutes as they still trailed by one goal. Still aggressively pressing with less than 10 minutes to go in the game, the Bombers countered and created a two on one scenario they scored on to go up 5-3.
This seemed to open the floodgates as Amarillo scored three more times in the final six minutes, doubling its score to make the final score 8-3 misleading.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.