Nail biter: Weir, Big Red tie at 1

STEUBENVILLE – The clocked stopped the ball.

A few major rules of the game came into play during the thrilling end of the Weir and Big Red boys’ soccer team’s match. First, the whole ball must cross the whole goal line to be a goal, and second, the whole ball must cross the whole goal line before time expires. There is no continuation in soccer as the ball is dead – no matter where it is on the field – once time expires.

After 80 minutes of play, Big Red and Weir played to a 1-1 tie Wednesday night at Harding Stadium.

The game between the Red Riders and Big Red was knotted at 1 as the final seconds ticked off the clock. As time was running out, Weir pushed forward for one final shot on goal.

The ball ended up being knocked over the goal line by a Big Red player resulting in a corner kick for the Red Riders. The referee stopped the clock with two seconds left to hand out a yellow card for an infraction earlier in the play. The referee added two more seconds to the clock leaving four seconds to play in the game.

The clock started to run when the referee signaled for play to resume. The Red Riders took the corner kick, and the ball bounced into the penalty box in front of the goal. A Weir player managed to get his foot on the ball and he kicked the ball into the back of the net. The ball hit the net with no time showing on the scoreboard clock.

The Weir players on the field began to celebrate and the players on the bench ran out onto the field to celebrate the goal with their teammates, however, the referee waved off the goal ruling the whole ball did not cross the whole line before time expired resulting in the game ending in a 1-1 tie.

The Weir players and coaches argued with the referee about his decision but to no avail. The call stood and the game ended in a draw.

“Weir may have a new head coach, but they have the same storied history,” Big Red (1-1-1) head coach Greg Bowers said. “It is always a great battle whenever Weir plays Steubenville.”

Wednesday’s game was the latest hard-fought contest between the two local rivals.

“It was a very-intense game,” first-year Weir (2-0-1) head coach Jim Luevano said. “It was a hard-fought game by both teams.

“Neither team was going to make a mistake on the field. It was a very-good game.”

Frederico Torres scored for Big Red, and Chayton Luevano netted the goal for Weir. Both goals were unassisted.

“We moved the ball really well,” Coach Luevano said. “We just couldn’t finish.”

The Red Riders had the better of the play in the first half, but it was Big Red which scored the first goal of the game. Torres tallied his goal with 13:37 left to play in the first half. The goal came on Big Red’s first shot of the game.

“Our defense did a great job,” Bowers said. “We were able to take away what they do best.

“I thought we had a 20-minute stretch in the middle of the first half where we possessed the ball quite well. They controlled the ball in the first 10 minutes and in the last 10 minutes.

“In the second half, we got lazy for about five or six minutes, but we were proud of how the kids stepped it up after that.”

Big Red took its 1-0 lead into halftime, but the Red Riders struck quickly in the second half to tie the score.

Chayton Luevano scored a goal that bounced off of the hands of Big Red goalie Tyler Clevenger to even the score at 1-all with 37:23 left to play in the game.

“Tyler made some good saves,” Bowers said. “The ball was deflected. Weir had some nice passes, and Luevano was able to get in close. Tyler gave a good effort.”

The Red Riders started the second half on a mission to score the equalizer in the first few minutes of the half. That is exactly what they did.

“It was very important to score quickly,” Coach Luevano said. “We talked about that at halftime. We wanted to score in the first few minutes of the half. We needed to do that to keep in the game. We were able to do that. We did a good job.”

Clevenger recorded three saves on the day, while Weir goalie Michael Ceraolo made four, including a pair of key saves in the second half when he was able to knock the ball over the crossbar to prevent Big Red from scoring a pair of goals.

Both teams took seven shots in the game. Weir ripped four shots on goal, while Big Red recorded five.

Big Red took 16 goal kicks in the game, while Weir took 13. Both teams took five corner kicks.

“We have to be more composed,” Coach Luevano said about all that transpired at the end of the game. “The players and coaches have to be more composed.”

Luevano has replaced Joe Pepe has the head coach at Weir. Pepe is now the head coach at Brooke.

“So far, things are going real well,” Coach Luevano said. “Being a head coach is interesting at times, but I love it. I am very comfortable being the head coach of the Weir High boys’ soccer team.”

Weir opened the season this past Saturday with a 3-1 win over visiting Fairmont Senior before defeating Wheeling Central, 8-0, Monday.

Bowers scouted the Red Riders during their game against the Polar Bears.

“We were prepared,” Bowers said. “We watched them against Fairmont Senior. They put in a flat-back four.

“They possessed the ball in the middle of the field. We possessed the ball. The momentum was decided by who won the ball. We were able to win some 50/50 balls.”

Big Red opened the season with a 3-2 loss at East Liverpool before blanking Edison, 6-0, Tuesday night.

“I hadn’t seen them play,” Coach Luevano said. “Big Red is a really-talented team. They play hard. There were a lot of 50/50 balls. The game was what we expected.”

Both teams are scheduled to play Tuesday at home. Weir will play Tyler Consolidated at 5:30 p.m., while Big Red will play Indian Creek at 6 p.m.