KAYSVILLE — A year ago when Davis and Brighton met in the 5A title game, both defenses were nearly impossible to break down as they combined to concede just one goal.
In the highly anticipated rematch Tuesday, the defenses took a back seat in a big way.
The top two teams in 5A combined to score seven goals at Angel Street Park, with No. 1 Brighton scoring a pair in the final 10 minutes to pull away from No. 2 Davis for the 4-3 victory.
“It was a back-and-forth slugfest like we thought it would be against Davis. Great team, very well-coached. We expected a battle,” said Brighton coach Russ Boyer.
Brighton’s coach wasn’t concerned about avenging last year’s 1-0 loss at Rio Tinto Stadium, but rather building momentum for this season.
“Last year’s over. We can’t do much about that, but we’re looking to make a run this year and I thought we took a step forward with that today,” he said.
While his coach downplayed the rematch, Perkins certainly didn’t.
“After the state championship game last year we just needed to come out and prove a point,” said Perkins.
Brighton never trailed in the game, but the victory was always in doubt — even after Blake Homer’s 76th-minute goal increased Brighton's lead to 4-2.
Davis had rallied to tie the game twice after 1-0 and 2-1 deficits earlier in the game, and it nearly battled back from the 4-2 deficit after a 78th minute goal by Colby Child made the Bengals sweat.
In an intense, yet clean game that didn’t have a booking, Brighton opened the scoring in the 15th minute, capitalizing on a defensive miscue. After Davis’ 'keeper dropped a 40-yard free kick from Connor Forham, Andrew Campbell was right there to tap in the rebound for the 1-0 lead.
Fifteen minutes later, Davis equalized as Mitch Parkinson buried a shot just inside the left post following a diagonal ball pass from Child.
Level at 1-1 at the half, Brighton quickly regained the lead in the second half as Perkins headed in a Coffey free kick in the 42nd minute.
Once again, Parkinson came to the rescue for Davis.
Just as he did in the first half, the senior scored the tying goal, pouncing on an initial save by Brighton 'keeper Conner Dearden.
“With a team like Davis, they’ll exploit the things you need to solidify. That’s why we like to play these tough preseason games,” said Boyer, who said his team could’ve been crisper with its clearances.
Eight minutes before the end of regulation, Brighton went ahead for good on a great bit of individual skill by Coffey. With Davis defenders chasing, the junior made a 50-yard dribbling run and then crossed the ball across the top of the 6-yard box to a waiting Perkins, who easily buried it for the 3-2 lead.
“I knew he would serve it up on a plate. He does that every time in practice. It wasn’t a surprise at all,” said Perkins.
In the 76th minute Homer doubled Brighton’s lead by knocking in a cross from Andy Siddoway, which proved to be a critical insurance goal.