STANSBURY PARK — It was senior day at Stansbury High School as the Stallions renewed their Region 11 rivalry with the Grantsville Cowboys. Stansbury was able to beat the Cowboys 2-0, giving it its fourth win in a row and putting the Stallions just half a game behind Bear River for third place in Region 11. Ian Thompson picked up his fifth shutout of the season for Stansbury in goal.
"We definitely didn't play the greatest game we could've played," said Jara Eshete. "But we were able to get the win, and that's really all that matters."
The Stallions got things going early, getting several chances to score. Stansbury finally converted in the ninth minute when Eshete crossed it in to Josh Gallegos, who finished it with a header into the back of the net to put the Stallions up 1-0.
Stansbury was able to get several more chances to score but couldn't beat Grantsville's freshman goalkeeper Parker May, who played a very solid game despite giving up two goals.
The Stallions took a 1-0 lead into the half and were visibly frustrated with their play.
"We definitely didn't play to our full potential today," said Stansbury forward Darius Johnson. Johnson scored in the 63rd minute to put the Stallions up 2-0. "I wouldn't say that we underestimated Grantsville, but we could've played much better than we did."
Johnson's goal came off another assist by Eshete. Eshete sent a ball to Johnson, who finished it with a right-foot volley to put the Stallions up 2-0.
"Jara sent in a perfect ball to me," said Johnson. "All I had to do was finish it one time."
The Stallions have already clinched a playoff spot, but they control their own destiny to see what seeding they'll get. Sitting just half a game behind Bear River for the third spot, they know how important Friday's game against top-seeded Ogden is.
"It's going to be a great game for sure," said Eshete. "We're all going to be looking for the win because we want that third spot."
Stansbury moves to 6-5 overall, and 6-4 in Region 11. Grantsville drops to 3-9-1 overall, and 0-9-1 in Region 11.
CJ Pronk is a Deseret Digital Media intern and a senior at Stansbury High School. Follow him on Twitter @BigCeeJ3113