Three second half goals lift Colonels to state playoff win

Kaleb Speights, Cass High School
Kaleb Speights scored a goal and had two assists as the Colonels won their GHSA state playoffs first round game at Grady in Atlanta.

The Cass boys soccer team overcame a 2-0 halftime deficit Wednesday night in Atlanta and rallied for a come-from-behind 3-2 playoff win at Grady in the first round of the GHSA Class 5A state playoffs.

“We got behind on a couple of unfortunate plays in the first half, but really felt good about how we were playing,” said Cass coach Justin Fitzgerald. “We really locked it down in the second half. Magno Moreno and Andrew Nguyen played fantastic defense and kept them under wraps most of the night. Then Kevin Polo, Alex Hernandez, and Omar Garcia started controlling play in the midfield,” explained Fitzgerald.

The defensive effort was clearly the key. Goalkeeper Isai Romero was needed for just two saves with the defense limiting Grady’s scoring chances after the early miscues.

Kaleb Speights got the Colonels on the board first off an assist from Omar Garcia. Then Speights set up Alex Cabanas for a tying goal.

The game winner was by Braxton Benham on Speights’ second assist of the night.

Grady, who was the region runner-up in Region 6-AAAAA, had its season end with an 8-8-2 record. Cass, a No. 3-seed, improved to 12-6 for the year and will travel to 3rd-ranked Johnson-Gainesville next Tuesday for their second round game. The Knights were region champions in Region 8-AAAAA.

Johnson (13-4) defeated Northview 4-2 in their first round game Wednesday night.


The Cass girls were knocked out of the state playoffs in their first round game Wednesday night in Atlanta by 9th-ranked Grady, 5-0.

The Lady Knights improved to 10-5-3 for the season and will host Decatur in the second round.

The Lady Colonels’ season comes to a close with a 7-11 record.


North Springs improved to 10-5-2 Wednesday night and advanced to the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs with a 6-2 win over Woodland. The Wildcats, who qualified for the state playoffs as the No. 4-seed from Region 7-AAAAA have their season come to a close.

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