The wait was worth it for the Palo Duro Dons.

Palo Duro played its first home soccer playoff game in more than a decade Friday using its short passing ability to dominate play throughout eventually handing history-making Lubbock Cooper a 2-0 defeat in Class 5A boys bidistrict playoff soccer action at Dick Bivins Stadium.

The Dons handled the brutal north wind keeping the ball in their offensive throughout on both halves and used goals from Andres Flores and Amarillo ISD record-holder Rogelio Nunez to defeat a Lubbock Cooper team playing its first-ever boys soccer playoff game.

Palo Duro also set a school record for number of wins in a season at 21, improving to 21-3-3, along with advancing to the area round for the seventh consecutive year under coach Irvin Johnson.

“This was a great win,” Johnson said. “This is the most fans I’ve seen out here in this type of weather ever for a soccer match and we are thankful for that.

“Even though the wind was a huge factor we were fortunate enough to take advantage of it. We had to change the delivery of the ball and I thought our players adjusted well and I was very proud of them.”

Palo Duro definitely produced the most legit chances on goal throughout as Cooper had three shots on goal during the match. But despite the aggressive play, PD wasn’t able to get on the board until the 25th minute of the first half on a blast off the foot of Andres Flores.

Flores took a feed in the middle of the field from teammate Kevin Medrano and booted a curving goal from 32 yards out. The ball traveled just under the crossbar and past diving Cooper goalie Gunner Gonzales. In fact, Gonzales was able to get a touch on the ball but it wasn't enough to deflect Flores’ rocket shot.

“I was very surprised by that because normally Andres is the facilitator for our team and he was fortunate enough to have a good look at the ball and have a look at the back of the net,” Johnson said.

Flores said once Medrano found him he decided with the free space he had to shoot away.

“I decided to take a shot and it went in,” Flores said. “The wind might have helped that one and I was hoping it would go in. I had a great assist by Kevin and turned and took a shot.

“We were feeling the pressure and after that goal we were able to relax a little bit. Then when we got the second goal and that was really good for us.”

Cooper was unable to produce consistent scoring chances on PD sophomore goalie Francisco Mejia — he finished with three saves — even with the wind at its back in the second half.

However, the Dons did defeat the wind and Cooper’s hopes of a comeback in the second half.

PD star senior forward Nunez netted his 41st goal of the season during the 11th minute of the second half. Nunez, showing high skills with his footwork many times Friday, is the all-time single season scoring leader in AISD history breaking the previous mark of 33 goals.

“This win means a lot to us and we all want to thank the people who came to support us,” Flores said.

Palo Duro will have a quick turn around as it plays El Paso Eastlake at 4 p.m. Monday at Midland in the area round.

Class 5A bidistrict

At Dick Bivins Stadium

Lubbock Cooper;0;0;—;0

Palo Duro;1;1;—2

First half: 1, Palo Duro, Andres Flores , 25th minute (Kevin Medrano).

Second Half: 2, Palo Duro, Rogelio Nunez, 11 minute (unassisted).

Goalies: Palo Duro, Francisco Mejia, 3 saves, no goals allowed; Lubbock Cooper, Gunner Gonzales, 7 saves, 2 goals allowed. Records: Palo Duro 21-3-3; Lubbock Cooper 11-10-3.

Class 5A


Caprock 4, Lubbock Coronado 0: Caprock is heading to the next round of the playoffs thanks to a convincing shutout on the road against Lubbock Coooper on Thursday night in the Class 5A bidistrict round.

With the victory, the Longhorns (15-5-2) will now meet up with El Paso Jefferson (12-9-1) in the area round at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday at Ratliff Stadium’s South Field in Odessa.

Danny Flores had a great game in Thursday night’s win against the Pirates (11-15).

Flores scores goals at the 10 and 58 minute marks of the contest, and added an assist to Andrue Stone at the 60th minute.

Note: The Amarillo High boys played Abilene Cooper on Friday night in the bidistrict round. The game was still underway at press time. Look for a recap in Sunday’s edition of the Amarillo Globe-News.

Caprock 4, Lubbock Coronado 0


Lubbock Coronado;0;0—0

First Half— 1, Caprock, Danny Flores (Kevin Diaz), 10th minute. 2, Caprock, Andres Soria (Juan Carrasco), 30th minute

Second Half— 3, Caprock, Flores (Carrasco), 58th minute. 4, Caprock, Andrue Stone (Flores), 60th minute.

Records: Caprock 15-5-2. Lubbock Coronado 11-15.


Class 5A

Abilene Cooper 1, Caprock 0: Abilene Cooper scored a second half goal that turned out to be the difference in a shutout victory against Caprock in a Class 4A bidistrict game on Friday night at the Frenship Soccer Complex in Wolfforth.

The Lady Longorns were unable to get any momentum on offense as their season comes to an end at 11-12-1.

The Lady Cougars move to 16-9 and advance to face El Paso Jefferson (12-8) in the area round.

Note: The Palo Duro girls played Lubbock Monterey on Friday night in the bidistrict round. The game was still underway at press time. Look for a recap in Sunday’s edition of the Amarillo Globe-News.


Abilene Cooper;0;1—1

Goal not reported.

Records: Caprock 10-12-3. Abilene Cooper 16-9.