Red Bank football makes history at the Spring Fling

MURFEESBORO, Tenn. — For a team that has struggled to score goals at times this season, the Red Bank High School football team found themselves in a very different situation on Tuesday afternoon.

Two goals in the first 12 minutes of their Class AA quarter-final game put the Lions in a winning streak, but it also put them on their heels as head coach Chris Tillett was unsure of the match. aggressiveness he wanted his club to be, but in the end it was just enough.

The Lions earned their first state tournament win in program history on Tuesday, beating defending state champion Austin-East 2-1 at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. Red Bank (17-5-2) will face Page, who beat South Gibson 4-0 in another quarter, in Wednesday’s semifinal at 5:30 a.m. ET.

Soddy-Daisy, who qualified for the state tournament for the second time in school history and first since 2000, lost 2-1 to Valor College Prep. The Trojans goal was an own goal from Valor.

The Lions received goals from Mohamed Mansaray and Josiah Tillett, both unassisted.

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Red Bank football makes history at the Spring Fling

“Our defense kind of carried us through the season,” said Josiah Tillett. “So scoring kind of gave us constant confidence that we just had to know we could do it here.”

There was also a confidence gained from playing in the tournament last year. It was a quick trip last season, with Red Bank falling 1-0 to Dyersburg in a game the Lions thought they had chances in. So the nerves were essentially gone when Tillett scored his goal eight minutes and assisted by Mansaray’s goal three minutes later. .

“I think being here last year, you see that you belong,” said Chris Tillett. “We felt like we belonged last year and should have made more noise, so the focus for the fall was to get here – which is quite difficult out of our district and region – but then to make some noise. It was great energy; it wasn’t the surprise of last year, the fear of ‘Look at this complex’, there was none of that talk. This time it was relaxed, relaxed watching what’s going on and getting ready to go play.

“I really think we kind of paid dues last year and hope to experience what Austin-East went through last year. We hope to taste that.”

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenley3.