Four second half goals propel Bridgeport past Midlothian Heritage, into region final

By Reece Waddell | Published Friday, April 13, 2018.
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For the first 40 minutes of Friday’s 4A Region I semifinal, Midlothian Heritage had an answer for every Bridgeport score.

The Jaguars twice found equalizers in the first half, tying the game at 2-2 just before the intermission. But in the second half, Midlothian Heritage ran out of answers.

Bridgeport scored four goals in the final 15 minutes of regulation to come away with a 6-2 victory at Birdville ISD’s Fine Arts and Athletics Complex. The Bulls will play the winner of San Elizario and Life Oak Cliff at 1 p.m. Saturday in the 4A Region I final. 

“We knew it [was going to be] a 12-round fight for us — we knew it was going to be that type of game,” said Bridgeport coach C.J. Cartwright. “We can continue to push in those last 15-20 minutes when some other teams start to fall off. We were knocking on the door the whole second half. It was [only] a matter of time.”

Miguel Olmos broke the 2-2 deadlock in the 65th minute when he converted a penalty kick. Midlothian Heritage’s keeper managed to get a hand to the shot, but he did not get enough to keep it out. Six minutes later in the 71st minute, Jesus Aguilar deposited a free kick into the top right corner of the net to give the Bulls a 4-2 advantage.

Eric Aguilar continued the goal-scoring frenzy just two minutes later, finding the back of the net in the 73rd and 74th minutes. Aguilar made two quality runs to get past the Jaguars’ back line and put the game away.

“They got frustrated and [shots] started falling,” Aguilar said. “We got to their heads and that’s what wins the game. We wore them down really bad. Don’t sleep on us.”

Cartwright believed his team’s conditioning paid dividends in this match, which was delayed 30 minutes by lightning in the first half.

“It’s why we put in the work we put in — so they can rely on it at times like this,” Cartwright said. “They can know there’s a reason we’ve done the things we have done. There’s a reason we do two to three-mile warmups before we even practice. We practice tired, and it’s for times like this”

Milton Iniguez got the scoring started early for Bridgeport, burying a rebound that ricocheted in the box to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead in the 5th minute. After Midlothian Heritage equalized, Juan Amador fought off two Jaguar defenders and drilled a shot to give Bridgeport a 2-1 lead.

Midlothian Heritage equalized once again in the 35th minute, but it was the last time they scored.

With the victory, the Bulls improved to 21-3-1 on the season. Bridgeport’s four playoff victories have been by a combined score of 21-4. If the Bulls win Saturday, they will claim their second straight 4A Region I title and advance to the state tournament for the second consecutive year.

“I told them after the game champions answer the bell,” Cartwright said. “When we get our backs against the wall that’s when we find out a little bit about ourselves. Our backs got put against the wall and we came out swinging.”

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