Wood River High School junior Charlie Evans scored one goal last season for the Wolverine varsity. Before Monday, he had one goal this season in his team's season-opening 3-0 home win over Skyview of Nampa Aug. 21.
There haven't been any goals since for the lanky midfielder, until Monday at Jerome. There, Evans scored twice including the game winner with two minutes left giving Wood River a stunning 4-3 Great Basin Conference boys' soccer victory over previously unbeaten Jerome.
Senior Hector Lopez, from Bryan Donoso, and senior Morgan Pike, after a Lopez free kick, tallied other Hailey goals.
Wood River rallied from an early 1-0 deficit to surge ahead 3-1 at half. Jerome equalized 3-3 in a hectic second half before the game winner scored by Evans on a breakaway set up by Luis "Freddy" Tamayo.
The resulted snapped a 10-game Jerome winning streak that started the season for the Idaho 4A top-ranked Tigers. The two time defending Great Basin Conference champs from Jerome had lost only once in 31 games—that loss to eventual state champion Sandpoint in the 2008 State 4A semi-final.
"It was quite a game, our most solid game all season," said first-year Wood River boys' coach Luis Monjaras. "The defenders, midfielders and forwards all played really well and connected together. On defense we were very solid and made few mistakes and won everything in the air.
"When we were up 3-1 at half, I told the boys that the game wasn't over. Both teams had good opportunities in the second half. It was tied for 15 minutes before Chuck's goal.
"I told the kids beforehand that the pressure was all on Jerome, not on us. I said it was pretty much up to you to put out the effort and that would determine the outcome. We've been focusing on finishing all season. Doing it in key game like this should help our confidence for the other big games we have coming up."
Jerome (10-1-0, 5-1-0 league) was coming off a 4-0 win at Middleton Saturday. Coach Robert Garcia's highly regarded Tigers were unbeaten in nine games against Wood River dating back to the 2006 season. But the 2009 Wolverines are doing it with defense. That's how you win on the road.
And Wood River (6-1-2, 4-1-1) is unbeaten in four road games. The streaking Wolverines have yielded only six goals in a six-game unbeaten streak since their 3-0 home loss to Jerome back on Sept. 2. They are confident in keeper Colter Brehmer (10 saves against Jerome).
Wood River threw a blanket of double coverage on Jerome's top scorer Fermin Martinez Monday. "As soon as he got the ball, we doubled him," said Monjaras. Martinez scored two of Jerome's goals, the other by Carlos Martinez, but the Tiger offense was kept in check.
Jerome struck first Monday, capitalizing on an overload of players in the box for a 1-0 lead at 6:36. Wood River equalized at 1-1 on Lopez's team-leading sixth goal, from Donoso. A 25-yard blast by Evans hit the upper beam and made it 2-1 at 20 minutes. Pike headed home a Lopez free kick at 40 minutes.
Always a threat, having outscored their opponents 55-10 in 10 victories entering the game, Jerome scored twice in the second half for a 3-3 tie before the Evans game winner.
Wood River, recording a season high scoring output, moved into fourth place in the Idahosports.com 4A boys' poll behind #1 Jerome, Skyview and Century of Pocatello.
The Wolverines host Canyon Ridge of Twin Falls (1-6-3, 0-2-2) Thursday, Sept. 24 at 4:30 p.m. at Hailey's South Valley Sports Complex and have a rematch with Highland of Pocatello Saturday at 11 a.m. Wood River beat Highland 2-0 in Pocatello Sept. 5 to start its streak.