The story of the Big 8 Conference opener between Orange and Cedar Ridge wasn’t that it ended in a 1-1 draw. It was how easily it could have ended differently.
In the 2nd overtime, Cedar Ridge goalkeeper Justin Callemyn was caught in the crosshairs of a breakaway against Orange’s R.J. Pherribo, who was one good strike away from giving Orange the lead. But Callemyn made a sprawling kick save, the last denial on a night full of them.
As it was, the Panthers and the Red Wolves ended in a 1-1 draw at Cedar Ridge Stadium. After a lifeless first half which saw only two shots fired between the two teams, Orange’s Jamar Davis ended the drought after receiving a cross from Alfredo Rodriguez in the 48th minute. It was Davis’ tenth goal of the season.
Cedar Rdge got the equalizer in the 56th minute off a corner quick. Trent Gill grounded a shot into the Orange net off a low entry by Rene Castellanos.
Cedar Ridge outshot the Panthers 12-7. Callemyn made four saves.
As the game ventured into two 10-minute overtime sessions, but teams had opportunities to take the lead. Rodriguez had a fine strike on a free kick which hit the football crossbar over Callemyn’s head. Cedar Ridge’s Seth Maile left a free kick into the arms of the Panther goalkeeper.
Orange right center back Jesus Chavez made numerous clearances to keep the game level.
Orange is now 4-1-1, 0-0-1 in conference play. Before venturing back into Big 8 play next Wednesday, they face two huge nonconference games. On Friday, they travel to Riverside looking to avenge it’s only loss of the season. The Pirates defeated Orange 1-0 last week in Hillsborough. On Monday, Orange travels to Carrboro. The Jaguars are 4-2-4 and a contender to win the 2A state championship. The Panthers host Northern Vance next Wednesday.
Cedar Ridge is 2-1-3 and travels to Northern Vance on Monday night.