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Saturday February 6th, 2016 10:45AM

Soccer: Rival Red Elephants, Knights battle to 1-1 draw

By staff
GAINESVILLE -- The game may not mean anything in the playoff picture anymore, but the Gainesville-Johnson rivalry proved as thrilling as ever on Friday night, as the Red Elephants and Knight fought to a 1-1 draw at City Park.

Johnson (3-0-1) grabbed the lead through a Jonathan Mendoza goal in the first half, but Gainesville (3-0-1) responded when Roman Arriaga scrambled home a loose ball in front of the Knights' net with 20 minutes remaining.

The contest proved a typically-meaty encounter for two teams that, until this season, usually battled for a region crown. Gainesville is now in Region 8-AAAAA, while Johnson is in 8-AAAA.

"This game had a lot of meaning; I really enjoy playing these guys, and I learned a lot about my team tonight," Red Elephants coach Rick Howard said.

Johnson coach Brian Shirley agreed: "I thinnk my team grew up a lot tonight, we have seven-eight new starters that just moved up to varsity, and this is a huge game for both teams."

The Knights will look to stay unbeaten on Tuesday when they head to Habersham Central.

The Red Elephants will play host to North Oconee on Tuesday.
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