LITHIA SPRINGS -- The Gainesville boys soccer team kept its season going in style on Tuesday, pulling away from Lithia Springs for a 4-0 win in the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs in Lithia Springs.
The result staked the Red Elephants to a state quarterfinal berth and means that coach Rick Howard will get a chance to get back on the sideline after sitting out two straight games following an ejection in the last contest of the regular season.
Howard will return for the biggest match of the season -- which is also a rematch for Gainesville, as it will travel to take on No. 1-ranked McIntosh on Friday.
The Red Elephants (15-2-1) fell to McIntosh 1-0 at home on March 1 and will take their best shot at ending a 42-game win streak that includes last year's Class AAAAA title for the Chiefs (19-0).
Gainesville will hope for another performance like it got in the second half on Tuesday.
The Red Elephants' Cesar Regaldo broke a scoreless deadlock after the interval, scoring off of a Ricardo Gomez assist.
The strike opened the floodgates, and 45 seconds later Eric Bonilla scored off of another assist from Gomez. Lithia Springs hurt its own cause with an own-goal late in the half before Roberto Nunez rounded out the scoring for Gainesville off of an assist from Darin Alarcon.
The Red Elephants will face McIntosh at 8 p.m. Friday in Peachtree City.