FLOWERY BRANCH — The Cherokee Bluff boys soccer team is showing it may be ready to challenge for a playoff spot.
For the second straight match the Bears took down a ranked opponent holding off Class 3A West Hall 2-1 on Tuesday in both teams’ Region 7-3A opener.
Cherokee Bluff (3-4-1, 1-0 Region 7-3A) got goals from Garrett Wayne on assists from Kevin Velasquez and Steven Schmidt, and Armando Torres netted a key penalty kick that proved to be the difference.
The Bears senior defensive lineup held strong in front of keeper Harrison Carter.
The Bears travel to Dawson County on Friday night for another region match.
West Hall (3-3-0, 0-1 Region 7-3A) will play host to arch-rival and Class 5A ninth-ranked Johnson on Friday.
JACKSON COUNTY 0
The Class 5A ninth-ranked Knights opened Region 8-5A with a win at The Dungeon on Tuesday.
Ramon Aguilar had a brace for Johnson (3-2-1, 1-0 Region 8-5A) and Jorge Sandoval had one goal.
The Knights will travel to Class 3A No. 8 West Hall on Friday in a non-region rivalry game.
Jackson County (4-2-1, 0-1 Region 8-5A) saw its three-match win streak snapped. The Panthers will play host to Greenbrier on Friday in another region showdown.
NORTH HALL 0
Jesse Nunez netted four goals to pace the Class 4A fourth-ranked War Eagles.
Eric Ortega had two goals and Chris Mojica and Jairo Bonilla had one for Chestatee (5-1). It was the second straight match the War Eagles scored eight goals and third match with seven or more.
Fernando Villa, Adrian Montejano, Jr. Orozco, and Manny Simental all had one assist for Chestatee.
Keeper Bryan Duran had one save on the night.
Chestatee next will travel to No. 6 Jefferson on Friday in a key Region 8-4A battle.
LAKEVIEW ACADEMY 4,
LUMPKIN COUNTY 0
Whit Coyle had a hat trick to lead the Lions to their first win of the season.
Jay Dave, Diego Bulos and Declan Weidner all had assists for Lakeview (1-3-2) on Coyle’s goals.
Sam Perrott scored on a diving header of a feed from Diego Bulos.
Lakeview Academy will be back in action on Friday at home against Class 3A No. 6-ranked White County.
Lumpkin County fell to 0-5 and will travel to Gilmer on Friday to open its Region 7-3A schedule.