DRAFFENVILLE -- Since the 2013 season, Marshall County and Paducah Tilghman boys soccer have faced off against the other as a coronation of sorts for the First Region.
And on Monday night, the Marshals made it seven-straight wins in season openers against the Blue Tornado, rallying from an early one-goal deficit to win 3-1 at Colburn Field in Draffenville.
Midfielder Jackson Mundy -- who scored 20 goals for Tilghman as a junior in 2018 -- struck first for the Blue Tornado, sticking a perfectly-placed corner kick from Morgan Mayo into the right pocket for that early advantage. But that's when the Marshals reversed course.
With 11 minutes left in the first half, senior forward Bryson Penn -- who scored 47 goals last season -- fittingly knotted the contest, turning a nice pass from fellow senior Jarrett Wiles into a 20-yard bending rip for the equalizer.
The best goal of the night, however, turned out to be the game-winner and came just 120 seconds later, when sophomore forward William Lynch took a pass from Penn, rolled to his right side like a whirling dervish, baked his defender and easily scored for the 2-1 lead.
"I'm a guy that watches soccer videos," said Lynch, a native of West Africa and playing his second season of varsity soccer for the Marshals.
"Like, every single day. If I don't watch it on Netflix, I'll watch it on my phone. And I'll just watch how players do different tricks. On that goal, it kind of just opened on me. I just had to turn my body. I didn't have to just go forward."
Insurance for the Marshals came in the 48th minute, too, when another sophomore -- Collin Riley -- was in the right place and the right time for a defensive rebound, and his putback from the left side beat the Tilghman defense for the final 3-1 score.
Marshall County keeper Ben Burkeen didn't see too many shots on the evening, but did have a critical save on a deep free kick from Mundy that would've made it 1-0 Tilghman in the first 20 minutes. And Blue Tornado keeper Justin West was electric -- saving nine shots in the defeat.
Tilghman's defense has certainly clamped down on Penn after he scored three goals in his Marshall County debut on Aug. 13, 2018.
Since then, he's had only one goal in 80 minutes against it.
Monday's season opener was also unique in that it was played in four 20-minute quarters with 10-minute breaks between, as heat indices soared high well into the night.
Marshall Co. 3, Paducah Tilghman 1
20' PT Jackson Mundy (Morgan Mayo corner), 30' MC Bryson Penn (Jarrett Wiles assists), 31' MC William Lynch (Bryson Penn assists), 48' MC Collin Riley (unassisted, rebound)
Shots: MC 16, PT 6. Saves: MC Ben Burkeen 2, PT Justin West 9. Corners: MC 7, PT 4.
MC 1-0, PT 0-1