HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - It took Sacred Heart six years to climb back up the mountain – claiming a state championship in 2019.
The Crusaders decided to stay an extra year.
Sacred Heart claimed its second straight 1A/2A/3A crown with a 3-2 overtime win over St. Andrew’s on Saturday in Ridgeland. It marks the Crusaders’ second two-peat since capturing the 2012 and 2013 state championships.
“Tough match, we said it,” said Sacred Heart boys coach Joe Falla. “Proud of the boys, it wasn’t our best game. Hey, champions find a way to win. Like I said, it wasn’t the cleanest game. We just played, we didn’t do anything special I’m going to tell ya. I’ve always said I’d rather be lucky than good and today we were real lucky. But hey, back to back.”
Heath Hogan’s two goals in the extra period sealed the victory for Sacred Heart after St. Andrew’s tied the match at 1-1 in the 53rd minute.
The Crusaders took a 1-0 lead into halftime off the foot of Ashton Ware.
The Lady Crusaders fell just short of completing a Sacred Heart sweep at the 1A/2A/3A state championships.
St. Andrew’s defeated the Lady Crusaders 3-1 behind two second-half goals. Sophomore Gracie Falla scored Sacred Heart’s lone goal in the 16th minute.
“Our girls fought all the way to the end,” said Sacred Heart girls coach Joseph ‘Papa’ Falla. “I ran out of players in the end, a couple of them got sick. My best players got sick in the beginning and I had to make a lot of subs I really didn’t want to make but that’s how it is. I’m real proud of my girls. I love them because they never quit and that’s what it’s all about.”
“Papa” Falla’s crew was seeking their fifth straight title. The Lady Crusaders have won six of the last eight state crowns.