Keller Fossil Ridge cemented itself as the runner-up in District 4-5A with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Keller Timber Creek on Friday.
The Panthers (8-1-5 District 4-5A) entered the game needing a win and a Richland loss to claim the district title.
Timber Creek (5-5-4), meanwhile, needed a win and some help to qualify for the postseason, but the teams were forced to split the points.
Knowing they needed a victory, Timber Creek came out aggressive. Less than 40 seconds into the match, Mathew Rogers hit the crossbar on a shot from about 25 yards out. It would be an early sign of things to come for the Falcons.
Timber Creek thought it had taken the lead in the 12th minute when Chase Brockett directed home a Manuel Torres cross, but Brockett was judged offside.
Three minutes later, the Falcons did get on the board. Tim Waston lined up a direct free kick from 20 yards out and brushed it off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
Not to be outdone, Anthony Powell stunned the crowd with a rocketing shot in the 45th minute to level the score. Working free of one defender to give him just enough space, Powell fired a shot from 27 yards out that dipped over Falcons keeper Sergio Ibarra to make it 1-1.
“It was spectacular,” Timber Creek coach Jaime Betancur said of Powell’s goal. “He’s an unbelievable player, and he earned it.”
Timber Creek had several opportunities in the second half that were denied by goalposts. In the 68th minute, Brockett’s shot beat keeper Joaquin Garcia but hit the inside of the left post and bounced right back to the goalie.
Just two minutes later, a header on a Falcons corner kick crashed off the crossbar and stayed out.
“We hit the crossbar four times,” Betancur said. “Sometimes the bounces just don’t go your way, and that’s the way it is.”