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Columbia uses help in 3-2 score over Liberty

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    Ricardo Garcia (9) of Liberty passes to teammate Abdiel Garcia (22) against Columbia on Tuesday night in Pearland. The Vindicator | Jerry Michalsky
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    Jaime Lopez of Liberty is on his way to the first goal of the game against Columbia on Tuesday night in Pearland. The Vindicator | Jerry Michalsky

For those in attendance for the Liberty Panthers on Tuesday night at Pearland Dawson high school, you got to see for your own eyes what Head Coach Joe Roberts and his Panthers had to battle against in a 4A Region III Area Championship. And it wasn’t just Columbia high school as the Roughnecks, well, we will just say were on the other end of many favorable calls and they used that to their advantage in a 3-2 win over Liberty in a game that went into overtime. Enough of that and let’s talk about the game. The Panthers dominated for the first 20 minutes and shots-on-goal by Alberto Diaz and Angel Ruiz just missed their marks. In the 18th minute, Jaime Lopez did not miss his mark as he raced past a Roughnecks defender to score from the left side to make it a 1-0 lead. Late in the first half, Ruiz almost made it a 2-0 advantage with a shot that was just wide. Columbia then got a huge break as they got a handball call against the Panthers and Juan Aguilar scored on the penalty kick to tie things up at 1-apiece in the 52nd minute. Liberty then moved back in front in the 67th minute, with Diaz taking a pass from Lopez to make it a 2-1 advantage. With just a little over four minutes left in the game, the Roughnecks tied things up again with Aguilar getting his second goal of the night and the score was knotted at 2. Both teams then got a three-minute break before starting the first ten-minute overtime period and neither team really threatened during this period. Columbia then got the game-winner in the second overtime period when Koby Herrera scored in the 95th minute to give the R oughnecks their first lead of the night at 3-2. Liberty had one more good look with two minutes remaining, but their shot at the tiebreaker just missed its mark and Columbia was advancing to the Regional Quarterfinals. This was the final game for seniors Jaime Lopez, Jorge Basham, Hector Lira, and Tomas Gonzalez.