While Long Beach’s offensive aggression never stopped, their luck ran out as the Saltillo Tigers claimed the 5A State Championship victory Saturday night between the rain patch.

The Bearcats (14-6-1) fired 14 shots, but were only lucky with one sailing to the back of the net.

Long Beach Boys Soccer finishing 5A State Runner-Up. 2017-18 Record was 14-6-1. Photos by Hunter Dawkins

“There were a bunch of nerves early on,” said Long Beach Boys Soccer Coach Andee Wilbun. “We picked it up and tried to be aggressive like we were for the whole year.”

Two quick goals were scored by Saltillo in the first half as Tiger senior forward Cade Knight scored with 19:23 left in the first to be followed by defender Caden Mitchell on a header from a corner kick 3 minutes later.

Saltillo senior captain Brian Huckaby scored their final goal with 6:53 left in the second half to briefly put the Tigers ahead 3-0.

Long Beach junior midfielder Chase Dedeaux scored the Bearcats only goal with 5:20 left to cut the lead to 3-1.

Despite a few corners and numerous midfield shots, time was not in favor for the Bearcats.

“We have a good group coming back,” stated Wilbun after the game. “We will begin working hard very soon for next year.”

The Bearcats will graduate nine players this year.