Boys Soccer

Boys soccer: BNC champs Genoa-Kingston stay hot, roll past Marengo

GENOA – Senior Eagan Reams and junior Junior Leon have taken turns this season being the go-to scorer powering the Cogs 16-1 start as both are hovering around the 40-goal mark.

On Thursday, in a 7-0 win over Marengo, it was Leon’s turn with the hot hand, scoring the first three goals.

“I just feel like me and Eagan have a great partnership,” Leon said. “It’s been great since my freshman year, his sophomore year. We’ve been getting along pretty well. We played club together when we were younger.”

As a freshman, Leon scored a team-record 41 goals. In the shortened spring campaign, Reams led the team with 24 goals.

This year, they both are close to breaking Leon’s record.

“As long as we’re winning at the end of the day, we’re all happy with that,” Reams said. “We have good chemistry up top. It doesn’t really matter if one of us scores. We just want to win. We can find each other well. We have the chemistry up top and either one of us can put the ball in the back of the net.”

The Cogs wrapped up a perfect season in the Big Northern Conference earlier this week, knocking off Rockford Christian, who they may see again in the Class 1A Genoa-Kingston Regional final.

It was the first league title since 2009 for the Cogs, who last won a regional during their 2013 final four trip.

“It’s definitely history in the making,” Reams said. “G-K hasn’t done that in a long time. We discussed that at the beginning of the year, and to be able to carry it out, undefeated in the conference, is something we discussed, and I’m glad we executed it.”

They kept rolling Thursday against the Indians (5-10), who kept the match close in the first half. Matthew Burley spent the first half turning away most of G-K’s shots, finishing with nine saves. Leon scored two goals in the first half and needed only 20 seconds to stake the Cogs to a 3-0 lead in the second half on a rocket from about seven yards out.

Leonardo Rocha followed 12 minutes later with the fourth G-K goal, then Reams added a penalty kick with 16:44 left. With 10:57 left, Gerardo Morales connected from the left side then Brayan Garcia added the final goal in the final five minutes.

“Someone marks Eagan, I’ll be open, and I’ll finish it,” Leon said. “Someone else marks, he’ll be open and he finishes. They don’t know who to mark. ... We just wanted to win the title, and it doesn’t matter who scores the goals. We just wanted to win.”

Coach Randy Tate said neither player has a me-first attitude, and both are willing to take what opposing defenses give them.

“They actually look for each other and they are very unselfish,” Tate said. “If Eagan is challenged, and he feels he’s got Junior in a good position, he’ll pass it. They just work off each other so well. Being unselfish, to me, is probably the main reason. It’s benefiting both of them and the whole team.”

The Cogs close the regular season Tuesday against Westminster Christian, who is a potential opponent in the Hinckley-Big Rock sectional semifinal.

“Right now, we’re on a pretty nice roll,” Tate said. “We’re going to have a nice challenge against Westminster, so we’re looking forward to that to measure ourselves to see what we can do.”