Stone beat Gautier to secure first-ever trip to the State Soccer Finals

Stone wins a thriller over Gautier to claim the Class 5A South State Championship

WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - Gautier played a solid game, but couldn't find the net.  Stone played a solid game and with 3 minutes remaining Mason Hunt got off a shot as the Gators keeper came up, the ball hit inside the right corner of the net for the game winning shot.

After the game, surrounded by his Tomcat teammates Hunt said, "The goalie came out, thought he was going to get it so I just passed the goalie up and it went right in. We made history boys."
He's right, for the first-time ever Stone captured the Class 5A South State championship and trip to the state championship game on Saturday at Madison Central facing the Lewisburg-Germantown winner.  The game is set for 6 p.m.

Tomcats keeper Truitt Smith made a number of saves, keeping the Gators out of the Stone net.

In the first half, Josh Penton of Gautier got of a solid kick, it flew over Truitt and hit the top of the goal post, inches away from going into the net.

Smith made another big save in the second half.  He's been a major factor in the Tomcats running off a 20-1-1 record.

Smith said, "It means everything.  We have done so much for this community.  I'm telling you they have supported us throughout everything.  I just want to say, guys we're going to state, we're going to state baby!"

Stone head coach Scott Maddox had a big smile on his face after the hard fought soccer clash with Gautier.

"We've got seven great seniors who have led the way, "said Maddox.  "We've got a whole team that contributes and they're good kids.  Proud to coach them.  I'm looking forward to Saturday."

Gautier keeper Josh Thweatt also played well.  With about four minutes left in the game, the Tomcats had pressed their attack, and got off a couple of shots.  Thweatt stood tall and made a diving stop that stymied the Tomcats.

However, a minute later Hunt knocked in the game winner for Stone.

Gautier head coach Joe Gatschet and the entire Gators team played their hearts out.  They were one of the better passing teams I've seen all season.

After the game it was great to see both the Gators and Tomcats form a huge circle and said the Lord's prayer. It was heartwarming and it was a great display of sportsmanship.

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