OMAHA — It always takes a special performance to notch the first state tournament victory in program history, and Class B No. 4 Crete got it from senior Anthony Bolanos-Quintanilla on Wednesday night at Morrison Stadium.
Bolanos-Quintanilla found success against the Northwest backline from start to finish, recording a brace of goals in the 11th and 43rd minutes to lead the Cardinals (14-2) to a 3-1 victory, which also happened to be their first win at state in program history.
“This win was all about the team, they always set me up and put me in great positions. All I have to do is finish,” Bolanos-Quintanilla said. “We’re excited to make history. We made it further than we did last year, and we want more.”
The scoring started early for Bolanos-Quintanilla as he weaved through the Northwest defense and slotted it home in the 11th minute. His second goal wasn’t quite as clean, but he powered it past the Northwest keeper, who got a touch on it but couldn’t keep it from finding the back of the net.
“(Anthony Bolanos-Quintanilla) is a special player, we knew Northwest was going to try to push the line, but I don’t know what you can try to do to slow him down,” Crete coach Derek Spence said. “Our job as coaches is to say, ‘What are they doing against Anthony and how can we transform our team to make it work.’ He’s going to get touches. He just has decide if he wants to pass or shoot. Tonight he took over and the other guys fed off that.”
Crete’s Hamilson Vicente-Pelico pushed the game out of reach for Northwest in the 66th minute on a free kick that froze the keeper. The Vikings (11-4) got a goal back late, but it wasn’t enough to cut into the Cardinals sizeable advantage.
The Crete win sets up a semifinal with No. 2 Omaha Skutt, which defeated North Platte 2-0 earlier Wednesday.
Ben Bausback got the scoring started in the 10th minute from the penalty spot for the SkyHawks. Skutt’s next goal came midway through the first half when Caleb Vos doubled the lead. The SkyHawk defense held strong over the final 60 minutes to send them into the semis.
The teams have yet to meet this season but that will change at 9 a.m. Saturday with a ticket to the state championship on the line.