BY JOE BYRD
ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
South Greene and Cocke County both peppered the goal with shots from start to finish, but a lone penalty kick was all that ever made it past either keeper on Thursday.
Cocke County's Kyle Sanderson and South Greene's Will Sherman combined for 35 saves. Jordan Lloyd was the only one who could get the ball past either netminder, burying a 61st minute spot kick to give the Cocks a 1-0 victory.
"We kept the pressure up but just couldn't seem to get anything to fall," said Cocke County coach Myra Conley. "South Greene kept the pressure on us, too, but they couldn't get one to fall either. We got out of here lucky and we'll take it."
Sanderson made 14 saves in the shutout for Cocke County's second win of the season, both over South Greene.
Sherman turned away 21 shots for the Rebels (4-8-1).
While neither side managed a goal during the run of play, it wasn't from a lack of quality chances.
Lloyd got it started for the Cocks in the fifth minute with a hard shot over the bar. South Greene's Jackson Scott forced a tough save from Sanderson in the ninth minute, and Cocke County's Bud Perryman caused Sherman to make a quick save before a quarter of an hour had been played.
Lloyd skimmed one over the crossbar again in the 18th minute, and Joshua Langbein put a long range shot on target for a Rebels a couple of minutes later.
Langbein got free on goal in the 26th minute, pressing Sanderson back into duty. Sanderson came up big again for Cocke County in the 31st minute when Scott took a shot from point-blank range.
South Greene's defense of Jason Hardee, Dakota Upton, Spencer Solomon and Cody Macon had their hands full with Cocke County all night and were up to the challenge to help keep the match scoreless at the break.
Hardee and Sherman both came up big right after the restart when Cocke County, who had more fan support than the Rebels, got off a flurry of shots from inside the box. Sherman made a good save off a Joe Schindler header in the 56th minute, and he denied Lloyd again in the 60th.
A minute later, Lloyd wouldn't be denied his sixth goal of the season when South Greene gave up a penalty kick. Lloyd slammed the ball hard into the back of the net from the spot for what held up to be the match winner, but it was far from over at that point.
Scott shot just wide of the post in the 66th minute and came close again more than once before the final whistle.
But each time, Sanderson was right where he needed to be to secure the win for the Cocks (2-10).
"We kept pressuring it all the way to the end and didn't give up," said South Greene coach Kimberly Shelton. "We hustled."
South Greene has another non-conference game on tap for tonight, hosting Daniel Boone at 6 p.m.
The Rebs close out their league slate on Tuesday when they host rival Chuckey-Doak with both sides looking to finish in the top half of the standings for the upcoming tournament.