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Farmington's Jeff Woolsey looks on as Cory Eddy takes a shot past Piedra Vista's Jesse Wood and goalie Andre Romero to score Farmington's second goal in the first half Tuesday night at Hutchison Stadium.
FARMINGTON — Faced with a must-win situation on Senior Night at Hutchison Stadium, the Farmington Scorpions wanted to close out the regular season with a bang.

Thanks to their effort, the regular season still has one game to go. Nathan Rodgers, Cory Eddy and Riley McGovern all scored, and the Scorps held off a furious Piedra Vista attack in the second half to win 3-2, leaving FHS and PV tied for the District 1-4A crown.

To decide the district champion, and which team gets the automatic trip to the Class 4A state tournament that goes with it, the teams will meet again Thursday evening at Hutchison Stadium in a one-game playoff.

"This team has come a long way since August," FHS coach Pete Rankin said. "We've just got to come out again Thursday and up our level of play even more. It's going to be even more of a battle."

McGovern's goal proved to be the game-winner, and couldn't have come at a better time for the Scorps (12-8, 3-1 District 1-4A). After PV scored in the 53rd minute to slice the lead to 2-1, Farmington was merely trying to weather the storm created by the Panthers' scoring stars, Pablo Quintana and Nick Chaharlang.

However, the Scorps suddenly found themselves with an opportunity, as sophomore midfielder Jeff Woolsey broke down the left side. A PV defender made a valiant effort, but ended up leveling the 132-pound Woolsey in the box instead of coming away with the ball, earning Farmington a penalty kick opportunity.

"Jeff did a great job," Rankin said. "It was a counter-attack situation, which since PV was pulling so many people forward, he was able to get through. He stayed with the play, and he really earned it."

McGovern, admittedly nervous considering the importance of the contest, stepped up and buried a shot past PV goalkeeper Andre Romero for a 3-1 lead, an insurance marker that proved invaluable when Quintana broke in and beat Brycen Campbell in the 66th minute.

"A PK's a PK — it should be an automatic goal," McGovern said. "But, that was a really nerve-wracking PK. That gave us that little cushion."

McGovern was also quick to credit teammate Nico Lewis, who made life difficult for Quintana and Chaharlang on the offensive end.

"Guarding those two was a real key to the win, I think," McGovern said.

The win was a huge confidence booster for Farmington, which was outscored 6-1 in two prior losses to the Panthers (15-3, 3-1). The Scorps now have another home game at Hutchison Stadium following a postgame coin toss, where they are 6-1 this season as opposed to 6-7 away from their home turf.

"This one's over now," McGovern said. "We're going to start thinking about the next one tonight in bed. We'll start watching the film of this game (today) and preparing."

After the game, Piedra Vista coach Carlos Yllescas pulled his team's seniors aside, reminding them that they still have a chance to win the district title should they come away with a win Thursday.

"That game is over, but at least we have a chance," Yllescas said. "That was one of the best games all season I've seen from Farmington, to be honest with you. The worst thing was they played their best game against us."

Yllescas was pleased with the way his team played overall, though he wasn't happy with the number of mistakes they made early on that put the Panthers in a hole. Rodgers got Farmington going with his goal just a couple minutes into the contest, and Eddy added another in the 27th minute to give the Scorps a 2-0 halftime lead.

"You make mistakes, and it turns into goals on your side," Yllescas said. "In the first two minutes, that was a killer. That was a big goal, and we felt it. We were like, wow, too quick.'"

Darren Vaughan: dvaughan@daily-times.com