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BUCKNER – Jacob Kemper’s game was so good, he even scored on a header.
Kemper, an Oldham County High School senior, scored four goals Monday as the Colonels beat Eastern 4-0 in the opening round of the regional tournament.
“I scored four one other time in a game this year against St. Henry, but this is better because it’s in the region,” Kemper said. “Scoring on the header was really exciting for me, I don’t usually do that. Kyle Krauss played it great to the middle and I just ran through it.”
The Colonels, 18-4-1 and ranked No. 3 in the state, won their ninth straight game in going after their sixth straight regional title.
OCHS struggled with the Eagles early until Kemper broke the ice with his first goal on a run down the right side with 22:13 left in the first half.
“Eastern is big and physical and it was hard to get free early,” Kemper said. “Coach told us before the game we had to play quick all the time from the start and we finally started doing that. Early in the game we were taking too long with the ball. Once we started going quicker their physicality became pointless because they couldn’t keep up with us.”
Kemper put the Colonels up 2-0 with 15:38 left in the half when he centered a pass at the top of the penalty box and fired a left-footed shot to the upper right side of the net.
“That first goal was important because we knew Eastern would be very tough physically and it opened up things for us,” OCHS coach Mark Robson said. “That enabled Jacob to get a shot off like that second goal and made Eastern come out on the field to play us instead of just laying back on defense.”
With 2:34 left in the half, Kemper got his cross from Krauss and scored on the header for a commanding 3-0 lead.
“That was a very nice goal,” Robson said. “It started with a great pass from Kyle and ended with a perfect run from Jacob. It was just what we wanted to do in terms of starting wide and working the ball in.”
Kemper expanded his hat trick in the second half with his final goal just five minutes in when he scored on another left-footed kick from the top of the box after spinning away from a pair of Eastern
“You never expect to score four times,” Kemper said. “Things fell into place for me tonight. We have a lot of guys who can score, tonight it just happened to be me.”
The win advanced the Colonels to the regional final Wednesday against Shelby County.
OCHS beat Shelby County 2-0 in the district finals last week.
Should the Colonels win the region they will host a first-round state tournament game Monday.
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