REED CITY — Big Rapids has been having a solid soccer season while Reed City has been struggling for wins as of late.

But Wednesday night, Oct. 1, the Coyotes put together arguably their best effort of season and fired out to a 1-0 lead before the Cardinals came back for a 3-1 Central State Activities Association (CSAA) victory.

The Cardinals had beaten Reed City, 7-2, earlier this season.

“They came out real strong and we did not prepare ourselves to play,” Big Rapids coach Justin Fox said. “We were flat and touches were poor, and it really showed. They came out with more energy and ready to go and got that first goal.”

“I’m very proud of them,” Reed City coach Betty Kichak said. “It’s like everything we’ve been working on came together (Wednesday). It’s coming. (Wednesday), it was a game. Our keeper was great, so was the passing. They held their own. Possession was great and talking was great.”

Quinton Kichak scored 5:13 into the game after a one-on-one break at the Cardinal net for a 1-0 Reed City lead and it appeared the Coyotes might go into halftime with the advantage. But Big Rapids’ Brad Walling fired the ball into the net at 31:24 for a 1-1 tie.

Mason Gifford scored what proved to be the winning goal 20:19 into the second half for the 2-1 Cardinal lead. Moments later, with Coyote goalie Troy Giese caught out of the net to make a play, Jimmy Morningstar booted the ball home for a 3-1 Cardinal lead.

“Our defense played a lot better in the second half,” Fox said. “The second half defense played much more composed. Blake Page did a good job of winning balls in the air.”

Keepers were Ryan Mackall for Big Rapids and Giese for Reed City.

“We had a lot of heart in this one,” Betty Kichak said. “It’s bittersweet losing but we had a lot of heart.”

Big Rapids is 10-5-1 overall and 8-2 in the conference. Reed City is 1-12 and 1-9.

Reed City will host Lakeview at 6 p.m. on Oct. 14 in a district game.