LOYSBURG - The deeper a team advances in the playoffs, the more important it becomes to take advantage of opponent breakdowns when they occur.
Bedford was able to do just that Saturday in the District 5/9 Class AA sub-regional boys soccer game at Northern Bedford's Panther Community Stadium.
The District 5 champion Bisons moved on to the opening round of the PIAA playoffs with a 3-1 win over District 9 winner Bradford.
"We were sharp from the start," Bedford coach Jeff Thomas said. "We had four corner kicks in the first three minutes and passed the ball around really well. We looked fresh and didn't get fatigued as the game went on."
Bedford plays the District 7 runner-up back at Northern Bedford at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The 19-1 Bisons scored a pair of goals 2:28 apart midway through the first half for a 2-0 lead. Junior Blake Baer got the first one when he took a pass from Sam Felix and put a low, hard shot into the left side of the net.
"We know at this level, teams are going to take advantage of breakdowns," Bradford coach Wes Lohrman said. "On the first goal, we had a breakdown on our internal pressure. It was a low shot from a decent distance."
Sam Felix dished out another assist moments later. Garrett Thomas fielded the short, chip pass and slipped it by Bradford goalkeeper Ty Riley.
Lalo Munoz scored midway through the second half to give Bedford an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
"On the second goal, we didn't maintain our balance outside, and they were able to make a play on the weakside. Same thing on the third goal," Lohrman said.
Bedford was able to take advantage of the weakside breakdowns because the team has "a lot of lefties and righties," Thomas said.
"That's one of the nice things about our team. We're not one-dimensional," he said.
Bradford managed just four shots on goal while Bedford put 15 shots on the Owls net.
"We weren't able to generate any kind of attack. Our first touch was off and the decisions with passes weren't very good," Lohrman said.
Bradford got on the scoreboard with 5:28 in the game when Justin Wells rolled one in off an assist from Ben Jordan.
SCORE BY HALVES
Bradford0 1 - 1
Bedford 2 1 - 3
First Half: BE-Baer (Felix), 11:54; BE-Thomas (Felix), 9:26.
Second Half: BE-Munoz (unassisted), 19:50; BR-Wells (Jordan), 5:28.
Records: Bradford (10-8-1); Bedford (19-1).