Through 17 minutes of action in Dalton High School's game against Riverwood in the Class 6A boys soccer Sweet 16, it seemed the Catamounts were headed for adding another to its list of blowout playoff wins.
The Catamounts had been getting plenty of chances and had just taken a 2-0 lead, and Riverwood had scarce opportunities on their attacking side of the field.
Dalton (17-0-2) wouldn't score again, and Riverwood (14-3-3) nearly tied the game a couple of times late, but the Catamounts held on for a 2-1 win to move on to the Elite 8.
Fernando Guerrero got the first goal for Dalton seven minutes into the game on a laser of a shot from near the sideline.
The Guerrero goal came just minutes after a similar blast bonked the post and headed out of play. That would be a theme for Guerrero, but his next narrow-miss proved to be helpful for the Catamounts.
Another Guerrero shot deflected off right to Yahir Paez, who sent his own shot that hit a post and went into net. Guerrero would later bounce another shot off the crossbar in the second half that nearly put Dalton up 3-0.
It didn't go in though, and Riverwood started to climb back in.
The Raiders finally got a goal to go in with 19:45 left in the game. The game nearly was knotted with 10 minutes to go, when a centering pass left a Riverwood player open, with the ball, in front of an empty net.
The ball sailed just over the net as several Riverwood players collapsed in frustration. That would be the Raiders' best chance to tie, but not their only one. Nestor Mendez, the Dalton goalkeeper, snagged a couple of shots that were destined for net.
The Catamounts host Tucker on Wednesday.
Also in playoff soccer action Thursday:
Flowery Branch 1, Northwest Whitfield 0
Northwest Whitfield (10-3) saw a promising season end Thursday when they fell 1-0 to Flowery Branch (8-2-3).
Flowery Branch took the lead, and Northwest couldn't answer in the Class 4A Sweet 16.
"It's probably one of the most physical games I've been a part of," Northwest coach Tino Hernandez said.
Flowery Branch advanced to the Elite 8.
Southeast Whitfield 7, Chestatee 0
Thursday's game between Southeast Whitfield and Chestatee in the Class 4A Sweet 16 looked a little different than the one between the teams earlier this season.
In a March regular season game, the Raiders squeezed by Chestatee 1-0. On Thursday, Southeast made a statement with a 7-0 win and advanced to the Elite 8.
Southeast led 2-0 at halftime, and scored three rapid-fire goals with less than 10 minutes left in the game.
The Raiders host Benedictine on Wednesday.