BLISS — The Community School boys soccer team went into Wednesday with payback on its mind.
Last year, the Cutthroats hosted Bliss for the High Desert Conference championship. The Bears had lost both regular season matchups to Community School, but they broke through in the biggest game up to that point. They won 1-0 in Sun Valley on Oct. 12.
Fast-forward exactly 365 days later, and Bliss was hosting Community School for the district title. The Cutthroats got payback.
Henry Cherp recorded a hat trick for Community School (16-3) in its 4-1 win on Wednesday at Bliss High School. The Bears have now lost twice this season — both at home, both to the Cutthroats.
“When we put it together,” Cherp said, “magical things happen.”
Bliss’ first game in Sun Valley since the 2016 district title game was Aug. 29, and the brief ownage continued. The Bears won 5-2.
Bliss carried an undefeated record into its next meeting with Community School, on Sept. 21 at home. The Bears built a 2-0 lead, but the Cutthroats rallied for a 3-2 win.
For a few minutes Thursday, Bliss looked like it would end the three-game home losing streak between these two conference rivals. Fernando Marez scored around the 20th minute to put the Bears up 1-0.
The Cutthroats had seen this movie before. On Oct. 12, 2016, Armando Cordoba scored in the first half to give the Bears a 1-0 lead, and the score stayed there for the rest of the game.
Community School shredded the script on Thursday, thanks largely to Cherp.
The junior was credited with the Cutthroats’ first goal around the 25th minute off a corner kick. In the 40th minute, Cherp fired a shot that skimmed the ground and slipped under the hands of Bliss keeper Kaleb Gabriel. That gave Community School a 2-1 lead at halftime.
“When they scored that second goal, we stopped playing like us,” Bliss coach Dustin Henkelmann said. “We were working hard the whole game, but we stopped playing our game.”
Three minutes into the second half, Cherp scored again to complete the hat trick. James Everitt scored three minutes after that on a free kick to build a nearly insurmountable gap.
“When I was going into the game, I tried to make it clear to all the boys that it might not come early, we might not get the first goal,” Cherp said. “’Keep your head up and follow it through,’ and that’s exactly what we all did.”
The Cutthroats enter next week’s 3A state tournament in Caldwell with more revenge stored up. They have lost the previous two 3A state title games.
“It’s lurking,” Cherp said of last year’s title game loss to Teton. “We’re all just using it as motivation to get it back. Try harder this year.”
Bliss (13-2) hosts Buhl on Saturday in a loser-out, winner-to-state game.