UPDATE (4:33 p.m.)—Unlike the character who inspired their controversial "Bernie" dance, the Perry Hall Gators live on. A principal's reversal on Friday and a 2-1 victory on Saturday will send the team to the next round of playoffs.
"I'm so incredibly proud of you boys," Perry Hall coach Pete Eibner told the team after the game.
Perry Hall senior Christopher Winter opened the scoring with long cross from the left flank, which found the side netting for a 1-0 lead with less than 20 minutes left in the second half.
With less than 10 minutes to play, Chris White split the Blake defense, where he found the ball comfortably at his feet. A calm settle and a confident strike sent the ball past Blake goalkeeper Jacob Gill, who was sparsely tested in the first half.
Blake appeared to be in control for most of the first half but fatigue set in allowing for the Gators to take control in the second.
The Bengals showed signs of life in the waning minutes of the match, earning a late goal from a corner kick.
Perry Hall advances to the Class 4A North region final. The Gators beat Sherwood, 1-0, and Dulaney, 2-1, before Saturday's semifinal win.
Perry Hall is expected to play at Westminister on Tuesday. Westminster defeated Springbrook, 3-0, in the opening round, and upset No. 1 Catonsville on penalty kicks in the second round before defeating Poly to advance to the final.
The winner of Tuesday's final will play the winner of Northwest and Walter Johnson in the state semifinal at Richard Montgomery High School on Nov. 12.
The state championship is scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 17-19 at UMBC Stadium.
The Perry Hall soccer team competed in the state semifinals in 1996, 1998 and 2002 and in the state finals in 1995, 2001, 2007 and 2008. The program has never won a state championship, according to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.
—Sean Welsh & Nick DiMarco
UPDATE (3:00 p.m.)—Perry Hall found the net, but a foul in the box negated the goal, as the Gators and Blake played to a scoreless first half in Saturday's Class 4A North region semifinal in Montgomery County.
The Gators keeper, believed to be Austin Kroll, made two crucial saves. One came on a breakaway outside of the box, where a sliding save with his foot kept the game knotted at zero. He also blocked a rebound while taking a hard shot to the head in the process.
Both teams are struggling to maintain possession in the midfield. Perry Hall is looking to counter attack, while Blake is finding some pockets in attempts to get its forwards into space.
UPDATE (1:30 p.m.)—After a whirlwind week of , a team's season , a and a , Perry Hall High School's boys varsity soccer team will play Blake High School in the Class 4A North region semifinal game today at 2 p.m. in Montgomery County.
Get live updates on the game in the live chat feed in this article. Participate in the discussion by commenting in the live chat or by using the Twitter hashtags, #BernieDance, #PerryHallHighSchool, #PHSoccer, #PerryHall and #BringBackBoysSoccer.
Perry Hall High School Principal George Roberts announced Friday that the decision to end the boys varsity soccer season early had been reversed, as by Patch.
The season cancellation, announced on Wednesday afternoon, was a disciplinary action against players who performed the Bernie dance after beating rival on Tuesday, a that the principal believed was inappropriate.
In spite of an uproar from parents, students and community members, Roberts claimed the reversal of his original decision on Friday was influenced only by a more thorough investigation of players' actions after the Dulaney game.
"The intent of my original decision was not to punish the students, but to preserve the dignity and character of an educational-based athletic program. Perry Hall High School does not now and will not in the future condone acts of unsportsmanlike behavior," Roberts said during a news conference.
"More information continued to come in from the various communities and various stakeholders and because of that, the decision was re-analyzed," he said.
Check Patch for live game updates, photos, video and commentary on the match.