An early goal by Ross Klauer helps propel Jackson boys soccer to its seventh straight district title.

As the clock dwindled at Rick Neitzelt Stadium, a drumbeat from the crowd punctuated each waning second. As the final thump echoed through the crowd, it seemed to put an exclamation point on an impressive effort by the Jackson High School boys soccer team.

The Polar Bears defeated Federal League rival GlenOak 4-1 in the Austintown Division I district final.

Jackson got a boost early on a big goal by junior midfielder Ross Klauer in the seventh minute.

"It was really important for us," Klauer said. "That started things off on a good note for us and that momentum helped us throughout the game."

GlenOak felt the pressure from the early score.

"Them scoring that goal in the first seven minutes hurt us early," GlenOak head coach Noah Dockus said. "They were quicker to the ball the whole game than us. They stepped harder to the ball than us. That messed up our rhythm, especially giving them that early goal."

Jackson seized the early momentum and got a goal from Micah Johnson and another from Klauer before GlenOak's Nate Adelman was able to score with 34:43 left in the match.

The GlenOak goal broke up what had been a strong effort by Jackson goalkeeper Michael Metzger. Metzger's nickname is "The Machine," and he lived up to his moniker with some key diving stops throughout the match.

"He made a great save near the end of the first half when we were only leading 1-0," Jackson head coach Michael Biros said. "It was a great shot and great work by them but he stopped it for us. He's done that all year."

Metzger finished with five saves.

"I thought I played a good game," Metzger said. "I really could not have done it without my defense. They were organized throughout the whole game. It was just unfortunate what happened with that goal."

Jackson senior midfielder Chelunor Nwajai put the match out of reach with a goal with 23:27 left.

The Polar Bears advance to a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Ravenna High School against Solon.

It is the 10th district title and seventh in a row for Biros and Jackson.

"It never gets old," Biros said. "We're excited."

Although GlenOak didn't get the win, Dockus was pleased with his team's effort.

"I felt we battled the whole game," he said. "I'm proud of that. We played 80 minutes. The kids never quit. We were able to get a goal back in the second half and get a little momentum going."