QUINCY -- The Quincy High School boys soccer team trailed by two goals on three occasions Friday night in its season opener.
The Blue Devils never flinched.
Jaeden Smith tied a single-game school with four goals and made the deciding penalty kick in a shootout, lifting Quincy to a 5-4 victory over Ladue Horton Watkins in the Quincy Notre Dame/Quincy Recycle Tournament at Advance Physical Therapy Field.
"We challenged them at halftime to come back out to show the kind of heart and character that we know this team possesses," QHS coach Ron Bridal said. "They did just that."
Playing without its two defensive captains -- Grant Higgins was sidelined from the start, and Nolan Nuttelman fell ill in the first half -- the Blue Devils fell behind 2-0. Ladue converted a penalty kick just 23 seconds into the game and took a 2-0 lead before the Blue Devils woke up.
Smith, a senior forward, scored in the 20th minute off an assist from Jack Bartley. However, the Rams scored late in the half to go up 3-1 at halftime.
Smith changed everything in the second half. He scored on a 30-yard blast to make it 3-2, and after Ladue tacked on another goal, the all-stater caused two penalties in the box and converted both penalty kicks. The second one came with less than five minutes to play and tied the game.
Smith, Robby Phillips, Bartley, Bromley Brown and Ashtyn Erwin were picked for the shootout.
"I told them to go out there and pick the order you want to go with and go from there," Bridal said. "They picked the right order I guess."
The Blue Devils converted all five kicks, with Smith going last and took advantage of the Rams hitting the crossbar on their third attempt.
"We had some guys grow up tonight," Bridal said. "They're going to understand what needs to be in the future for them to be more successful."
The Blue Devils will complete tournament play Saturday by facing Jacksonville at 8:30 a.m. and Jefferson City Helias at 12:30 p.m.