Boys Varsity Lacrosse Prevails in Overtime Win Against Greenville Red Raiders in Game to Remember.
On March 29, 2018, the AC Flora Boys Varsity Lacrosse hosted the Greenville Red Raiders. It was senior night and there were promposals in the works, so the home crowd was larger and more enthusiastic than usual. This energy transferred onto the field, as the home crowd stayed loud despite consistent challenges to the Falcons. Like the Falcons themselves, the home crowd did not give up at any point in the contest, and it paid off big. But more about that later.
The Red Raiders are a quality squad and their face-off man, Walker Ramseur, is one of the best, so Falcons Mac Overbay and Caleb Lanier had their work cut out for them. But, Overbay surprised Ramseur on the first faceoff, not giving up even though Ramseur won the clamp. Despite this, the Raiders scored first with 6:13 left in the first. The Falcons answered a little over a minute later, as William King scored unassisted with 4:58 to go. Ramseur won the faceoff, and the Raiders scored shortly thereafter, going on top 2-1 with 3:10 to go. Ramseur won another face off, and a little over a minute later, the Raiders struck again, going up 3-1 with 2:06 to go in the first. Then, after winning another face off and one minute and one second later, the Raiders scored again, going up 4-1 with 1:05 left in the first. That’s where the first quarter ended. The damage would have been much worse if goal keeper JZ Siokos had not been so sharp in the first. He had five saves in the first quarter to keep the Falcons in it. Despite the deficit, neither the home crowd nor the Falcons were ready to give up. They had been down before and knew they would do anything but quit.
As the second quarter got underway, the Falcons narrowed the margin to 4-2 at the 8:40 mark when William King scored again unassisted. At 5:02, the Red Raiders regained the three-goal margin, making it 5-2. JZ Siokos preserved that margin with another save, and that’s where the half ended, with the Red Raiders up 5-2. At half time, the crowd honored the seniors, JZ Siokos, Zamir Walters, Patrick Searcy, Jack Sparrow, Michael Graf, DJ Frazier, Will McCann, and Reggie Seabrooks. This, along with Coach Purdy’s half-time talk, seemed to energize the Falcons, and they took to the field in the third quarter with renewed intensity.
A mere thirty-three seconds into the third quarter, Wit Hedgepath dodged from X around the left side of the goal, spun, and fired a shot as he was falling to the ground after the defense converged on him, sneaking the ball past the Red Raiders into the bottom right corner of the goal. Hedgepath’s tenacity was a sign of things to come and narrowed the gap to 5-3 with 11:27 to go in the third. Despite losing the faceoff, the Falcons defense held tough and sent the ball back to the offense. At the 9:48 mark, William King found Blake Giles open on the doorstep and Giles finished, narrowing the gap to one, making it 5-4. At the 6:58 mark, Jack Sparrow spotted Hedgepath cutting towards the goal. Sparrow hit Hedgepath with a perfect pass, and Hedgepath handled it in traffic, spun to his left, and fired from just beyond the crease to tie the game at 5-5. The crowd went nuts. The Red Raiders won the faceoff again, but again, the Falcons defense DJ Frazier, Zamir Walters, Geddings Crawford, and a combination of Xavier Pearson and Will Owens, held tough, giving the Falcons offense another chance. At 5:20, Mac Overbay crashed towards the goal and fired unassisted to give the Falcons the lead. Things were looking up. Ramseur produced another faceoff win for the Red Raiders, and they were finally able to capitalize on the win, tying the game with 4:43 to go in the third. JZ Siokos preserved the stalemate with another save before the third quarter ended.
The fourth quarter began with both teams knotted up at 6-6, and that’s where it stayed until the 5:53 mark. The Red Raiders had effectively double-teamed JT Irvin for most of the game, but he got two steps of separation from his man and managed to get a shot off as two Red Raider converged on him. The shot found its mark, and it put the Falcons up 7-6 with 5:53 to go. The Falcons defense held tough until the 1:46 mark, when Kian Razzaghy managed to score unassisted to tie the game at 7-7. Ramseur produced for the Red Raiders again, and they took full advantage when Jack Wright scored to put the Red Raiders back on top with 1:02 left to play.
With 1:02 left in the game, Mac Overbay stepped up to face off against Ramseur. The odds were for Ramseur, but Overbay managed to get this one, and having possession of the ball, Coach Purdy called a time out with thirty-nine (:39) seconds left on the clock. The Falcons drew up a play and re-took the field, with JT Irvin starting the play. He passed to William King but the ball made its way back to Irvin and he shot, but it bounced off the goal and was recovered by the Red Raiders, who immediately started the sprint down the field to the other end as the clock ticked down. With eight seconds left, and a Falcon player descending on the Red Raider with the ball, the Red Raider attempted a pass to an open man down field. Just at that second, Geddings Crawford intercepted the ball for a takeaway, immediately saw Wit Hedgepath open in the middle of the field, and hit him with a perfect pass. Hedgepath turned quickly, and with the clock ticking down to less than four seconds, spotted Blake Giles in front of the goal. Hedgepath hit Giles and Giles finished to tie the game at 8-8 with two seconds left, sending the game into overtime and the crowd into a frenzy. It was an unlikely chain of events, but each of the Falcons executed perfectly, making the most of the time left. After the faceoff, the clock ran out and the game went into overtime.
In the five-minute, sudden-death overtime, the teams played to an impasse until around the two minute mark. The Falcons got the ball as a result of a push and JT Irvin started the play. He passed to Blake Giles, who moved the ball to William King, who moved around to X, and then burst around the left side of the goal, drawing two defenders. King, with his eyes up as the defenders closed in, spotted Blake Giles and connected with the perfect pass to Giles, who had his back to the goal and a defender on his back. But Giles spun to his left and saw a clear path to the goal from 7 yards out. He fired . . . FALCONS WIN 9-8!!
After the win, the Falcons players commented on how the energy of the crowd kept them up throughout the game, and allowed them to keep their intensity that ultimately paid off at just the right time. There was also a first-of-its-kind promposal, but that is another story . . .