When not pushing parents’ buttons, teenage boys are notorious for cooking up ideas that make Saturday Night Live skits seem about as funny as a wake. So who among us was truly shocked when a cauldron of Falcons hatched the idea of giving each other mullet haircuts for the playoffs?
Attention grabbing? Yeah.
Mildly humorous to parents, if a bit unsettling? Sure.
A sign that this bunch doesn’t want hair in their eyes for the playoffs? Dang straight.
On Saturday, Greenville’s Red Raiders learned that These Falcons have more than throw-back hairstyles on their mind. Like the dark humor in Sherman Alexie’s short stories, this bunch is decidedly more interested in kicking butt than making in a fashion statement.
Praise the Lord and pass the PDQ….
Throughout the game, Mason Howard continued his season long stellar performance dominating face-offs. Greenville hung close early, but Captain Lee and his d-poles frustrated Greenville’s attack with nearly suffocating pressure. The Offense swims its way through a torrential downpour.
One quarter in, and The Falcons have opened up a 4-1 lead. The rain gets worse. The wind blows sideways, and the mullets flap. Game on.
Howard opens the second quarter, taking the face off on his own. Mills pivots to his right and shoots, but his shot pops off a Red Raider helmet. Henry Gibson grabs the loosie, slips behind goal, curls, plants and shoots. It’s off by a skosh.
Switching to offense, Greenville’s draws a flag, and the Falcons miss again. In the scrum that follows, Greenville is offside and draws a technical foul. On the ensuing power play, Moorman slides from behind goal to right corner of goal and slaps it in.
Falcons up 5-1. Greenville grabs the next face-off, but The Falcons middies force the ball out. Bowie picks up and slings back to Lee. Up to Judson Holmes who passes to Henry Gibson. Henry dishes to Hayes Hilton for another score: 6-1.
Howard grabs the face off. His stick is ripped away, but there’s no whistle. Greenville converts on the fast break, bouncing one under Lee’s outstretched stick, narrowing the score to 6-2.
Zebras on the assist. Calls pour in to the LensCrafters’ customer complaint hotline.
On the ensuing face-off, zebras find themselves in the middle of play even as they miss most of the action. Howard is eventually flagged – it’s always the second guy – and Greenville is gifted a 30 second power play. The Falcons defense fills every gap, forcing wild shots. A d-poles out hustles an attackman taking possession back for Flora. Trolling with a man-up advantage, the Red Raiders come up with empty nets.
Empty nets = no mullets. Get it?…
Back on offense again, Mills unleashes a laser that’s just outside the goal. Greenville comes racing back to take a shot, but Banks Hudson disrupts an inside pass and leaves a rather displeased Red Raider in his wake. Charlie Griffin already has the ball in shooting range, firing a worm burner off a nifty curl move that’s just outside.
George Gallagher lines up and zips one off the goal post. Braden Smith shoots but a defender manages to force the shot high. Braden takes a pass from Hayes Hilton at the top of box. As the rain blows sideways, he finds his balance and zips a screamer low under the goalie.
The Mullets, er Falcons, take the 7-2 into the half.
The rain has fogged up zebras eyewear as they call a kick off the opening face-off against Flora, except it was a Red Raider who’s foot made contact with the ball.
LensCrafters’ switchboard is now on fire…..
Judson Holmes harasses an attackman forcing his shot wide. Lee had come out of the goal on the shot, and Greenville grabs the bouncer, flinging it toward vacant goal. But it’s a miss, and Bowie grabs the ground ball. He survives a triple team ABHAN (assault-and-battery-of-a-high-and-aggravated-nature) and works the bean upfield.
Pierce Mills goes up on one foot and fires left handed but it deflects off post. He grabs the rebound and passes to Charlie Griffin for the score. Mullets flap. Falcons soar. Flora leads 8-2.
The Red Raiders played hard, but by that point, there was little doubt about the outcome. Charlie Riley scores twice in the 3rd. Henry Gibson shows a creative backhanded ground shot that barely misses. His younger brother, Wright, scores on a slick pass from Duncan Moorman.
In between all the flapping, Greenville manages to slip one under Lee’s stick. But The Falcons turn for home leading by a commanding 11-3 margin.
Throughout the final period, Howard controls face-offs and the few times Greenville approaches midfield, Falcon middies shut down nearly every angle of attack. Kudos to the Red Raiders’ goalie – he made solid saves throughout the game and kept fighting off Falcon attacks to the very end.
Fourth quarter highlights included: Jordy Caldwell snagging a ground ball and showing impressive speed as he sailed past defenders heading upfield, Charlie McCabe doing a great job in for Mason Howard at face-off, and Connor Condon, in for Chapman Lee, making three bang-bang stops in the crease.
When the last buzzer sounded, The Falcons had netted an impressive 14-5 victory, setting up a rematch with Oceanside in the semi-finals. That game will be the first time these heavy weights have squared off since Senior Night back in March. Since then, Oceanside beat JL Mann at a game played in Irmo and lost to Fort Mill on the road.
At 13-3, The Falcons have six more games under their belt this season than the 9-2 Landsharks. Oceanside’s only two losses this season have been on the road, and Flora is undefeated at home. All things being equal, percentages tend to favor those with more experience playing in front of a rowdy home crowd.
Whatever the outcome, tonight’s semi-final game is sure to be a slug-fest to be sure. The chamber of commerce has dialed up perfect weather, so come on out or dial up the live feed on YouTube – here’s the link (https://youtube.com/watch?v=vJ-18dLvv4w&feature=share) – and cheer on AC Flora’s amazing mullets.
Go get ‘em Falcons!