VALE — The North Lincoln Knights topped the West Lincoln Rebels 2-1 in conference play Thursday evening in western Lincoln County.
The teams equally possessed the ball and proved aggressive for points as back and forth battles at the net kept fans on the edge of their seats.
Sophomore Albeto Vargas sent a pass back to senior teammate Ivan Calvillo in the Rebels opening game play, and it wasn’t long before senior North Lincoln goalkeeper Brian Lehman scooped up the home team’s first shot on goal.
However, it was the North Lincoln squad who celebrated the first point of the night at the four-minute mark. Sophomore Mitch Brown secured the shot off a free kick by freshman teammate Justin Gannaway.
Junior Rebel Juan Quintero, aggressive and hopeful to gain a first goal for his team, sped furiously toward the ball as it raced toward Lehman in the net at the eight-minute mark, , but Lehman grabbed the ball inches from his opponent’s foot.
Midway through the half, senior Clayton Gannaway, who spent most of the match in the striker position, headed his teammate’s corner kick toward the net, but the attempt on goal proved unsuccessful.
Minutes before the first period ended the squad alike became noisy over what they thought was a first West Lincoln match goal, however, referees took back the point after they deemed the scorer to be offsides.
Going into the second half, the Rebels trailed the Knights by only one goal and continued to take open shots whenever possible.
Referees continued to call offsides on West Lincoln forwards during the half, but senior Ethan Bumgarner managed to dribble the ball down the left side and shoot a close shot for his team at the eight-minute mark, launching the ball from the corner of the box, 18-yards from the net.
After a North Lincoln handball, the Rebels again received an opportunity to take control of the game but failed to produce a shot. Following a blatant push from a North Lincoln player at the 32-minute mark, forcing referees to throw a yellow card up in the air, the Rebels gained a free kick at the midfield point.
Again, no shot stemmed from the play.
The Knights obtained a second goal at the 34-minute mark after senior Mikey Johnson chipped the ball over the head of senior Rebels goalkeeper Cris Rios.
While red and white jerseys may have been discouraged over their empty side of the scoreboard, feelings of defeat failed to sink in as they remained aggressive for a goal.
Two minutes later, at the 36-minute mark, freshman midfielder Travis Guynes secured the ball off a teammate’s free kick nearly 20-yards out and sent a pass across the field to sophomore midfielder Edward Rios, who scored the point. In the seconds that followed the play, West Lincoln fans filled the air with exuberant cheering and wild celebration.
Despite the home team’s persistent efforts, they failed to obtain a second goal, giving North Lincoln the victory and falling 2-4 this season in the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference.