Franklin leaves Perry Hall in dark No. 12 Indians score early, late to take county crown, 2-0

"We knew we'd have to play our best ball to beat Perry Hall, and that's what we did." Larry Meekins,Franklin coach

October 28, 1998|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

It wasn't long after Perry Hall flipped the switch on its new stadium lights that visiting Franklin swooped into the spotlight.

The No. 12 Indians scored a goal 1: 58 into the game, then added another midway through the second half en route to a 2-0 win over the host Gators last night in the Baltimore County championship game.

It was the 10th win in 11 games for Franklin (12-2), including seven shutouts. This one, however, was by far the biggest.

"We knew we'd have to play our best ball to beat Perry Hall, and that's what we did," said Franklin coach Larry Meekins, whose team beat the perennial power Gators for the second time in two weeks.

Franklin grabbed the early lead when Pathik Rami crossed to John Schuster, who then fired a low kick past Perry Hall goalie Matt Barrett with 38: 02 to play in the first half. The goal proved a huge psychological lift for Franklin, which had needed more than a half to score in the teams' previous game.

"That was a big emotional pickup," said striker Chris Borcik. "Once we score a goal, we just seem to really get on top of our game."

"It was a breakdown on defense in the back," said Perry Hall coach Ed Wolf.

For the rest of the half, Perry Hall's offense attempted to atone for the mistake, peppering Franklin's goal with shot after shot.

With 34 minutes left in the half, Jeff Alleman sent a bullet toward the goal that keeper Andy Schuster stopped with a diving save. He then caught a follow-up by Alleman. Other good scoring chances for Perry Hall (8-4-1) came from Chris Benvenga, first on a hard shot, then on a redirect of Scot Dufel's throw-in, but neither found the mark.

"We had plenty of opportunities down there and just didn't finish," said Wolf, whose team was without one of its top scorers in forward William Rogers, who suffered a season-ending knee injury recently against Fallston. "We had four or five of them right within five feet of the goal."

Franklin extended the lead to 2-0 with 16: 16 left in the game, when Steve Mays sent a free kick from near midfield into the box, where Borcik headed it in.

"Borcik is just an animal on offense," said Meekins.

Staked with a two-goal lead, Franklin's defense, led by Jon Mandras, dominated the Gators' the rest of the way.

Pub Date: 10/28/98

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