Ever hear the old joke – “I went to a fight last night and a hockey game broke out.”
Well, substitute soccer match for hockey game and you’ll have a pretty good idea how Senior Night went for Franklin County’s boys soccer team Wednesday at Sower Soccer Field.
Physical play quickly escalated to fouls, stoppages in play as referees talked to players, and eventually a red card for a Gallatin County player when the Flyers’ Ricky Brunner was punched in the mouth.
In the midst of all this was a 3-0 victory for FCHS, which improved to 9-6-4 in its last match of the regular season.
“I really respect my team for keeping its composure,” FCHS coach Zac Donnelly said, “especially Ricky who got sucker punched.
“He’s our captain and he leads by example, and he showed that by not retaliating. I have a lot of respect for Ricky to be able to do that.”
The Flyers were on their offensive end of the field most of the first half, but the match was scoreless at halftime.
“We talked at halftime about how physical they were,” Donnelly said. “We have a district tournament game Monday, and we couldn’t afford to get a red card. I’m really proud of my guys for playing with sportsmanship.”
Garrett Hamilton scored Franklin County’s first goal with 26:51 left in the match. About five minutes later play was stopped after Brunner was punched.
After Brunner was attended to and the referees talked to players and both coaches, play resumed. It took just 25 seconds for the Flyers to score again, this time on a goal by Rolman Delgado.
Just a minute later Gallatin was called for a trip in the penalty box, and Foster Akado’s penalty kick gave the Flyers a 3-0 lead.
Franklin County goalkeeper Josh Crosby recorded the shutout, and Collin Hartke was in goal for Gallatin (8-11-1).
“I thought we controlled play,” Donnelly said. “I’m proud of the way my seniors played. Tonight was Senior Night, and they’re a great group. They’ve been working together for four years.
“I was excited to see the way they played tonight,” he added. “Foster Akado scored his first goal of the season on the penalty kick. I wanted him to take that.”
The Flyers’ seniors were honored in a ceremony prior to the varsity match. This year’s seniors are Brunner, Crosby, Akado, Logan Clouse, Justin Thomas, Parker Smith and Hassan Boughroud.
Franklin County’s next match is against Owen County in the first round of the 25th District tournament Monday at 8 p.m. at Sower Soccer Field.