Fricker and Peiffer

Franklin County’s Phillip Peiffer and Western Hills’ Rafael Fricker battle for control of the ball during the first half of their Rotary Capital City Classic game Thursday at Sower Soccer Complex. (Linda Younkin | State Journal)

Franklin County’s boys soccer team only led once in Thursday’s Rotary Capital City Classic game with Western Hills, but it was when it counted.

FCHS’ Phillip Peiffer scored the game-winning goal off an assist from Adam Gritton with two minutes left for the 3-2 win.

“He’s a big spark for us,” FCHS coach Louis Tandy said of Peiffer. “He’s full of energy, and he just plays hard no matter where we play him.”

Western Hills struck first, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by Wade Sutley with 57 seconds left in the first half. Rafael Fricker had the assist.

The Flyers evened the score on a goal by Drew Harrod off an assist from Gritton less than four minutes into the second half.

The score stayed tied until the Wolverines’ Lincoln Mattox connected on a shot with 18:30 left in the match with the assist going to Sutley.

Less than four minutes later, FCHS pulled even on a goal by Alexander Bentley, who headed a corner kick from Harrod into the net. The score stayed 2-2 until Peiffer’s goal.

“It’s hard to keep the momentum going when you’re cramping left and right,” WHHS coach Chad Mangum said, “and it was key guys going down. It wasn’t making mistakes, it was our bodies beating ourselves.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the guys’ effort. District games, especially this early against a rival, can go either way.”

Both teams continue tournament play today at Sower Soccer Complex with FCHS taking on Anderson County at 6 p.m. and WHHS playing Frankfort at 8 p.m.

“Drew and Justin (Castillo) played fantastic,” Tandy said. “They held us together and Alexander Bentley, Owen Powell, Owen Clements, Kaden Turner, and Cade Terry, all the guys on the back line played well.

“They made stops when we needed them. 

“There were shots where I saw ‘goal’ written all over them, but they made the stops.”

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