With the season potentially sitting in the lacrosse stick of William King in the closing seconds of the Class 4A state semifinal boys playoffs, the freshman kept calm and delivered the game-winning goal with 19 seconds remaining Wednesday night to give A.C. Flora a 12-11 victory against Christ Church.
The Falcons will play in their first state championship Saturday when they face off against Bishop England at 6:30 p.m. in Chapin.
“This is incredible,” A.C. Flora coach Mickey Purdy said. “These boys worked hard, and I’m just tickled to death. We have one more shot at it.”
King was an unlikely hero despite the fact he scored three goals. A.C. Flora (13-3) trailed only once, the first goal of the game, through the first three quarters. But Christ Church went on a 5-goal spurt to turn a two-goal deficit into an 11-8 lead with 6:16 remaining.
That set the stage for the frantic finish. King scored, then senior Sam Duffie brought the Falcons to within one on his fifth goal of the night with 4:38 remaining.
Jack Sparrow tied it at 11 with 1:07 remaining. A.C. Flora won the faceoff and called time with just a shade under one minute remaining. The plan was to try to get Duffie on an isolation, but the Cavaliers defended that perfectly.
Duffie then passed to King, who took the shot from the left side.
“I thought Sam was going to shoot it, so the pass came unexpectedly,” King said. “I just thought ‘go after it 100 percent’ and the next thing I know it goes in. We just started acting crazy.”
Goals: ACF: Sam Duffie 5, William King 3, Craig Wall 2, JT Irvin, Jack Sparrow. CC: Jack Sanders 3, Tom Fincher 2, Chase Poplin 2, Conrad Pentalari 2, Christian Merkt, Austin Hayden.
Hammond wins title
Hammond jumped to a 9-2 lead at halftime and went on to defeat Porter-Gaud 10-6 to win the SCISA lacrosse title.
Corbitt Glick, Michael Borden, Alex Huntley and Cle Pennington scored for Hammond.