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Published: Wednesday, 10/10/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Anthony Wayne rallies past Southview to clinch league

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Anthony Wayne's Eddy Wild kicks the ball Tuesday against  Sylvania Southview.
Anthony Wayne's Eddy Wild kicks the ball Tuesday against Sylvania Southview.
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Southview owned the first half of the Northern Lakes League matchup with 10th-ranked Anthony Wayne on Tuesday night.

The Cougars jumped out to a startling 3-0 lead over the Generals, who walked into the game having avoided a loss in 14 previous outings this season.

Furthermore, trailing Southview by three goals at halftime seriously threatened AW's pursuit of winning the NLL championship without suffering a defeat.

PHOTO GALLERY: Southview at Anthony Wayne

The Generals responded to the first-half scare with a stunning second half comeback by scoring nine unanswered goals en route to a 9-3 league-clinching victory.

"It's phenomenal," AW coach Brian Billings said regarding the Generals' comeback win to close out the regular season 13-0-2 and clinch the NLL title with a 6-0-1 league record. "This is what our guys wanted from the get-go, to win league with an undefeated league season.

"We just knew we played terrible in the first half. We were down, but we knew we'd get it."

AW seniors Nick Frank and Alex Hansen sparked the second-half surge by coming through with three goals apiece during the final 40 minutes of competition. Ben Conkin, Alex Free and Noah Miller provided a goal apiece in the biggest comeback of the season for AW.

"The first half was definitely not how we play," said Frank, the Generals team captain, who scored the game-winning goal with 13:03 left in the match to give AW a 4-3 lead over Southview.

Conkin broke the ice for AW when he scored to make it 3-1 with 34 minutes left in the second half. Hansen followed with the first goal of his hat trick only three minutes later to make it 3-2.

Frank tied the score 3-3 when he tallied the first goal of his hat trick with 21 minutes to play.

AW and Southview remained locked in a tie for eight minutes before Frank's second goal of the game slipped by Cougars goalie Eric Breeden.

What followed seemed like a flurry of goals for the Generals, who were swarmed by classmates on the field at the end of the game to celebrate winning the league title.

"I had confidence in my team and we never gave up," Kaminski said. "We just fought and fought."

Southview's Daniel Blackmar made it 1-0 when he scored only five minutes into the game to quiet the Generals home crowd early in the contest.

Less than 10 minutes later the Cougars (11-3-2, 4-3 NLL) were celebrating a 2-0 advantage over the Generals when Chris Ellis slipped a header past AW goalie Austin Kaminski with 26:08 remaining before halftime.

Yet, Southview wasn't done dictating the game's tempo in the first half.

Brad Brown pushed a shot into the back of the Generals net to give Southview a 3-0 lead with 22:59 to play before the intermission.

It was the kind of start Cougars coach Chad Cody would hope for against a Generals team that had given up no more than three goals only once all season.

However, keeping the momentum after halftime proved a problem for the Cougars, who spent much of the final 40 minutes on their half of the field trying to slow down AW.

"We sat back too much in the second half," Cody said. "We didn't respond to their pressure and it became a lot of kickball."

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.



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