The Glynn Academy Red Terrors scored early, often and ended the Effingham County Rebels soccer team’s season.
Powered by Olympic Development Team member Andy Craven and Johnny Melcher, a former region player of the year at Heritage High in Conyers, the Red Terrors pounded the Rebels 9-1 Tuesday night at Rebel Field.
“They’ve got a very good side,” Effingham coach Mike Bacyznski said of the Terrors, who improved to 12-3 for the year and 7-1 in Region 3-AAAA South with the victory. “They’ve got a lot of talent and they’re well coached.”
The Rebels turned aside a half-dozen excellent scoring chances early from the Terrors, who finally broke through 12 minutes into the game. Craven was tripped on a break as he was halfway through the 18-yard box, and Melcher buried the resulting penalty kick to the lower right corner past Rebels keeper Chris Hesling.
Craven made it 2-0 with a half-volley he bounced down and through Hesling’s arms with 19:50 to go. It became 3-0 when Christian Acevedo’s direct kick from 30 yards out skipped through the defense and past an unsuspecting Hesling with less than five minutes to play and Beau Vendetti made it 4-0 seconds before halftime with a shot from point-blank range.
Hesling also had to twice stop Melcher in the span of 20 seconds after it was 2-0, once on a long run and then on a rocket from 40 yards out. Hesling also cut down Craven’s chance at a breakaway goal with less than two minutes to go before intermission.
“They make runs, and they create their opportunities,” Bacyznski said of the Terrors.
Glynn piled on the offense in the second half, with keeper Brett Bearden taking a penalty kick and scoring five minutes into the second half after Jason Barber was knocked down in the box.
Trey Kaufman stepped in front of a Hesling goal kick and cut through the Rebel defense for a goal, making it 6-0 with 23 minutes left.
Ashe Hall got the Rebels on the board with 20:43 to play, drawing out Terrors backup keeper Jack Glenn after a long pass from Taylor Oliver and tapping home a shot into an open net from 20 yards out.
But the Red Terrors retaliated quickly and forcefully. Chris Morgan’s corner kick a minute later bounced off Acevedo and Barber and caromed past Hesling. A minute after that, Kaufman sent Garrett Franks in alone on Hesling for another goal and an 8-1 lead.
Charlie Spalding added the final goal with 14:50 to play.
The Rebels were not without their chances throughout the game against the high-powered Terrors. Twice Bearden had to nab crossing passes in the box with Rebels players speeding for the far post in the first half, and Oliver’s blast from 25 yards out just missed with the game still 2-0. Glenn also tipped a Billy Tyson shot off the football crossbar late in the game on another great threat.
“We had trouble finishing, and we had some defensive breakdowns,” Bacyznski said. “I felt the run of the play was much closer than the score.”
The loss ended Effingham’s season at 4-13 overall and 1-7 in the region.