Polk Middle proves too much for Apple Valley in first-round win

Alex Ramirez turns a corner kick into a goal Monday, heading in what proved to be the winning score for the Wolverines.

A lot of things came in twos Monday at Polk County Middle School.

But the most important of them all for Polk County Middle came early in the second half, a two-goal flurry in a span of two minutes that lifted the Wolverines to a 4-3 win over Apple Valley in the opening round of the Blue Ridge Middle School Conference postseason tournament.

The Wolverines (10-3) will face the Flat Rock-Waynesville winner on Wednesday in the tourney semifinals. That is likely to be undefeated Flat Rock, which would host at 4:30 p.m.

Apple Valley (9-4) scored two first-half goals Monday. So did Polk Middle, getting the tying tally just before halftime.

That deadlock lasted until 19:41 remained in the second half. Following a free kick from the left wing, Grayson Jones was fouled trying to field the kick in the penalty box, earning a free kick. Jones took the kick and calmly buried it in the right side of the net to give Polk Middle a 3-2 lead.

The Wolverines were dangerous the entire game on corner kicks, and that threat paid off moments later when Alex Ramirez headed in a corner, also into the right side of the net, to give the Wolverines a two-goal lead.

Apple Valley, which lost only to Polk and Flat Rock this season, scored with 2:15 left in the match to fuel its comeback hopes. But the Wolverines calmly ran out the clock, its defense denying Apple Valley another shot on goal.

One other bout of twos – Polk Middle head coach Travis Aldred received two yellow cards in the first half, earning a red card and ejection. Aldred will have to sit out Wednesday’s match.

Polk County Middle assistant coach Stephanie Luedi directs the team during the second half Monday.
Polk County Middle assistant coach Stephanie Luedi directs the team during the second half Monday.