Polk County's Jack Smith rises to head away a Hendersonville cross during Wednesday's match

Bearcat scoring bursts early and late doom Wolverines

Matters neither began nor ended well Wednesday evening for Polk County’s boys soccer team.

The Wolverines had a good run of 50 or so minutes in their Mountain Foothills 7 Conference clash with Hendersonville. Unfortunately, the Bearcats had an even better first and last 15 minutes, scoring four times in each segment to claim an 8-1 victory in G.M. Tennant Stadium.

Hendersonville’s Cooper King came in advertised as roughly akin to a scoring machine and certainly lived up to that billing. The Bearcat junior scored four goals and now has 30 tallies in 20 games in his Hendersonville career.

Three of those goals came in the first 11 minutes, quickly dropping Polk County (0-4-1, 0-2) into a 3-0 hole. Harrison Moss added another tally for Hendersonville (7-1-1, 1-0) in the 20th minute to give the Bearcats a four-goal advantge that would stand for some time.

Polk County’s defense began to slow King and crew, with Wolverine goalkeeper Greyson Ball making a handful of saves to keep the deficit at four. It shrank to three with 14:30 left in the match as Polk’s Cole Pereira intercepted a Hendersonville pass, dribbled a few steps and sent a long pass ahead to Evan Jones, who sprinted for the ball along with a defender and Hendersonville goalkeeper Noah Pavoo.

Jones won the footrace, taking a quick touch that rolled the ball past Pavoo and just inside the left post, cutting the Bearcat lead to 4-1.

But Hendersonville responded with a goal just over a minute later and added three more in the final nine minutes to build the final margin.

It is the worst loss for a Polk County team since a 7-0 loss to T.C. Roberson early in the 2018 season.

The Wolverines will return to action on Monday, hosting R-S Central in a 6 p.m. match that will also be shown live on NFHS Network.