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Polk Middle overcomes heat, Waynesville Middle in key 3-2 win

Polk County Middle drew what has proved to be the best two teams in the Blue Ridge Conference’s West Division for its non-conference schedule this season.

Good thing for the rest of the West that Polk isn’t a division member.

After battling Macon Middle to a draw in their season opener, the Wolverines knocked off Waynesville Middle 3-2 on a hot Wednesday afternoon at Polk.

Polk Middle (3-3-1) rallied from a 2-1 halftime deficit with a pair of second-half goals by Evan Jones. The Mountaineers, who began the week undefeated (score of Monday’s match with Macon unavailable at present), put pressure on late, but goalkeeper Sam Rogers stopped a handful of shots in the final minutes to preserve the win.

The Wolverines were playing their third game in three days, all in 80-degree-plus weather.

“Considering this is our third game in three days, this is an unbelievable win,” said Polk County head coach Lennox Charles. “That’s a good team, especially offensively.”

With Polk trailing 1-0, Alexis Gonzalez scored on an assist from Jones late in the first half to even the match, only to see Waynesville tally less than a minute later to build a 2-1 halftime lead.

That lead only lasted a couple of minutes in the second half as Jones picked up a loose ball on the Waynesville side of the field, outraced defenders down the sideline and fired a low line drive from right wing for the tying score.

The Wolverines then got the game-winning score with 17:55 remaining as Gonzalez struck a perfect corner to the back post, where Jones found open room to tap it into the net.

In notes from other recent Polk Middle games:

Polk County 4, Rugby 1: Cole Perierra scored two goals to help the Wolverines to the win. Perierra gave Polk a 1-0 halftime lead on an assist from Jones, then scored early in the second half on an assist from Topher Pearson.

Jack Smith and Yan Ramirez added goals to build the lead to 4-0 before Rugby got a late score. Finn Bell and Smith assisted the Ramirez goal.

Apple Valley 6, Polk County 1: The undefeated Knights showed why they are Blue Ridge Conference favorites with a big win.

Smith had the lone goal in the match for Polk Middle.

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