Polk County Middle's Blake Anderson battles two Flat Rock defenders and the sun while working to control a free ball during Monday's match

This time, overtime proves the right time for Polk Middle

Nothing like an extra bit of drama with a possible home playoff game in the balance.

Polk County Middle scored a late goal Monday to force overtime, then tallied another in the first extra period to upend Flat Rock Middle 2-1 in a Blue Ridge Conference clash at Utz Field.

The teams began the day tied for second place in the BRC’s East Division. They ended it with the Wolverines alone in second thanks to Blake Anderson’s overtime goal that proved the decider.

The win also provided a rebound for Polk Middle after last week’s 1-0 overtime loss at Hendersonville Middle.

“We really needed this win,” said Polk Middle head coach Lennox Charles. “I think the adjustments we made at halftime really seemed to help us. They were trying to clog the midfield and that made everything tough for us. We couldn’t figure out how to get the ball out of there.

“They were giving us all the space behind, which let us bypass midfield to get the ball up there. Once we adjusted to being more direct to get the ball upfield, that helped us. Because once we could get the ball out of midfield, we put a little pressure on them.”

The top four teams in the BRC’s East and West divisions will advance to the league’s postseason tournament, with the top two in each division hosting first-round matches. Polk Middle is now positioned to be at home if the Wolverines can win Wednesday at Brevard and next week’s season finale at home against Rugby.

Flat Rock grabbed a 1-0 lead early in the first half on a long direct free kick that just found the upper half of the net. Polk Middle finally got the equalizer with six minutes remaining in regulation.

Polk’s Macoda Martin took possession of the ball high in Flat Rock’s half of the field and served a long pass to the area in front of the Eagles’ goal. A scramble ensued there before Polk’s Tommy Jackson won possession and scored, tying the match.

The first of the two five-minute overtime periods was drawing to a close when the Wolverines again found the net. Jackson won a footrace to a free ball near the end line. With a defender and Flat Rock’s goalkeeper closing, Jackson hit a low cross that reached Anderson at the back post. He calmly placed it in the goal to give Polk a 2-1 lead with 52 seconds left in the period.

The Wolverines made that lead stand in the final five minutes to secure the win.

Polk Middle’s Brody Wolfe encounters a high kick during the first half of Monday’s match. Wolfe wasn’t injured on the play, which did result in a free kick for the Wolverines.