Never mind the quality of Polk County’s playoff-opening victory over East Davidson – Wolverine head coach Lennox Charles was just happy to actually have a victory.
For the first time since 2011, Polk County is through to the second round of the state 2A boys soccer playoffs, the Wolverines shutting down East Davidson 4-0 Wednesday in a first-round postseason match played at Polk County Middle School.
Polk County (16-4-1) will host Shelby (16-3-1) on Saturday at a time to be determined. The Lions handed Thomasville a 6-1 defeat in their first-round match.
That Polk County played well on all fronts Wednesday came as a bonus for Charles.
“Any win is a statement for us. We’ve only made it out of the first round once since we’ve been in 2A,” Charles said. Polk County defeated Chase 1-0 in a first-round match in 2011. “The good thing for us is that we got off to a quick start before they settled down and we kept them on their heels.”
Senior Wil Rimer scored three goals, boosting his season total to 39, and gave Polk County a 1-0 lead before fans had barely settled into their seats on a misty evening. Rimer took a long pass from Jeremy Allsbrook and scored in the second minute of the match, giving the Wolverines a quick 1-0 lead.
Allsbrook made it 2-0 at the 22:37 mark of the half, dribbling along the top of the box to create space before firing a low drive into the right corner that East Davidson goalkeeper Jordan Eubank nearly stopped, but was unable to keep the ball out of the net.
Rimer scored again four minutes later to make it 3-0, the score staying that way at the half.
East Davidson played much more aggressively in the second half and had a couple of quality offensive looks, but were unable to push anything past Polk goalkeeper Wilson Edwards. One of East’s best chances came midway through the half on a long direct kick on which Edwards timed his leap perfectly to snag the effort. Edwards finished with 10 saves.
“We didn’t do enough of what we needed to do in the second half,” Charles said. “How they played the second half was what I expected. Thankfully, they were probably a little more intimidated early. By the time they settled in and started doing what they needed to do, we were already up three or four goals.”
Rimer capped the scoring with a late goal on a feed from Allsbrook, the pass setting up a one-on-one opportunity for Rimer, who easily won that battle. Rimer is now three goals shy of the school record of 42 set in 1999 by Pete Markovic. Allsbrook had three assists to raise his single-season school-record total to 30.
East Davidson saw its season end at 8-11-2.