Freshman Phillip Tran scored his first varsity goal on his first shot, getting loose on a breakaway and blasting it into the net just 30 seconds into the game, helping lead the Panthers to the 7-2 triumph over the Warriors.
“It feels great, two-for-two,” said Tran, who also scored on his second shot of the night for the Panthers’ sixth goal.
In the girls match, Colby Canada scored 26 seconds into the game and the rout was on as the Lady Panthers beat down the Warriors 10-0.
The Grovetown boys didn’t let Tran’s quick goal faze them as they responded with goals from Corey Stone and Chris Evans for a 2-1 lead at the 27:22 mark of the first half.
The game would change drastically for the Warriors almost 10 minutes later when Stone was assessed his second yellow card and was red-carded out of the game.
Less than a minute later, the Warriors were called for a penalty near their own goal and Colby Ellis banged home a penalty kick to the bottom right corner of the net to tie the score.
With 7:17 left in the half, the Panthers got another penalty kick, and this time Eric Older, who also had three assists, scored.
“We have to realize that one player doesn’t make the team,” said Warriors coach Bill Madigan on losing Stone.
After Warriors goalie Damon Stinger stopped 11 shots in the first half, the Panthers came out and scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half to put the game on ice.
Junior Robert Gvazgava added two goals for the Panthers and Sam Odi had one.
In the girls match, Lakeside freshman Devin Haygood got her varsity career off to a flying start as she tallied three goals and an assist.
“It feels pretty good,” said Haywood simply.
Also getting into the scoring column were Logan Williams, Sydney Umstead, Casandra Wade, Callie Beckham, Tessa Geyer and Nettie Jester.