WEST JEFFERSON — With just more than two minutes left in their game against the Elkin Elks (4-10), the Ashe County Huskies (9-7) won via a 9-0 mercy rule at home Monday, Oct. 14. A total of six players scored for the Huskies, with senior Chris Luna grabbing a hat-trick.
A good start is never something a coach will complain about, and Huskies head coach Paul Winterton could say nothing wrong about Torrin Potter scoring after 24 seconds of play. The 1-0 lead could not come quicker for the Huskies, but it still left 79 minutes and 36 seconds left to play.
Both teams responded by playing with a frenetic pace, the Elks desperate to grab an equalizer while the Huskies wanted to pile on the misery for their guests. In the 13th minute, Luna picked up a well-played through ball before tucking it past the keeper to double Ashe’s lead. He bagged his brace only four minutes later, tapping a shot from teammate Trent Baker on target and into the goal.
The 20th minute saw the Huskies tack on another goal to their tally, coming in the form of a deep free-kick from the halfway line, courtesy of Christian Ramos.
Carrying a four-goal lead, the Huskies kept pushing their way into the Elks’ half of the field. On the other side of the ball, Ashe’s defense refused to allow good chances, with Ramos and keeper Ram Lopez sweeping up whatever came their way. With Lopez in goal, fellow keepers Isaac Miller and Matt Potter received some minutes in the first half as a strike partnership.
The Huskies found their fifth goal when the ball ricocheted off of an Elks defender and into the targets of Fabricio Jiminez, who fired it into the Elkin goal with a miracle volley. The Huskies carried their 5-0 lead into halftime.
While not a quick of a start as the first half, the Huskies came out firing in the second, grabbing two in 12 minutes when Luna and team captain Justin Lopez finding the back of the net.
Justin Lopez again popped up with a goal in the 65th minute, firing a screamer from distance into the back of the net. With an 8-0 lead, the Huskies were looking for the final straw to break the Elks’ back.
The final straw finally came in the form of Justin Lopez’s little brother, Montana, as the freshman attacking midfielder tapped in a close shot to end the game with two minutes left. The mercy rule triggered, the Huskies won and Montana Lopez was carried off the field while being showered with praise.
Now sitting in sole possession of second-place in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference, the Huskies travel to North Wilkes (10-6-1) Wednesday, Oct. 16 while Elkin heads home to face Wilkes Central (7-9) the same night.