10/11/07 — C.B. Aycock clinches ECC crown

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C.B. Aycock clinches ECC crown

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 11, 2007 2:57 PM

PIKEVILLE -- The highly-anticipated, late-season showdown between perennial soccer powers Charles B. Aycock and Wilson Hunt, surprisingly, turned into a one-sided affair Wednesday evening.

The Golden Falcons dumped the Warriors 7-2 and capped their senior night with a share of their third consecutive Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season title.

Aycock struck early and Hunt never fully recovered.

Tucker Pearson received a long throw-in and after a couple of dribbles, found himself all alone with Hunt keeper Will Jacobs. Pearson slipped the ball past the freshman goalie for a 1-0 advantage just 8 minutes into the contest.

Pearson wasn't done.

Four minutes later he headed a ball into goal off a corner kick.

Using text-book passing and their blazing speed, the Golden Falcons kept their foot on the gas offensively. Alex Rodriguez followed Pearson's second score less than a minute later, with his first of four scores.

Rodriguez made a run down the middle of the field, had the ball played to his feet and stuck it in the left corner for a three-goal advantage. After the Golden Falcons had a goal off a throw-in in the 21st minute waived off, the offensive onslaught continued.

Jorge Delgado took a long pass, dribbled past one Warriors' defender, eluded a charging Jacobs and found himself looking up at an empty net. His score in the 25th minute all but made another conference title a reality, well before the senior night festivities at halftime.

"Hunt really surprised me tonight," Aycock assistant coach Byron Adkins said. "They played really well (at Hunt) and tonight they looked a little flat. We came out and scored some really quick goals, and I think that kind of killed them after that."

With a Hunt defender literally latched to his left arm, Rodriguez displayed his speed and a bit of determination to earn his second goal of the night. Undeterred by his newfound companion, the junior striker dribbled down the left sideline and unleashed a blast from just inside the 18-yard box.

Aycock led 5-0 at the break with a 9-3 edge in shots on goal.

The Warriors' deficit increased just eight minutes in the second half. Rodriguez slipped through the Hunt defense, dribbled right into the 18-yard box and beat Jacobs with ease.

Hunt had four corner kicks and a couple of decent looks on goal in the second half, but for the most part was simply unable to get its offense on track. Almost every ball fed into the box was instantly cleared by an Aycock defender, and more often than not those clears led to scoring chances on the other end.

"Give a lot of credit to Aycock, they played well and they have a lot of speed," Hunt head coach Drew Nick said. "It was a 2-2 game in the second half, but it's tough to recover when you're down 5-0 at halftime."

After Hunt finally got on the board in the 74th minute, Rodriguez went right back to stealing the show on what was supposed to be senior night.

Rodriguez uncorked a long bending ball that curled into the right corner of the goal, capping Aycock's scoring in the 75th minute. The Golden Falcons finished with a 16-7 shots on goal advantage.

"My teammates help me create the space, and they put the ball right there so I can get it," Rodriguez said. "That's just teamwork out there. This feels great to be conference champions again."

Hunt added a goal in the 78th minute, but this night belonged to a group of seniors and a team that checked one of several goals off its list.

"I've been thinking about this game all day," Adkins said. "I kind of stressed to the boys before the game that this was really for the conference championship. Now Hunt has two conference losses and we don't have any. It was huge tonight."

C.B. Aycock (13-2-1 overall, 8-0 ECC) can secure the league title outright next Monday evening at archrival Eastern Wayne. Hunt (10-7-1) dropped to 5-2 in the league and entertains Kinston on Friday.