Nighthawks soar to victory Monday night

Published 5:17 am Tuesday, November 19, 2019

First Flight attackers found the back of the net four times Monday night on their way to defeating visiting Thomasville Bulldogs 4 – 0 in the fourth round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A playoffs held in a light but steady rain in Kill Devil Hills.

The Nighthawks (18-3) were scheduled to face Dixon (23-1-1) in the East Regional Championship match Tuesday night again at home. The winner of that contest advances to the state 2A title game this Saturday in Cary.

Monday’s match got off to a slow start as the two teams appeared to be evenly matched. Just 38 seconds before the half, however, six-foot-six senior defender Stryker Owens sent the ball towards the net and junior midfielder Jaden Howard finished the play with a goal.

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At the start of the second half of play, the driving rain continued as players from both teams attempted to make things happen. Eventually, it was all First Flight as senior forward McCabe Owens, junior midfielder Tanner Bouker and sophomore midfielder Dominic Marino each scored, pushing the score to 4 – 0.

’Hawks coach Juan Ramirez was pleased with the victory and said he hopes the guys can heal up their bruises before they take the field again on Tuesday.

Good ball movement was key for the win, coach said, and he was happy everyone played together as a team. Ramirez added that all the guys’ hard work is paying off.

“They took care of business,” Ramirez said.

Thomasville coach Brandon Staton said his guys didn’t play exceptionally well in the rain-soaked match.

“We missed some opportunities,” he said. “Their players are very good and they’re a well-coached team.” His Bulldogs were the Cinderella story of the playoffs and went deeper than anyone expected.



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