Junior Owen Atkison scored twice to help the Grizzly Cubs overcome an early deficit and defeat visiting Perry Meridian 4-2 on Tuesday night.
“I love the way we played,” Franklin coach Tony Harris said. “I really thought we were the better team. They’re good; they’ve got a lot of talent and some good players, but I thought our guys, even in the end when we’re defending, we’re still getting a ton of offense going.”
The Grizzly Cubs (4-1) knotted the score at 1-1 with 27:59 left in the first half when an Ethan Pheifer cross found its way to the right side of the goal, where sophomore Owen Mahin was waiting to punch it in.
Less than three minutes later, a throw-in by Garrett Snyder was deflected right back toward the junior midfielder, and he served the ball in front for Atkison to head home.
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Atkison scored again with 21:27 to go in the half, running onto a lead pass from senior Joe Nerding and just beating Perry netminder Luciano Salemi.
The Falcons had a chance to tighten the match back up early in the second half but missed a penalty kick wide left, and the Grizzly Cubs put it away moments later on a right-to-left shot by Nerding with 32:57 left.
“This game’s real important to us,” Harris said. “Perry’s going in the sectional and they’re also joining our conference next year.”
It took Perry Meridian all of 21 seconds to get on the board at the outset, as Lorenzo Vingolo caught Franklin keeper Dylan Bastin out of position and drove the ball into the right side of the net from a little more than 20 yards out.
The Falcons, though, didn’t score again until the 64th minute, by which point the home side had the result in hand.