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Gantzer leads Jackets over Stallions

School is out on Saturdays, but Fort Mill High's Jack Gantzer didn't let that keep him from some extra studying.

Gantzer got to Manchester Meadows Soccer Complex early, so he sat in the stands and watched a college game while awaiting his team's 4 p.m. date with South Pointe. Gantzer, who will sign with Newberry, got a good dose of what he'll face next year.

Then he went out on the same field and scored three goals in the Yellow Jackets' 5-0 non-region win over the Stallions.

"Watching how the college game is played got memotivated ... inspired me for our game,'' Gantzer said. "I actually learned some new things watching them play, things that we help me.''

"We had a tough loss to Northwestern on Wednesday night, so it was good to come out and rebound the way we did. This kind of win helps us feel good about ourselves again. It was our first shutout of the season.''

Kevin Fielden got the Yellow Jackets (7-1-1) going less than five minutes into the game, with a goal on an assist from Stephen Nall.

It proved to be the preview for the main attraction, "Gantzer Time.''

After taking an assist from Fielder, Gantzer fired in a goal from the right side of the frame past Stallions goalie Matt Hutches that put the Yellow Jackets ahead 2-0 at the 22:20 mark.

Gantzer was far from finished on his way to the hat trick.

At the 13:32 mark, Fielden controlled a Fort Mill throw-in and passed the ball to Gantzer, who booted in another goal that pushed his team ahead 3-0.

With 6:40 left in the half, Gantzer completed his hat trick, this time scoring on an assist from David Walas. His third goal went unanswered, and Fort Mill took a 4-0 lead into the break.

"We were down 4-0 at the half, but I told our players we were far from being out of it,'' South Pointe coach John Arevalo said. "I told them to go out and play hard and play with intensity, that if we did those things we still had a shot at winning.''

South Pointe (2-5) had more fire after the break but because of the pressure applied by the Yellow Jackets and solid play from goalie Tanner Larsen-Lanvik, the Stallions were unable to find the net.

That's understandable considering the Stallions outshot the Yellow Jackets 15-14. There were several moments that had South Pointe's fans on their feet and cheering.

The first wasn't a soccer play, rather a touching moment. South Pointe's C.J. Davenport was injured on the side of the field farthest from his bench and tried to get up and hobble to the sideline. Seeing that his teammate was in extreme pain, Andrew Arevalo picked him up and carried him to the bench.

South Pointe and Fort Mill fans rose with applause to show their appreciation for both.

Fort Mill added another goal in the second half, with Walas getting on the board with a penalty kick at the 19:32 mark that capped the scoring.

With the clock winding down, the Stallions made two quick, but unsuccessful, charges at the goal. The first was a shot inside the box that Larsen-Landvik dove and smotheredwith the numbers in South Pointe's favor.

The second was a shot from Landon Ard that looked good when it left his foot. Ard took it from the left side and tried to place the ball over Larsen-Landvik's head. Ard got too much air under ball and it sailed over the frame.

"This was a nice win for us considering we had four starters out with injuries and other reasons,'' Fort Mill coach Lloyd Chalker said. "The big difference for us is when we had chances to score, we finished.''


First half

FM -- Kevin Fielden 35:31, Stephen Nall assist

FM -- Jack Gantzer 22:20,Fielden assist

FM -- Gantzer 13:32, Fielden assist

FM -- Gantzer 6:40, David Walas assist

Second half

FM -- Walas 19:32, penalty kick

Shots on goal -- Fort Mill 14, South Pointe 15

Corner kicks -- Fort Mill 0, South Pointe 2

Goalies -- Fort Mill -- Tanner Larsen-Lanvick (10 saves); South Pointe -- Matt Hutches (7 saves).

Records -- Fort Mill 7-1-1; South Pointe 2-5