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Rams win tourney

AHOSKIE – Sometimes one is enough.

Ridgecroft School took advantage of a single shot on goal here Saturday afternoon and made it count.

Just under three minutes into the game, Josh Morris dribbled into the box and put a shot into the goal. That goal stood up for the next 77 minutes as the Rams edged Fayetteville Christian School 1-0 in the finals of the Ridgecroft Invitational.

“Anytime you can get a win against a team of that caliber, it’s very satisfying,” Rams’ Head Coach Aaron Martin said. “We’re obviously elated.”

Fayetteville Christian entered the tournament ranked number four in the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association 2-A ranks.

After Morris put the ball in the back of the net, Fayetteville Christian made a full-out assault at getting the contest even.

At the 14:18 mark of the first half, Rams’ keeper Ethan Phelps deflected a shot over the goal to save a score. Fourteen minutes later, Phelps made a second diving save to keep FCS off the board.

Fayetteville took another shot at the 29:17 mark and Phelps again dove and stopped the shot at the right corner of the net.

The Warriors also had an empty-goal attempt at the 32:48 mark, but came up short.

All totaled, Fayetteville Christian took six shots on goal in the first half, but didn’t find the back of the net.

In addition to Phelps, the Rams got solid play in the first half from Zach Futrell and Matthew Jones on the defensive end.

In the second half, Fayetteville got just three shots on goal, but again Phelps and the defenders were up to the task.

At the 50:53 point of the match, Phelps made a save that gave the Warriors a corner kick. On that ensuing kick, Hanes Joyner made a steal and took the ball back the other way for Ridgecroft.

Futrell also had a shot from 40 yards out, but just missed.

Phelps made his last true save at the 65:40 mark on a corner kick.

“I saw a lot of heart today,” Martin said. “We were outmanned at a few positions, but we were able to cover for each other. Today’s win was because of teamwork and guts.”

Phelps said he did feel the pressure of preserving his first shutout of the season, but that he relished the opportunity.

“It’s a lot of pressure,” he said, “but it’s very satisfying to defeat a team of that caliber.”

Phelps said he knew he had to be on his toes the entire match, but he was pleased with the outcome.

Martin added there was still work for the Rams to do as they head into the regular-season opener with Hertford County today (Tuesday).

“We still have work to do,” he insisted. “We were disorganized at times, but I’m super-proud of everyone on this team.”

Morris tallied his fourth goal of the season in just the second match of the year.

The Rams will be on the road for the first time in 2007 today when they travel to Hertford County High School for a 5 p.m. match.